Buying Property in Poland
The Definitive Guide to
Buying Polish Property

During the Puchase Process

This is a preview to the chapter During the Puchase Process from the book Buying Property in Poland by Tim Hill.
Please note this text is copyright protected.

Introduction


Before looking at how foreigners buy property it is essential to understand the way Poles do it as they see the transaction in a very simple and straightforward way.

The buyer views the property, makes an offer and negotiates directly with the seller. Once agreed they decide on a date to meet in front of a solicitor and this will be within the proceeding few days. At the meeting they tell the solicitor what they have agreed and he adds or amends these to a contract of sale. This includes the amount that will be paid at exchange, the total sale price and the completion date. Both parties sign the contract and this is witnessed by the solicitor who acts essentially for neither party and both. In a nutshell that’s it.

For foreign buyers who are used to due diligence and solicitors scrutinising leases, service charge accounts and title deeds this is very much a culture shock and there is a general feeling of being rushed. To be one step ahead it is useful to know who does what and how to make sure you have carried out all the necessary checks because in Poland this is very much left to the buyer.

The Role of an Estate Agent


Up until now it might strike you that all the agent has done is given you some contact details and left you to sort everything out while you have agreed to pay him or her 3% of the purchase price.

It is at this stage of the buying process that agents come into their own. They have had to undergo rigorous training and up to a year as an apprentice in order to acquire a licence that will allow them to sell property, so they are a mine of knowledge on interpreting all manner of documents from title deeds to planning permits and leases. They are the ones you will be taking to court should it be found that they misled you and they are the ones who must by law be insured against this eventuality.

The Role of the Solicitor and Due Diligence


As covered above, the solicitor is there to witness the sale and really nothing more. For most Poles this is all they want because they carry out their own due diligence. They ask the agent to check the documentation is in order, make their own visits to government offices to find out about future plans for the area and what consent nearby land may have for building, and so on. An easy feat when you live in the country and are familiar with an area.

For those buying from afar the best option is undoubtedly to hire a suitably qualified and experienced solicitor to act on your behalf via power of attorney. You can then specify to this solicitor what you would like to know before they sign the exchange contracts. There is no standard set of questions but a solicitor used to dealing with foreign buyers will have a list which they recommend and which they reasonably feel can be answered by the agent, managing agents, seller or local government organisations within the necessary timescales.

Local Government and Bureaucracy


During the transaction certain papers may be required from local government or you may have agreed to purchase a property conditional on certain acts such as the division of a plot into smaller parcels of land.

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