Promise of Sale & Deed of Sale

It is now very nearly yours. It is promised to you and you have promised to buy your new home. So after the excitement and fun and some stress from your house hunt, you are waiting for the notary to call you and sign the contract. But what to do now - just sit back?

There is a grey space in between the promise of sale and the deed of sale. Contrary to other countries, here in Malta you cannot get the key to the property along with the promise of sale (Maltese = Konvenju). But things are not quite final and you still have some things to do. Here is a run-down of what may or may not happen, and what you can do during this period of waiting.

Legal Searches

You have just signed a paper which gives the notary the permission to go ahead and carry out legal searches in order to ensure that you will eventually be able to take possession of the property in peace of mind and without any legal hitches. Normally a period of three months will elapse between the promise of sale and the deed of sale. In some instances and circumstances, owner/seller and potential buyer may agree to extend this period up to a maximum of six months, especially where complicated issues are involved. This may happen in the case of bank loan issues, inheritance settlement issues, buildings which are still in the process of construction or completion, or land which is being sold pending building permits. This period will allow the notary to make searches on your behalf, legally examining the position of the property you are about to buy. The notary will check that it is free to be sold, that nobody has any legal obligations to impede the sale, that the construction has been built in conformity with MEPA regulations, that there are no pending debts linked to it, and that it is not tied in any settlement issue. Relative documentation will be prepared with the purpose of eventually finalising the deed of sale. Should any impediment be found to stop the sale from proceeding, the notary will call both owner/seller and buyer to discuss and terminate the agreement.

Property Funding

After having placed your deposit money (Usually 10% of the final Selling Price) with the promise of sale, you will now have to think of how you will be funding the final purchase. It will be your responsibility to do this efficiently. If you intend to take a loan from the bank, both the notary and the owner should have been informed of this, and the promise of sale should have been made conditional to such a bank loan. You will need to approach the bank or banks immediately in time to allow the normal loan procedure which should take between 6 weeks to 2 months to run its course and determine whether you can in fact be lent the amount of money you require by the bank. Once the bank agrees to lend the monies required, you can liaise with the notary for the required documentation. Depending on the sanction letter, which is issued by the bank, you may have to extend the promise of sale accordingly.

Planning the Move

During the waiting game it is time to start planning the rooms, kitchen and other design elements so that you may take over the property. You will be able to ask the owner permission to revisit the property, in order to check certain things pertinent to your interests. For instance, you will need to take room measurements, check aperture sizes, make a decorating plan. You should inform the owner/seller if you intend to introduce other people to the property such as happens when you take an architect, interior designer or builder along for advise and consultation.

Architects and Costs

At this stage you should have You will be advised against making any physical alterations or invest in the physical condition of the property at this stage, since this is technically still not your property. An architect may propose alteration and costs to you for which you may also inform the seller. Should you be certain that all conditions be met to sign the contract there is a way you can apply for necessary permits prior to taking over the property. This must be discussed with the seller, your architect and any other third party that may be involved.

Transferring of Utility Bills

It is recommended that you discuss with the owner about the settlement and transfer of all the property's utility bills, and to ensure that he/she has paid all bills due, so as to avoid complications post-contract. Officially this can not be done until you have taken over the property so, it would be wise to meet or instruct the property owner a day before the sale is completed to go to Arms Limited to settle the bills so that on signing of the contract they will show you final receipt of payment to Arms Limited and you may both sign the transfer form provided by ARM Limited.

Signing of Contract

If you are obtaining a loan from a Maltese Bank an appointment will be set at your chosen bank in their offices (usually located in Valletta) where your notary, the seller and the bank officials will be present where you will read the final deed together, payment will be made accordingly and the keys will be yours.

At RE/MAX Malta we follow every step to ensure that your transition to your new home is a smooth process from A-Z and that you may avoid all pitfalls. It is recommended that you ask your sales associate any questions you may have throughout, including legal fees, market prices, resell prices or any questions that may assist in providing you the necessary support.