Once an offer has been made and accepted on the property then typically the buyer’s lawyer will carry-out due diligence checks on the property. Assuming no issues arise, the next advisable step is to prepare and sign what is known as a ‘deposit contract’.
This involves a deposit being paid by the purchaser which effectively grants an exclusive right to purchase with a date being fixed for the purchase to be finalized.
Should the sale not go through due to a change of heart on the part of the purchaser then their deposit, often 10% of the purchase price, is lost. Should the failure of the property transfer be caused by the vendor then they are obliged to pay the purchaser 20% i.e. double the amount of the deposit.
Once again assuming that everything happens smoothly the next important date is ‘the closing’. This is a meeting that will include any or all of the following: the purchaser, the vendor, their legal representatives, the bank representatives and the notary.
The notary is required as the purchase deed is a public document and requires a notary to formally witness it.
At the closing stage it will be necessary to sign the public deeds of ownership though it is sufficient for your lawyer to be present if they have full power of attorney. Payment is made typically with a bank guaranteed cheque though it may be possible to use the notary’s escrow account.
The public deeds will contain a detailed description of the property as well as contain the details of the purchaser, vendor, the price, form of payment and any other relevant conditions.
It is worth highlighting the point that it is advisable to contract the services of a lawyer for the sale of such an important and costly asset as property.
There can be many terms in a typical deed of sale-purchase of property and such terms can assign responsibility for the payment of taxes such as the sales tax on one or other of the parties, regardless of who is typically responsible for their payment.
Therefore to avoid the possibility of unwittingly accepting responsibility for taxes that you are not liable for or indeed agreeing to any other disadvantageous terms, make sure to have a qualified lawyer assist you with the sale.