Ask the agent: Is it mandatory for me to be present during the registration procedure

Ask the agentSuraj Poon

I am in search of a property in Dubai. Is it mandatory for me to be present during the registration procedure?
It is possible for the buyer to provide a power of attorney (POA) to a person present in the UAE to manage all the aspects of the purchase on their behalf. It is not obligatory that one has to be present in Dubai to conclude the deal; nevertheless, it is advisable that they check all the documentation and conduct due diligence to ensure everything is flawless before signing the deal. For the POA to be valid and accepted by the Dubai Land Department, it has to be prepared either in Arabic or English with a legal translation in Arabic and must be signed before a notary public in the UAE. If the POA is executed in another country, it has to be legalised at the UAE Embassy and attested at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Some points to consider when formulating a POA: whether you have the capacity to grant a POA with respect to the particular property and whether such property can be lawfully dealt in; to whom you wish to grant a POA, what powers you will confer to them and what type of POA you will grant; include circumstances when there is more than one attorney; understand if the attorney wishes to accept the responsibility and fulfil the obligations until the end of the transaction. We recommend that appropriate advice be taken prior to granting or accepting a POA to ensure the rights of the principal and attorney are protected.

I am planning to sell my property which is still under mortgage. What are the procedures involved?
There are two key situations in selling a mortgaged property: 1) If the buyer is financed, the seller needs to apply for a liability letter and the buyer’s bank settles the outstanding mortgage; after the settlement, the seller’s bank provides a clearance letter and the property is blocked at the Registration Trustee office. The next step is to obtain an NOC from the developer and transfer the property at the Registration Trustee office. Ensure the steps are followed as all documents have validity periods. 2) If it’s a cash buyer, the buyer needs to settle the outstanding balance with the seller’s bank (in most cases, the seller has to provide a security cheque in the name of the buyer against the outstanding amount, which will be held by the agency and returned after the successful property transfer); all other steps remain the same.

I want to invest in off-plan property. What are the advantages?
There are numerous benefits of buying off-plan properties. Currently, developers are offering bookings within the range of 10 to 20 per cent down payment. Off-plan properties feature flexible payment plans without any interest. If you invest in the right off-plan project, your capital gain is higher annually compared to ready property. The following are some popular offers in the market: 50 to 100 per cent discount on Oqood (offer may vary from developer to developer); attractive post-handover payment plans; guaranteed rental returns once the project is completed (mostly serviced/hotel apartments). The most significant factor is your liquidity position as a buyer. For this, you need to ensure meeting all the payment requirements in the scheduled period. In short, it is the ability to make payments in line with personal liquidity forecast that will achieve your overall objective.

I am an overseas investor. Am I eligible to get a residency visa if I buy a property in Dubai?
In 2012, the Dubai Land Department (DLD) introduced new rules that would allow investors, who already have a title deed and no mortgage, to apply for a two-year residency visa. As per the guidelines, the unit must be worth at least Dh1 million; the property should be ready/completed; in addition to the title deed, the applicant must submit a passport copy and photograph; the DLD will issue the property owner a certificate to be given to the Department of Economic Development; once finalised, the property owner can visit the immigration unit at the DLD to get the visa. Unfortunately, buyers with an active mortgage are not eligible for the visa until the loan amount is paid in full. It’s important to note that although the property investor visa gives the owner residency, it does not allow him/her to work. A separate work visa must be obtained for that and if the property is sold, the visa holder needs to reapply for residency by other means.

Does buying from the developer ensure a better deal? What are the benefits of buying through a brokerage firm?
It exclusively depends on what juncture you purchase from the developer. Developers release their stocks in phases.
The other dynamics that you need to consider is the special offers that developers give. Developers are providing buyers with special offers such as discounts on Oqood and extended payment plans after handover.
There are top brokerage firms that have partnered with developers. Engaging one ensures that you would have an array of projects to choose from. Hiring a brokerage firm also gives you an added advantage when purchasing from the primary market as the agencies are aware of special offers. Utilising their expertise will benefit you and safeguard your investment.
The broker commission is also paid by the developer; hence, it will greatly assist you in reducing your total buying cost.

Source: Suraj Poon, Special to Properties
Property Consultant, SPF Realty


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