The legal processes of property buying in Cyprus are based on English law. When you find your property, you will often be asked to take it off the market at that price by paying a reservation deposit, usually not exceeding €3,000 or 1 percent of the sale price.
If you are buying a new or recently built property, you will need to be sure that planning permission and building authority licenses have been complied with fully. If there are any problems with non-compliance this could prevent you from transferring the title into your name in the future.
If all is well the lawyers will then draw up the contracts outlining the conditions of the sale, and a further deposit is payable – 10 percent for a resale property, or usually 20 to 30 percent for new-build. Once you have signed the contract of sale, your lawyer files this with the land registry within 60 days. Buyers need to present bank and character references with the application. The balance of the money is generally paid on completion for resales and in stages agreed by the developer for new builds.
Stamp Duty is 0.15 percent for properties under €170,860 and 0.20 percent over that. Real Estate transfer fees are imposed by the Lands Registry to transfer freehold ownership to the name of the purchaser. The transfer fees are due for payment when the transfer of the title deed in the name of the purchaser takes place. The purchaser is solely responsible for their payment which amounts to three percent for properties valued at under €85,430, five percent between that and €170,860, and eight percent above that.
If the property is in joint names, for example, a husband and wife or two individuals, then the purchase value is divided into two parts, which results in reduced transfer fees. For example, a property purchased for €200,000 in one name would incur fees of €9,165, whereas the same property in the names of two people would incur fees of €6,582. Legal fees usually amount to one or two percent, including disbursements, out of pocket expenses incurred on your behalf. Agents’ fees are a minimum of three percent and usually closer to five percent. They are paid by the seller.