In Cyprus, buying a home nearly usually entails interacting with estate agents and attorneys. Here are some pointers on how to go about it.
The great majority of property sales in Cyprus are handled through estate agents, particularly those involving non-resident buyers. As a result, if you wish to buy property in Cyprus, it is highly recommended that you use the services of an estate agent. Because Cyprus is a tiny island, many brokers have property listings in all of the major districts and are well-versed in the whole country. This should help the entire procedure go more smoothly for you.
Cypriot estate agents must be properly qualified and registered with the Register of Estate Agents, as required by law. Always request and verify an estate agent's registration number; if they are not, you should avoid using their services.
In Cyprus, the vendor normally pays the real estate agent's commission (albeit they will 'include' it in the price). The commission charged is typically at least 3% of the selling price (plus VAT at 19%), with a typical cost of 5%. (plus VAT). Foreign agents or marketing organizations based in other countries sometimes collaborate with local agents and split the regular commission, so buyers generally pay no extra by employing them.
Property viewings are often conducted in person by agents, so you will not be expected to interact directly with renters or sellers. Always schedule an appointment because agents must guarantee that the property is open for showing and that someone is available to show you around. If you're on vacation, it's fine to drop by an agency unexpectedly to see what's on sale, but don't expect to tour houses without an appointment.
Anyone considering purchasing property in Cyprus should get legal counsel. In compared to the cost of a home, the comparatively low cost of legal counsel is good value for the peace of mind it delivers. Never sign anything or pay any money until you have obtained legal counsel from a Cypriot property lawyer. Lawyers are the only experts legally authorized and entitled to provide legal advise in Cyprus; thus, do not seek legal advice from anybody else. The ideal option will be a highly regarded lawyer who has been recommended or suggested to you.
Before you buy a house in Cyprus, you need have your lawyer complete a few processes. Check with the Lands Office to ensure that the vendor is the legal owner of the property and that there are no outstanding liens on it, such as a mortgage. If you are purchasing a new or under construction property, ensure that the vendor has secured the necessary Town Planning and Building Permits. A developer may inform you that your apartment or home has no separate title documents. This implies that until the entire development is completed, the title deeds cannot be transferred to your name. The sale contract must then be drafted such that the vendor is legally committed to selling you the property and that your property is safeguarded until that time.