Buying Malta & Gozo Property

BUYERS SECTION

THE PROCEDURE

Sapphire Real Estate Malta will not only accompany you to visit the properties you like in Malta or in Gozo, but we will also assist you with the buying process to ensure everything runs smoothly.

Once you have selected your property and your offer has been made and accepted, as well as terms and conditions are agreed upon, then a preliminary agreement (known as a Konvenju) is signed. This is an agreement whereby the vendor and the purchaser bind themselves to sell or to buy the property at an agreed price and within an agreed time frame. The notary is obliged by law to register your Promise of sale with the Inland Revenue Department and a provisional 1% stamp duty is paid where applicable.

A deposit (typically, but not specifically 10%) is paid and is held by the notary, Malta & Gozo real estate agent or vendor depending on what has been agreed. At this point, you will be required to pay 1% provisional stamp duty as part payment of the 5 % ( the balance of which is due on signing of the final deed).

The preliminary agreement is usually written by a notary and signed in their presence. When it comes to Malta and Gozo real estate, notaries are the only officials legally empowered to publish deeds.

The agreement may be subject to some conditions (e.g. loan approval, architect’s report, etc.), but a time frame is usually given within which these are valid so as not to leave the vendor in uncertainty for too long.

Once the notary has carried out the searches on the title of the property and bank loans are approved, then the contract can be signed and the final deed with title and key are exchanged.

A loan would involve a sanction letter and it is important that all insurances are taken out and conditions of sanction are met well before contract due date to avoid any last minute hiccups.

When dealing with real estate in Malta and Gozo, typical time frames between the preliminary agreement and contract is 3 to 6 months. This time frame can be much longer or shorter as part of negotiations.

If a bank hypothec needs to be cleared on contract, then the contract will usually be held at a bank – although the notary might collect funds due to the bank themselves, in which case this would not be necessary.

If a loan is to taken out to purchase the Malta property, then the contract will be held at the issuing bank.

Once all this has been completed, a date will be set to sign the Final Deed. At this point, the balance of the price will be given to the vendor, as well as the balance due to the Commission of Inland Revenue for stamp duty and the notary feed to the Notary public.

No Stamp Duty is charged on the value of the movable property (furniture and fittings) being transferred with the immovable property.

You will now take ownership of your property. The keys will be handed over and you are ready to move into your new home!

Within 15 days ( as specified by legislation) from the day of the deed of transfer of property and where the property is in a registration area, your notary must apply for the registration of the property at the Land Registry. This is applicable to both first-time registration and subsequent registration where the property has been previously registered. Your Notary will be expected to provide the Land Registry with proof of ownership, at least prima facie evidence. This includes the legal document on which your claim is based, such as a deed, the original registration plan, and a detailed plan.

CLOSING COSTS