Buying abroad

Many elements of a notary’s work involve buying or selling real estate outside the UK; be it …

Land: regulated, unregulated…

Buildings: Residential; second homes, investment property, off plan apartments, villas, re-sales, repossessions, time share or fractional ownership…

Commercial: industrial, storage, offices…

In the UK the role of the notary in connection with buying foreign property is usually restricted to authenticating a Power of Attorney. Overseas, the notarial system is very different. In many countries the notary plays a major part in the buying and selling process; unlike in the UK, the ‘Latin’ notary’s job is to place formal documents recording the sale or purchase on the public record.

Outside the UK it is common for an ‘estate agent’ to deal with the whole buying or selling process. The agent will draw up a Power of Attorney naming themselves as your legal representative and proceed to deal with the whole transaction from start to finish. Please remember that it is your right to appoint your own lawyer should you choose to do so.

Considerations
Your Powers of Attorney should be limited to the minimum necessary to conduct the business at hand. Attention needs to be paid to where your deposit monies are going. What guarantees are in place to ensure that your money will be safe?

At Notary.co.uk we can liaise with your agents in drafting the Power of Attorney – ensuring it is limited to the minimum necessary to conduct the business at hand; or we can notarise and legalise existing documents.

The general procedure is that your lawyer or overseas agent prepares a Power of Attorney for you to have notarised. More often than not, the document will need to be legalised – this is the process of having an Apostille stamp added by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office – we can deal with all of that for you. We offer a fast-track, same-day service or, at a lower cost, a 4-6 working days legalisation service.

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