The process of buying and registering property in Georgia is simplified as much as possible. For this, many investors appreciate the local legislation – the lack of bureaucratic formalities allows you to conduct a purchase and sale transaction within one day. At the time, new regulations were introduced precisely to attract foreign capital to the country. They have also become part of a large-scale national fight against corruption.
So, to buy a real estate property in Georgia, a buyer will only need a passport. The transaction is documented in the Public Register of the House of Justice, here the buyer can independently check the information about the selected apartment.
Thanks to the special blockchain technology, the authenticity of all documents are confirmed by a barcode, and the calculation can be carried out in cryptocurrency. The detailed review of the implementation of the procedures of purchase and sale with cryptocurrency is available at the link - https://geolinepay.com.
After signing the sale and purchase agreement by the seller and the buyer, cash or non-cash payment is made. Then, upon presentation of the signed agreement and a bank statement on the money received on the seller's account (when calculating by bank transfer), the process of registration of ownership begins. It takes from 1 to 4 days, depending on the amount of payment for the service.
According to legislative norms, the process of buying an apartment from the developer (primarily real estate) and from the owner (resale) is completely identical, according to the same rules. And here lies one very specific nuance.
Why is the legal support of the transaction needed?
Experienced lawyers warn – while concluding the purchase and sale transaction with the owner, both the seller and the buyer may face serious risk.
The procedure of purchase and sale and the subtleties of legal support of real estate transactions are described in the author's interview between Diana Kabakchi (GEOLN.COM) and Mariam Nakashidze (Legal Consulting Center).
The representant of the company GEOLN.COM, real estate market expert Diana KABAKCHI talked with the lawyer of Legal Consulting Center Mariam NAKASHIDZE and found out the reasons why in this case it is recommended to use legal support of the transaction.
From everywhere we hear about the simplicity and ease of buying a house in Georgia. Today, many of our readers may hear for the first time that experts still do not recommend such transactions on their own. Could you tell us in what cases it is important and why?
A-Mariam NAKASHIDZE :
Yes, indeed, compared to many other countries in the world, the procedure for buying real estate in Georgia is very simple. In fact, everything happens in one place – in the House of Justice, for the transaction only passports of the buyer and the seller are enough, the sale and purchase agreement and the document of ownership of the new owner can get just a few hours.
But in practice, the situation is a bit different – if a simple transaction the client can still conduct using a standard contract and without the help of competent persons, in the case of complex transactions, we do not recommend conducting them by yourself.
What do you mean by "complex transactions"?
First of all, it is the purchase of an apartment on credit or in installments - when the calculation is not a one-time transfer, and parts. Further, these are transactions with the encumbrance, purchase of collateral, purchase or acquisition of the real estate by proxy, as well as transactions with translation and apostille of passports of foreign citizens.
It is important to understand that in all these cases not only the buyer but also the seller takes risks.
Please tell us in detail what kind of risk.
In the standard contract template, which is signed in the Public Register, the order of the transfer of money is not written. First, the parties sign a contract template, then pay for the services of the Public Register, and the operator starts the process of purchase and sale. Only then the transfer of money from the buyer to the seller should take place. If at this point the buyer does not transfer the money to the seller, the transaction can not be canceled. This is the risk for the seller.
There are cases when the settlement of the transaction occurs before the signing of the contract. And here there is a risk for the buyer - the seller may disappear with the money, or there will be a situation in which the transaction will not take place (for example, an error in filling out documents) and the seller may refuse to complete it.
In the contract template, the moment of the settlement of the transaction is not fixed in any way. It shows only the cost of the object and the date of the transaction. Everything else is actually built only on trust between the buyer and the seller.
What do you suggest in this case, how can the parties protect themselves while the consummation of the transaction?
We recommend you always specify in detail all the essential terms of the contract, these are the conditions of transfer of the value of the object of sale, the legal and actual condition of the property, registration of the buyer's obligation to pay the full amount, the responsibility of the parties in case of failure to fulfill the obligations, etc.. The possibility of specifying such conditions to the parties does not give a template contract, which can lead to difficulties in restoring the violated rights of one of the parties.
Also, if the full payment is made in advance, in order to protect the rights of the buyer, we always recommend, at the time of calculation, to sign a special act of acceptance and transfer of money. In it, the seller confirms that he accepted the money in advance and, in case of default of its obligations, the buyer, on the basis of the signed act, has the right to demand the return of the paid amount. You can also sign a deposit agreement, in which the buyer gives part of the cost for the object in advance, while the parties undertake to conclude the transaction when certain conditions occur.
Legal services are paid, but it is a guarantee of security, which negates the risks of financial losses in case of the dishonesty of one of the parties of the transaction.
Please tell us more about the signing of the so-called encumbrance, which complements the contract template.
