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Posted June 22nd, 2011 by Charles Purdy

Buying a property abroad

Purchasing a property is a big deal, but when you are buying a property in a foreign country, this can add to the enormity. The housing market and processes may differ significantly in other countries to the UK so it is important to research and find out what the process is. When it comes to signing your contract, you should look out for certain things. Obviously this will differ, depending what country you are buying in, but here are some general rules of thumb…

1) Understand every word: There may well be a language barrier if you are buying abroad; therefore it is vital that you employ the services of a translator who speaks very good English. They can translate the contract for you, though you will need to sign the one in the original language. It really is vital that you understand everything that is written in the contract. And not only what it says, but what it means. If you are not 100% sure of what something means than make sure you find out. The last thing you want is to sign something believing it means one thing, only to find out it means another.

2) Don’t miss anything out: Ensure that you work out and agree everything in advance. This means communicating to the seller what is going to be included in the price, what they are leaving in the house, for example any furniture which is included in the sale price. Also agree the date and method that the house will be paid for. The contract should include everything that you and the seller have verbally agreed. Once signed by both parties, the contract becomes legally binding. This is important as if anything were to go wrong, or if the buyer or seller does not abide by the contract, then the other party has a legal leg to stand on. This is another reason why it is important to know and understand what you are signing.

3) Get a solicitor: Some countries can have very different ways of doing things, things which may seem strange, or even have you questioning the legality of it all. For example in Morocco, it is not uncommon for people to have the wrong title deeds for their property. Many have also purchased properties without checking the title deeds, which leaves them in a position of being unable to sell and unable to make changes to the property. A solicitor will make sure that all the correct legalities are in place before you buy, and will also be on hand to answer any legal questions you may have.

To conclude, it is imperative that you realise what you are agreeing to, and that you check and double check anything which you are not 100% sure about.

If you haven’t yet collected your FREE report from Smart on "Why Overseas Property Buyers Lose Money… and how YOU can avoid it" get it here

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