Property in Malta / The Buying Process

Buying a property in Malta is very safe and simple. Once a property has been decided upon and price and conditions have been agreed, a preliminary agreement is signed between the vendor and purchaser. This agreement binds both parties to purchase/sell the immovable property under the terms and conditions agreed upon.

The signing of the final deed is, however, always subject to clear title and the issue of any relative permits to purchase, if necessary. The agreements and contracts are written in English. On signing the preliminary agreement, a sum equivalent to 10% of the price is lodged with the agent or notary public as stake-holder. This deposit will be forfeited in favour of the vendor should the purchaser fail to complete the final deed of transfer for no valid reason at law.

The agreement is usually valid for three months or as mutually agreed by the parties. During the period between the signing of the preliminary agreement and the signing of the final deed of sale, a Notary Public engaged by the purchaser will carry out the necessary researches into the property to confirm good title, as well as submit the application for a permit to purchase, to the Ministry of Finance – only if such permit is necessary.

Once the relative permit has been issued and researches have proved clear title to the property, the final contract of sale may be entered into – the deed of sale being drawn by purchaser’s Notary. The balance of the purchase price and stamp duty plus legal expenses are paid on the signing of the contract, when vacant possession to the property is handed to the purchaser.
As an indication, expenses connected with the acquisition of property, including stamp duty and notarial fees, total to around 7% of the purchase price.

These costs are the liability of the purchaser, whilst agency fees are borne by the vendor. Mortgage facilities are available for the purchase of property from all banks in Malta, subject to status.