These FAQs, in the form of questions and answers, can help you better understand how we operate.
Yes, we help our customers to buy any kind of property, including new property, i.e. property which has not been occupied for at least two years after the year in which the construction/major renovation work was completed. The sale of this property is generally subject to the application of VAT at 21% (which replaces registration duty).
Buying a new property off plan (application of the Breyne law) involves thorough checking of the specifications produced by the property developer as well as provisional and definitive acceptance of the property which must be carefully monitored.
First of all you must make sure that the property actually is perfect. Often falling in love with a place blinds you to reason. When you assess the property thoroughly, you often realise that it has considerable faults. These faults or problems are usually easy to put right but it’s best to budget for them in advance in order to avoid nasty surprises.
For example we helped a young couple buy their first house. This was advertised at a realistic price given the size of the plot and the general condition of the building. However, following BuyerSide’s in-depth assessment, the client realised that the initial budget for works was clearly insufficient. The costs of insulation, replacing the electrical heating system and securing the electric meter were included in the budget. In the course of the negotiations, the vendor agreed to deduct from his price a significant part of the cost of these works, as well as taking responsibility for the costs of removing the asbestos present on the heating pipes. BuyerSide’s intervention was completely justified and necessary, in spite of initial appearances.
First of all you need to check whether the property really is being offered at an attractive price. The fact that there are a lot of viewings does not mean that the property will be sold quickly at the asking price. You should be aware that agencies like to organise lots of viewings together which give the potential purchaser the impression that there is keen interest in the property.
Of course there is sometime competition over a property and the bargaining margin can be small or even zero. If the deal is a good one, quite often we advise our client to offer the asking price even though our fee mainly depends on the selling price we can negotiate. BuyerSide’s involvement is all the more justified for properties where there is stiff competition. Under these circumstances BuyerSide offers other advantages: putting forward their client in the best possible light (reassuring the agent about the client’s financial status and his motivation, help with quickly obtaining credit approval so that an offer can be made without any conditions for obtaining financing (preference is often given to a lower offer if financing is not a problem). In addition, BuyerSide has a good relationship with lots of estate agents, and this can sometimes make a difference in comparison with another potential purchaser. Experience has shown that the vendor or his agent appreciated that BuyerSide is simply involved in a deal. We are there to help the business transaction to progress, obtaining all the elements needed for the transaction (plans, permits, certificates, etc.), which is generally greatly appreciated by those involved.
BuyerSide is your consultant. We look after your interests and only your interests. We do not make any decisions for you. We usually manage to negotiate the sales price effectively as well as the conditions of your offer, without creating any frustration with the vendor. Two people have to be involved in any deal. Our role is to find a balance that will suit all the parties. During the negotiation phase, you will be kept up to date at all times about any discussions and you will always have the last word with regard to agreeing to make an offer or about offering the price you want. Having an intermediary helping you can facilitate negotiations. Even if we are firm about negotiating the price, we can always make concessions on request of our client. As we are not the ones who make the decisions, we have the advantage of being able to do as our client thinks best and therefore reach an agreement, without losing face or frustrating the vendor, should this prove necessary.
The answer has to be qualified given that yes, the notary requests urban planning information which, in most cases, indicates any urban planning permit(s) which may have been issued in the past, but no, the notary is not in a position to compare the legal situation with the actual situation given that he does not visit the property. He will therefore not know if the veranda, terraces, windows, roof windows, swimming pool, etc. comply with the most recent urban planning permit issued or have been installed without a permit, whereas urban planning permission was required. Particularly since the notary does not request the building permit plans from the urban planning archives to compare the legal situation with the actual situation. BuyerSide checks this so that you can be sure you are buying a property that is in order in terms of urban planning or you are at least aware of any irregularities noted and these can be taken into account in the property valuation.