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A Guideline to Selling Property in Cyprus

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When making the decision to sell your home you can either undertake the process on your own or you may decide to appoint a real estate agent.  When looking for a real estate agent make sure that the agent is registered and licensed in the Republic of Cyprus. He/She should also have a proven track record of selling property in the Republic of Cyprus and/or abroad.  If you are unable to decide on a selling price consider contacting a qualified valuer or speaking with your chosen real estate agent.  He will arrange to view the property and provide a valuation.  Nevertheless, you will ultimately decide on the time available to you to sell and the price that you are willing to accept from a prospective purchaser. 

It is also suggested that you instruct or contact your lawyer and inform him/her of your decision to market your home and to request from your lawyer to carry out all legal checks on any documents that the real estate agent needs signing, for the listing and marketing of your property.  In addition, if you expect to be out of the country, or if you foresee that, for any reason, you will not be available to progress with the sale when a prospective purchaser is found, you can arrange for a power of attorney to be granted to your lawyer or legal representative to act on your behalf in the sale. You should take into consideration any taxes that may be imposed for the transaction, such as Capital Gains Tax on the profit of the sale including allowances and any expenses undertaken for any additions made to the property.

The sale of a property with a title deed is normally a straightforward procedure. If, however, a title deed is not available this does not prevent a seller from selling his/her home. The sale can progress through an assignment agreement.  With an assignment agreement all of the seller’s rights from the original agreement can be assigned to the new purchaser/s.

When an offer has been accepted, the real estate agent may require a reservation agreement to be signed. Make sure that you receive legal advice before signing any such agreement, in order to safeguard your interests in the event that the prospective purchaser decides to withdraw from the purchase.

When the reservation deposit has been paid, your appointed legal representative may liaise with the prospective purchaser’s lawyer in order to establish the terms and conditions of the sale and purchase agreement, before it is approved and signed by the parties.  The agreed method of payment will also be discussed, including the requirement for proof of source of funds in accordance with the relevant and necessary anti-money-laundering regulations. A mutually convenient date of completion will also be determined and arranged accordingly.

Nevertheless, before completion can be finalised, all outstanding taxes and bills need to be paid up to the date that the new purchaser undertakes possession and the transaction is completed.  Consequently, all relevant tax clearances need to be obtained from the relevant local and government authorities.  The lawyer assisting in the sale should be able to help and undertake these procedures and facilitate the transaction. Subject to the authorisations to be granted to your legal representative, they could also assist in transferring the utilities into the new owner’s name, upon the completion of the transaction.

Provided that the full purchase price of the property as agreed has been paid to the seller or the seller’s lawyer and, subject to any other conditions as these may have been agreed as per the relevant sale and purchase agreement, the necessary registrations should be made with the relevant Land Registry Department in Cyprus for the transfer of the ownership and finally the issue of the updated title deed in the name of the purchaser.

The content of this article is valid as at the date of its first publication.  It is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter and does not constitute legal advice.  We recommend that you seek professional advice on a specific matter before acting on any information provided.  For further information, please contact Elizabeth Michael at Elizabeth.Michael@kyprianou.com

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