I’m sure you’ve all heard the classic estate agent’s sales pitch of ‘there are several people interested in this property.’ Although this may be true, it’s often not the case. Real estate agencies usually encourage you to put a reservation on the house so that they can secure their sale. This usually involves a deposit and for you to sign a private purchase contract, before going to the notary.
WAIT BEFORE YOU SIGN ON THE DOTTED LINE
We understand that when you have found the perfect property, you don’t want it to disappear from the market. But we strongly advise you to wait and get the contract reviewed by a trusted lawyer.
There can be some ‘tricky’ phrases in the contract and if it’s signed without being reviewed by a professional, we may have to undo some ‘misunderstandings.’
In the past we have dealt with phrases such as “the buyer has had access to all the documentation and accepts the property in both physical and legal conditions in which it is found.” For instance, a recent incident involved a contract that said the buyers “accept the property in the legal status that it is found.” The issue here was that the pool and garage attached to the property was, in fact, not legalised. So, we stepped in to ensure that the pool and garage could be legalised and that there were no hidden charges.
Therefore, we stress that you should refrain from signing anything without first seeking legal advice. This is to avoid any hefty payments, as the price for seeking legal advice is often lower than the price of damage control.
We often seek advise on relatively cheap items such as the best computer or phone on the market, so why should buying one of the biggest investments, such as a house, be any different?