The Purchase Procedure

Information about the purchase procedure when buying a property in Malta, from signing the contractual agreement to signing the Final Deed…

The Contractual Agreement

The buying process in Malta moves through three stages.

  1. When a buyer finds a property they would like to purchase, they sign a written agreement with the seller known as the Konvenju (Promise of Sale Agreement). This contract includes the details of all the parties involved, a description of the property and its price, the validity period of the agreement and any other terms and conditions agreed upon between the parties. A notary public is needed to process the Konvenju. Note: At the time of signing the Konvenju, a sum of 10 percent of the property price is paid to the Notary Public and held (sometimes in escrow) until the property sale is complete. Additionally, a 1 percent fee is paid to the Inland Revenue Department to cover provisional duty.
  2. A waiting period follows, during which the notary carries out any relevant searches on the property at the Land Registry.
  3. The signing of the Final Deed is the last stage in the process, when the property is transferred to the buyer as long as all conditions of the Konvenju have been met to the satisfaction of both parties. All payments due are paid to the seller and duties to Inland Revenue. The keys are handed over to the new owner.

After the final contract has been signed, the notary has 15 days to:

  • Pay duties collected on the contract
  • Enter the new deed in the Malta Public Registry or the Gozo Public Registry, and in the Land Registry

Documents Required

In addition to the Acquisition of Immovable Property (AIP) permit, there are a number of documents that the buyer and the seller must provide during the different stages of the purchase process.

When meeting to sign the Promise of Sale Agreement:

The buyer has to provide:

  • A valid personal identification document, such as an identity card, passport, or other official document
  • A cheque book to pay the deposit. (Cheques are still very much in use in Malta)

The seller has to provide:

  • A valid personal identification document, such as an identity card, passport, or other official document
  • A copy of the contract of purchase describing how they acquired the property
  • A block plan of the property and its building permit

When meeting to sign the Final Deed:

The buyer has to provide:

  • A valid document that can be used for personal identification, including an Identity card, passport, or other official document
  • A cheque book to pay the remaining balance on the property price, duty, and notary fees

The seller has to provide:

  • A valid document that can be used for personal identification, for example, an identity card, passport, or other official document
  • A copy of the latest receipts of payment for ground rent, electricity and water bills
  • All the keys for the property

Main Parties Involved in the Processes

The main parties involved in the process of purchasing a property in Malta, other than the buyer and the seller, are:

Notary public: The notary public ensures that both parties abide by the law at every step of the buying process, conducts necessary official searches about the property being bought and guides the buyer in obtaining the documentation they need, as well as paying any tax due.

Lawyer: The lawyer helps the buyer with more advanced legal aspects of the contracts they will sign during the purchase process.

Architect: The architect ensures that the property is structurally sound, and can give an estimate of its value and provide advice on any refurbishment work that may be needed.

The real estate agent: The estate agent provides buyers with access to a list of properties on the market and helps them find the ones that suit their preferences and budget. Estate agents also arrange property viewings and offer guidance to new buyers about the best localities in Malta to invest in property. They can also help foreign buyers get in touch with any of the other professionals listed above.

Buying Costs

There are a number of fees and costs involved during each stage of the buying process, as well as certain taxes that have to be paid by the buyer.

  • Acquisition of Immovable Property Permit (where applicable). The current fee is €233
  • Stamp duty: 3.5 percent on the first €150,000 and 5 percent on the remaining balance. 20 percent of the stamp duty is paid after signing the Konvenju (Promise of Sale) and the rest is paid after signing the Final Deed
  • Notary fees: These fees are regulated by law and the amount paid to the notary depends on the price of the property. The Notary Billing Calculation is available online

Notary fees are as follows:

  • Up to €10,000 - 1 percent
  • €10,001 to €50,000 - 0.5 percent
  • €50,001 and over - variable, depends on the amount of research a notary carries out on the property

Financing a Property Purchase

If the buyer needs to take out a loan from a bank, they need to ensure that their application is followed up quickly by the institution in order to get the loan approved and obtain a sanction letter, which is required by the notary public.

The buyer also has to make sure that they have the house and life insurance policies requested by the bank and that any pledge forms issued by the bank are signed.

Common Problems

The most common problems encountered by foreigners buying property in Malta are:

  • Not having the right documentation. Notaries public and real estate agents can provide buyers with guidance about the documents they need at each step of the buying process, refer them to the appropriate official departments where they can obtain them, and ensure that they are completed correctly
  • Delays in obtaining financing for the property purchase. Buyers are recommended to ask their bank to fast-track their loan application process and ensure that payments on any insurance policies they have to take out are current
Information provided by 6, Alley 1, Triq San Martin, Rabat, Malta RBT 1300 Tel: +356 27780396. Mob: +356 99805602 Email