When you intend to make such a big purchase like buying an apartment or a villa for the first time, it’s natural to have a number of questions, getting answers to which will help you feel much more confident. How does the process of buying and selling real estate property go on in Dubai, the UAE? We’ve prepared a several steps guide to help you navigate through.
- The first step is signing a sales contract between the seller and the buyer, also known as form F, set by the Dubai Land Department. It could seem that this is actually the final stage, but not in Dubai. Here it is just the beginning, more like a MoU, an acknowledgement of the intention. Additional terms and conditions are usually attached in an addendum. And here it is — the first time in the whole process, when you definitely will need a professional help from a licensed broker, for it’s an expert’s job to look the document through and fix all possible issues the document may have.
- Now, the buyer hands over a deposit cheque in the name of the seller. According to the common practice accepted in Dubai, the deposit amount is usually about 10 per cent of the property’s value. And again, the broker’s participation can hardly be excluded, for before the transaction is completed, this check must be kept by a third person, that is, preferably by the broker. If the buyer defaults on the agreement at a later stage, the check is cashed by the seller, but in case of a successful transaction, the buyer surely gets it back.
- After that, the developer of the building or community the unit is located in needs to give you a no-objection certificate (NOC) testifying that the seller has paid all utility bills and other service charges in full, and the developer has no objections against his/her property being sold. As a rule, when NOC is issued, both parties are present: the seller settles any unpaid amounts, and the buyer may be required to arrange for future service charge payments. A charge for NOC certificate is usually paid by the seller. The terms of issue and conditions for issuing NOC may differ in different developers, so here too, professional assistance will be of much help, in order to settle everything down in time before the transaction is registered.
- After receiving NOC, you can now proceed to the registration part. For non-GCC nationals the procedure is carried out not by the Land Department itself, but by its special arms, DLD-accredited Registration Trustees (RT). This, in fact, is the very core of the sale-purchase transaction procedure. Both parties (or their legal representatives, if you are out of the country at a time, for instance) must attend the transfer. Registration fee of 4 per cent of the unit’s cost must be paid, as well as RT service charge. The buyer and the seller also provide a number of necessary documents for verification, after which parties can sign the final sales contract. Finally, the original title deed is issued and given to the buyer, along with keys and access cards for the property.
It should be noted also that all of the above concerns only simple transactions for cash sales (non-mortgage), and is applicable only to sales of a ready-made housing (not off-plan). Thus, there are a number of other specific conditions for property sales transactions, which IMEX Real Estate experts can get you information about, and will help you conduct any type of property-related deals.