4 MUSTS when buying a home in MALTA
Budget & Requirements
The first thing to do is identify what you require and how much can afford to spend.
Do you want a sea view in a modern apartment or are you after a House of Character in a quiet village?
It’s best to be very clear about your requirements from the start. If you need a mortgage then now is the time to speak to your bank or mortgage advisor.
Once you have a mortgage offer you are then in a strong buying position.
The buying market is very competitive in Malta so we advise an early viewing to secure that ideal home.
Your agent should do everything possible to ensure you see a property within the quickest time frame, even chauffeur you there and accompany you throughout.
We recommend our friends over at MALTA HOME SEARCH.
They like to be on hand during viewings to answer any questions and to negotiate any difficult areas.
Make an offer & ‘Preliminary Agreement’
Once you’ve decided on a property and your offer has been accepted the next stage is the signing of a ‘Preliminary Agreement’ between the buyer and the seller.
This agreement is often referred to as the ‘Convenium’ or ‘Konvenju’ in Maltese or ‘Promise of Sale’, and binds both parties to the transaction based on a set of mutually agreed terms and conditions.
The Preliminary Agreement is usually valid for three months and after the signing (but before entering into a final deed of sale), a Notary would be engaged by the buyer to carry out the necessary searches into the property to confirm everything is in order before proceeding.
It is at this stage that 1% of the 5% total stamp duty fee is payable to the Inland Revenue and a 10% deposit is paid by the buyer. The remaining 4% of the stamp duty will be paid with the publication of the final deed.
Also, note that the 1% of stamp duty will be refunded if the final deal fails to materialize and that the deposit agreed on during the signing of the Preliminary Agreement will be handed over to the seller if the buyer does not sign the final deed without a valid reason at law.
The following terms must be agreed before the Preliminary Agreement is signed:
Features included in the price
Works to be undertaken by the owner
Terms of Preliminary Agreement / Promise of Sale
Note: In Malta, the agreements and contracts are always written in English.
Final Contract of Sale (Final Deed)
Once all the conditions of the Preliminary Sale agreement are complete and all duties fulfilled, all parties get together to sign the final deed. It is the responsibility of the Notary to draft the final deed and prepare it for signature. The normal procedure is as follows:
The final deed is often signed at our office or at the bank if a mortgage is required by the buyer.
The final contract is read out and if both parties agree to the terms and conditions the contract will be signed.
Time to pay the balance (the purchase price less any deposits paid on account) to the seller.
Both parties must now confirm that they have settled all expenses in relation to the purchase and property.
The keys of the property are then exchanged.
The contract will now be registered at the Public Registry by the Notary.