Cyprus is an attractive place to buy real estate, and this process is direct and straightforward. However, there are still a few restrictions against the amount of property a foreign investor can purchase.
Attorneys and Real Estate Agents
A real estate lawyer can be helpful in this process, but is not necessary. Real estate agents can assist the buyer in necessary steps if an attorney is not present. Nevertheless, a private attorney can look out for their client’s best interests.
Good real estate agents can be helpful in Cyprus, but the buyer should be sure that this agent is registered. The registration guarantees that this agent has an insurance policy if anything goes wrong, and also follows the country’s code of conduct for this profession. Legal real estate members in Cyprus are part of the Cyprus Real Estate Agents Association.
Rules, Regulations and Restrictions
Foreign buyers are currently only allowed to buy a single property in Cyprus. The land surrounding this property cannot be over 4,014 square meters.
The buyer should first arrange their funding with banks or other personal sources, and then begin the search for the property.
After the buyer settles on a desirable property, an offer should be made to the seller and accepted. Upon acceptance, the buyer should put down a small deposit to secure the property (generally 1% of the final purchase price).
After this, the seller is then responsible for preparing the relavent paperwork, including the title deed, architectural plans and any other applicable documents. The seller should present these documents to the real estate agent or buyer’s attorney, as well as to the seller’s mortgage lender. The lender will begin the payment installation process, which takes about 3-4 weeks. Either the real estate agent or the attorney will begin research about the property with the Land Registry Department, to make sure there are no confusions with its title, or any hidden fees.
A real estate agent or attorney is also responsible for coming up with a sales contract. This should be signed by the buyer and seller. The buyer (and the lender) should then pay the seller part of the money for the final purchase cost (usually between 20-30%), as well as a Stamp Duty. This sales contract will also determine a final completion date, which is usually within 28 days of the signature date. The buyer is also responsible for paying necessary taxes related to the property.
The signed sales contract should then be forwarded to the Land Registry Department, so it can officially be stamped and registered. When the property can finally be officially transferred into a new title, the buyer must also pay some transfer fees.