In the House of Justice, you can sign a contract of sale in installments with mortgage encumbrance. Mortgages are registered for an additional fee. This helps to protect the rights of both parties, but in case of default of the obligations to pay the cost of the object of sale, will begin protracted procedures for the return of the encumbered object to the property of the seller. Also, the issue may reach the trial and I want to warn that the proceedings are very protracted, and the services of a lawyer are not very cheap.
Therefore, in this case, drawing up an individual contract with a lawyer has virtually no alternative. Only in this case, you can take into account any risks that may arise in the future, both the seller and the buyer. The lawyer points out that if the obligations of the parties are not fulfilled in time, for example, if the buyer does not pay the amount specified in the contract, the seller has the right to unilaterally terminate the contract and return the property to its ownership without litigation.
Does the buyer have the opportunity to check independently the selected property in the cadastral register?
Yes, transactions in the real estate market of Georgia are transparent, as all data and documentation about the objects of purchase and sale are publicly available on the official websites of state bodies. That is, the buyer has the opportunity to check the information about any property independently. You can do this on the website https://napr.gov.ge You just need to know how to do it.
Recently there was an opportunity to read this information in several languages. But the extract from the Register will be provided in Georgian, that is, many may need its translation. The site itself is also in Georgian.
If you order a full package of legal support of the purchase and sale transaction, then all these activities will be performed by a lawyer, and save you from this headache.
Tell me, how much does it cost to draw up an individual contract with a lawyer? What is the price of legal support of real estate transactions?
The exact amount can not be called. It is always individual and depends on the immediate task, as well as the value of the purchase and sale transaction, that is, the value of the property. To find out the price for the services of a lawyer, you need to apply with a specific request, and then it will be possible to announce the amount for the drafting of the contract.
Tell us about the activities of the realtor. Does he bear responsibility for the consummation of the transaction?
According to the legislation of Georgia, realtors are not licensed and their activities are limited only to finding potential buyers and bringing the transaction to the signing of the contract, for the content and terms of the contract, they, of course, are not responsible. Any person can become a realtor, including a person who does not have a higher education.
The realtor accompanies the buyer and the seller in the House of Justice, but he is not responsible for any risks at the consummation of the transaction. Realtors in Georgia do not guarantee that the transaction will take place correctly and the interests of all its participants will be respected. Its intermediary function ends at the moment of signing of the contract.
Therefore, the buyer and the seller should contact lawyers to either verify the proposed contract or draw up a new one. And already a lawyer, of course, bears full legal responsibility for the purity of the transaction. The lawyer does not guarantee that there will be no problems, they can be. But lawyers always know how to solve this problem further, we take into account all risks in advance and insure against them.
In your experience, in your practice, are there often lawsuits about real estate in Georgia?
Unfortunately, very often. The most common reason that comes to us – failure to comply with the terms of the contract. And this always happens because of an incorrectly drawn up contract. Therefore, it is so important that the contract was drawn up legally competently, in detail and it was carefully spelled out all the risks and ways to solve them. A properly drafted contract is always a guarantee that you will avoid very large losses of time and will be able to effectively solve possible problems in the future.
As for the purchase of the primary real estate, from the developer, what risks can the buyer have here, and how can a lawyer help him in drawing up a contract?
First of all, we provide qualified consulting services. A lawyer can always check how reputable and reliable the developer is. Because very often there are problems with unfinished construction. It is always necessary to check whether the developer has a working project, whether he fully fulfills his obligations, whether he has a good reputation in the real estate market. After that, we, of course, recheck whether there are any outstanding obligations of the developer, and what rights the buyer has in case the company has any encumbrances. We always advise and guide the buyer on how to negotiate with the developer to get the necessary information.
Editorial comment of GEOLN.COM - in the database of real estate search engine GEOLN you can find only legally verified property from the developer. However, we always recommend buyers to protect themselves and pay attention to the sale and purchase contract of the apartment in the context of your transaction. Services in legal support of real estate transactions is a mandatory component in the process of selection and registration of the transaction. Trust professionals who will point out the subtleties, nuances, based on the practice of their activities.
How often in your practice do you have to change the clauses of the contract or the entire contract with the developer?
Very often. Because always all developers try to make the contract in their favor. Therefore, our advice is always to double-check these documents, because no developer will ever put the interests of the buyer at the forefront. A huge number of cases in the courts relating to violations by developers of the rights of buyers and non-fulfillment of obligations. Courts are always expensive and very long, so it is better not to bring them to this.
The amount that you pay a lawyer to draw up a competent contract is simply incomparable with the risks and losses that you may have in the future due to the signing of a contract template in the House of Justice.
Do not skimp on legal support of the transaction. We do not buy apartments every day, especially not often we do it in a foreign country.
Therefore, when buying a real estate property, you just need a competent adviser who will put your interests at the forefront. And will help you avoid losing money, time and nerves.
At the end of the interview, our team provides you with links to useful resources: