At Worldwide Lawyers, we are frequently asked by people planning to buy a property abroad “When is the best time to contact a lawyer?”.
Contacting them too soon – you worry that you will end up wasting their time or incur unnecessary additional costs when you might not actually proceed with a property purchase just yet;
Not soon enough – you can find yourself in an estate agent’s office faced with a contract and request to pay a deposit, committing yourself and your money, without appropriate, independent legal help at hand.
So when should you instruct a lawyer to assist you with your overseas property purchase?
It is advisable to get in touch with a recommended lawyer a couple of weeks before you head out on a property viewing trip on which you could potentially find a property that you wish to proceed with.
Most lawyers who have experience with dealing with overseas property purchases appreciate that you will not necessarily find the ideal property and on that trip or need their help immediately. A reputable lawyer will recognise that is helpful to have some initial guidance and their details at hand just in case you do.
If you get in touch with a recommended English-speaking lawyer in advance of your trip, they can provide you with an outline of the buying process and provide you with details of their legal fees should you wish to instruct them to progress a property purchase for you.
The lawyer may also be able to confirm the other costs associated with the purchase so you can factor these additional costs into your budget before you negotiate the purchase price with the property seller or estate agent.
Getting in touch with a recommended lawyer early will also give you the chance to arrange to speak with them on the phone or to meet in person on your trip. This way you can make your decision as to whether they are the right lawyer for you, prior to deciding to instruct them.
Having the details of your own independent lawyer before you go will also help ensure that you avoid the pitfalls of being persuaded by the estate agent to use their “in-house” or “recommended” lawyers. It is strongly advised that you instruct a lawyer who is independent from i.e. not connected with or suggested by the estate agent.
Once you have had the opportunity to get in contact with an independent lawyer you can confidently move forward with your property purchase (whether on this trip or future property viewing trips) knowing that you will have someone at hand from the very beginning to assist you with all aspects of your overseas property purchase. You could also provide them with a Power of Attorney so that they can progress things on your behalf if you decide you want to proceed with a property once you have returned home.
If you are looking to buy property abroad and would like to be put in touch with a recommended, English-speaking lawyer who can assist you with your overseas property purchase, contact Worldwide Lawyers on 01244 470 339 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
Worldwide Lawyers can put you in touch with an independent, English-speaking lawyer with experience assisting English-speaking clients with property purchases in your chosen location. We can provide you with free, initial guidance and a no-obligation quotation.