The Promise of Sale
The promise of sale – or ‘konvenju’ in Maltese – is a preliminary agreement that is signed between you and the seller, and binds both parties to sell/purchase the property under the terms and conditions agreed.
The preliminary agreements and contracts may be written in English.
When you sign the promise of sale, you must pay 10% of the total price of the property as a deposit. The percentage may vary depending on what you have agreed with the seller.
In most cases, this deposit is kept by the notary, until the day of the final contract when the remaining balance is transferred.
If you fail to complete the final deed on the day of the contract for no valid reason at law, then the deposit will be forfeited in favour of the seller.
This preliminary agreement is usually valid for three months or for the period that you have agreed with the seller according to each other’s requirements.
During this period between the signing of the promise of sale agreement and the signing of the final deed of sale, you will have to engage a notary who will carry out the required researches into the property to confirm that everything is in order. Also, an architect will have to confirm that the property is built according to building permits.
Then, if necessary, the notary will submit the purchase application to the Ministry of Finance. This does not apply if the property is situated in an SDA (Special Designated Area).
The Final Contract
Once the relative permit of the Ministry of Finance has been issued (if applicable) and research has proved clear title to the property, you and the seller will be in a position to sign the final contract of sale. This deed will be drawn up by your Notary.
However, if during the researches the notary finds any issue with the property, the deal may be called off and you will get your deposit back.
On the signing of the contract, you will have to pay the following:
- The balance of the purchase price (the price of the property minus the deposit that you have already paid)
- Stamp Duty – 5% of the purchase price. However, the Government is currently offering an incentive i.e. 1.5% on the first €400,000 (untill March 2021)
- Legal expenses – The notary’s fee. Approximately 2% of the purchase price.
On the other hand, the real estate fees are paid by the seller.