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What pitfalls can a property purchase agreement bring?

In our law practice we encounter not only common but also absolutely bizarre problems that may arise during the transfer of flats or family houses.

4 minutes of reading

A well-prepared real estate purchase contract is like a well forged sword. You’re glad to have it, and even gladder when you don’t have to use it in a fight. However, its quality will only become apparent in the event of a dispute, i.e. when you are forced to draw. If a good deal can’t be negotiated, it’s often better to walk away from the whole thing.

From law practice: when reality and plans diverge

We recently handled a case involving Mr. James. Because of his growing family, he wanted to sell his apartment in the centre of Prague and use the money to buy a much larger property in Central Bohemia. He looked for a beautiful two-storey apartment, but soon stumbled. The plans didn’t fit, and one room that was in the apartment was completely missing from the plans.

It turned out that the “mysterious chamber” actually belonged to the common parts of the house and the owner was actually just renting it. However, he was not able to produce a proper contract and there were other ambiguities and debts on the apartment.

The best solution was therefore to abandon the negotiations and not to buy the property. However, a careless buyer would probably have been fooled and would have solved the ambiguities on the fly with an already concluded contract. Mr. Jakub ended up buying another, much better property south of Prague with our assistance.

Real Estate Purchase or Sale

We provide a complete package of legal services related to real estate sales and purchases, including reservation contracts and escrow services. We will also help you with all tax and land registry issues. Our work is fast and accurate, ensuring a worry-free transaction. You’re also welcome to pay after services are provided.

Be careful, don’t just give in to feelings

When viewing an apartment, be especially careful of “love at first sight”. If you want an apartment too much, both an experienced estate agent and a shrewd seller can take advantage of this. Don’t sign contracts at any price and don’t use the beautiful view as an excuse for the poor condition of the apartment’s facilities. Don’t hand-wave over the condition of the house as a whole and look at the functioning of the local owners’ association.

Don’t rely on unverified model contracts

Consult a professional when drawing up a contract, even if a real estate agent is involved in the transaction. Although there are plenty of free downloadable templates on the internet, they often contain errors. And, as if that weren’t enough, the templates usually don’t address the most important thing, the payment of the purchase price, for which a lawyer or other escrow must be used.

Unverified contract templates contain a number of errors that will cost you thousands of crowns and completely unnecessary stress. They may even block the transfer of the property at the Land Registry. Well, you tell me: Isn’t it better to consult a professional straight away and prevent problems than to put out problems that might not have happened in the first place?

Beware of wording that cannot be enforced in practice

The creativity of legal laymen sometimes knows no bounds and they like to have everything “their own way”. Sometimes, however, they run up against the limits of the law. For example, with the formulation that the ownership right to the property passes to the buyer immediately after the purchase price is paid. Although they can have this written in the contract in theory, according to the law this situation occurs only after the entry into the land register. The formulations we use to adapt the situation to our own image sometimes mean nothing, but sometimes they are directly unlawful. They can cause us more problems than they are good for.

It pays to check every word and number in a contract

When reading and checking contracts, we tend to focus on the most important things: what is the purchase price, what is being sent where when and what are the terms? However, it pays to really check everything carefully. A wrong designation of the property or the shares in the common parts can cause you a problem at the Land Registry. A different account number on the reservation and purchase contract will in turn delay the granting of the mortgage. All of this can cost you not only time, but also money that you may be spending on additional months of rent.

We will be happy to help you and take care of all the paperwork associated with the transfer of the apartment or house. Just say

Download the free E-book How to Buy or Sell Property Risk-Free and go smoothly through the process of selling or buying a house, flat and land.

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Real Estate Purchase or Sale

We provide a complete package of legal services related to real estate sales and purchases, including reservation contracts and escrow services. We will also help you with all tax and land registry issues. Our work is fast and accurate, ensuring a worry-free transaction. You’re also welcome to pay after services are provided.

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Author of the article

JUDr. Ondřej Preuss, Ph.D.

Ondřej is the attorney who came up with the idea of providing legal services online. He's been earning his living through legal services for more than 10 years. He especially likes to help clients who may have given up hope in solving their legal issues at work, for example with real estate transfers or copyright licenses.

Education
  • Law, Ph.D, Pf UK in Prague
  • Law, L’université Nancy-II, Nancy
  • Law, Master’s degree (Mgr.), Pf UK in Prague
  • International Territorial Studies (Bc.), FSV UK in Prague

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