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How to purchase an apartment (real estate)?

Real estate is a valuable acquisition, and if you make a shrewd choice it will be also a great investment of your financial resources. It is necessary to study the market and consider a lot of variants to find the best one at the favorable price. Special web sites, for example krisha.kz, or realtors could be of a great use. If you decide to work with a realtor, you should pay close attention to the contract of service to avoid the fraud and money loss. When you find the apartment of your dream, it is time for the most crucial moment – executing a transaction. It might take a few hours to a few weeks depending on the fact whether you purchase the real estate for cash or pledge.


Purchase of an apartment for cash

You have found the apartment that suits you and settled a price with the owner. You should not plank down the money at once. First of all make sure this person is the owner of the apartment and his documents are in order. You should undertake the following steps:

  1. ask the seller to show you his/her document of identification and the entitling certificate for the apartment. See below the types of the entitling documents;
  2. the entitling document should be titled in the owner’s name and registered at the regional Department of Justice of Almaty with the corresponding stamps;
  3. if there are a number of owners listed in the document, you should make sure they will be present at the signing of the purchase agreement or that the seller has certified letters of attorney;
  4. if the children are co-owners of the property, the seller should submit the permit to sell the property lots of the minor co-owners living in the apartment. The permit is issued by the regional guardianship office of the Department of Education of Almaty according to the children’s place of registration;
  5. find out if the seller was married when he had purchased the apartment. If he was, his spouse is to give a written consent to sell the property certified by a notary;
  6. check out if the real layout of the apartment matches together with its technical plan. If they are not identic, the seller should first legalize the alterations.

Make sure of the lack of encumbrances on the real estate. To do so the seller should submit a certificate of the registered rights for the real estate and its technical characteristics at the signing of the purchase agreement. The certificate proves that the real estate is free from mortgage, ban, attachment, and the owner has the full right to dispose of the property.


The real estate entitling documents

The entitling documents are the documents on basis of which the rights (encumbrances) for real estate are emerged, changed or terminated.

Possible real estate entitling documents:

  1. purchase agreement (if the real estate was purchased);
  2. contract of exchange (if the real estate acquired by exchange);
  3. deed of gift (if the real estate was granted);
  4. permanent alimony alienation agreement;
  5. privatization agreement (if the real estate was privatized);
  6. act of acceptance (if a newly built or reconstructed/realigned object is registered);
  7. act of purchase from public tender;
  8. certificate of the ownership right of a share in the common property (inc. spouses) - if the spouses or other co-owners have settled the share agreement at the notary public;
  9. copy of the enforceable court ruling verifying the right of ownership (inc. division of property, declaration of title to the property through the courts);
  10. order of an Enforcement Agent of the assignment of the debtor’s property in specie (in case of a claim to property);
  11. deed of the property division (if the owners have divided the estate on their own accord);
  12. marriage articles;
  13. certificate of the inheritance right (if the real estate was inherited);
  14. articles of incorporation and the certificate of transfer of the property as a membership interest in the authorized capital of the legal entity;
  15. resolution of the owner (a legal entity, an authorized agent, shareholders/members, an agent authorized by the articles of incorporation of the legal entity, or the court ruling upon the corporate reorganization) together with the spin-off balance sheet or the certificate of transfer affirmed by the resolution;
  16. report on the results of the auction, tender, public bidding process, contract of the direct targeted sales of the public assets, etc., and the purchase agreement or another contract based on any of the reports mentioned above;
  17. the Akim’s resolution, the land parcel purchase agreement.

This is the most used but not limited list of the documents.

The entitling document should be registered at the Department of Justice of Almaty according to the real estate location and have the corresponding reference mark.


The two options of the purchase agreement execution

1. Without the involvement of a notary.

For this purpose the parties draw up the purchase agreement without any professional assistance or apply to a lawyer to get the service. After that it is necessary to apply to the Department of Justice of Almaty. An executive of the Department is to check the documents and powers of the parties, and verify the signatures of the seller and the buyer. Then the parties are to deliver the documents for registration to the State Corporation “Government for Citizens” of Atmaty (SCS).

Please, pay attention to the fact that you have to apply to a notary public to receive the consent of the spouses of buyer/seller for purchase/sale of the apartment.

2. With the help of a notary public.

In this case the purchase agreement is executed by a notary public. He is also to check the powers of the seller, verify the signatures of the parties, draw up the consent of the spouses of buyer/seller for purchase/sale of the apartment, and clarify the terms and consequences of the deed.

A notarized purchase agreement should be registered at the State Corporation “Government for Citizens” of Almaty (CSC) according to the place of registration within six months, or via egov.kz web portal.


When to hand the money for the apartment over to the seller?

There are three options of payment to the seller: before, at the process of or after the purchase agreement execution.

The first option is not advisable for it is very risky for the buyer. If you are determined to hand the money over before the agreement, it is highly recommended to conclude a prepayment contract.

Let us consider two other options:

  1. Payment in the process of the purchase agreement execution. Irrespective of the fact whether the agreement is executed by a notary public or without any professional assistance, the purchase agreement specifies the cost of the apartment in tenge and the terms or payment. As a rule a notary public is to find out if the payment has been made. If the parties want to implement the payment on the spot, the notary points out that the payment was made upon the execution of the purchase agreement in his presence. After the agreement is signed and the signatures of the parties are notarized, the buyer hands the money over to the seller, and the seller delivers the purchase agreement to the buyer for further registration at the State Corporation “Government for Citizens” of Almaty (CSC).
  2. Payment after the purchase agreement execution. This option is usually used if the buyer is not in a possession of the full amount, and the purchase agreement stipulates the terms of payment of the rest of the sum. This option is risky for the seller who officially re-registers the property having not received the full amount. Therefore it is important to stipulate the terms of payment in the agreement for the seller to have the right to apply to court and to enforce the debt.
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