One of the biggest lifetime investments is purchasing land or a house, especially if it’s your first purchase. The Barbados real estate market is very active in relation to land sales. Here are five helpful tips to guide you through the land buying process, from arranging your finances to having your attorney close the deal!
NOT A CASH BUYER? GET PRE-QUALIFIED FIRST!
This step is a critical one that will save you time and money if you follow as guided. If you are not a cash buyer, we suggest that you get in contact with a lender to get pre-qualified before you go shopping. A pre-qualification is a letter that states that you qualify as a loan applicant for an estimated amount to make an offer on the land you’re inquiring about. Your lender outlines your finances, including your debts, income, employment, cash available for a down payment, among other things to determine your qualification. After getting pre-qualified, you are at liberty to shop around like any cash buyer. Pre-qualification is to avoid submitting an offer, which gets accepted, and you spend on a valuation report, making a 10% deposit, then visiting your lender only to find out that you aren't qualified for the agreed sale price.
HIRE THE RIGHT REAL ESTATE AGENT
Make extensive research and ensure you hire an agent who has a Barbados real estate license. Additionally, the real estate agent should be a member of the Barbados Estate Agents and Valuers Association (BEAVA), to make sure you’re dealing with a qualified professional. BEAVA has a membership of over one hundred and twenty, which gives the agent a wide range of listings to show you. You can visit the agent’s website to read reviews about their service. Visiting the website should provide answers to questions including:
· Do they represent plots of land in the price range you’re looking for?
· Are they showcasing any recently sold land listings?
The more details you can provide your agent about your land search, the better. This would help your agent narrow down the options that fit your criteria.
We, at Global Estate Agency been in the real estate brokerage business for over 15 years. Our clientele includes both local and foreign buyers who purchase properties in Barbados. From our modern and user-friendly website to our impressive social media following. We also have an international reach via our marketing mediums in Europe, Canada, the USA, and more. Our brokerage is led by Junior Sparks, who appeared on not one, but two episodes of HGTV's popular top tv show, House Hunters International!
ASSESS THE LAND
Now that you have found a plot of land in your chosen neighborhood, you must review the plot plan, check the line marks, and review the covenants. Not all plots of land have covenants attached, but the Covenants are the rules and regulations governing the neighborhood, including building restrictions. You must ensure that you do a thorough review.
Furthermore, you must ask yourself these questions:
· What is the land value?
· Have you seen a valuation report?
If your answer is no to the second question, you can arrange to get a valuation report done by a professional valuer. The valuer must be on your lender's list of approved valuers.
One crucial assessment that is often overlooked is getting test holes done. You can get test holes done on the land to check the subsurface characteristics (soil quality and composition) and ensure that it can support a foundation for a home. This testing helps so to avoid financial loss in case the land isn't right for a home. You can hire an excavator to dig holes the on-site. It involves digging holes, reviewing possible foundation levels and filling them in after. This preparation helps guarantee that your home will stand the test of time.
TIME TO SUBMIT AN OFFER
Do not, for whatever reason, submit a low-ball offer! Sellers tend to take these offers less seriously and usually wouldn't make a counter-offer. However, in rare instances, you can make offers that are slightly below the list price. If you have an eye on a plot of land in a sought-after neighborhood, you most likely will not be allowed to pay less than the list price because multiple buyers will be interested in the same plot.
To make an offer, you have to complete a document called an Offer and Acceptance Form. This form entails the buyer's details, offer amount, source of funds, photo ID, etc. After the buyer fills out the form, the agent will send a copy to the seller to submit the offer.
AGENT PREPARES THE ATTORNEYS INSTRUCTIONS
After executing the Offer and Acceptance Form, your agent can go ahead to prepare and send out the attorneys’ instructions to the lawyers who are representing both parties in the contract (buyer and seller). The attorneys’ instructions is a document also called a Memorandum of Sale. This document entails the confirmation of the agreed sale price for the property, the address, the buyer's and seller's details with the attorneys' details that are representing both parties. The attorneys proceed to handle the legal process of the transaction after receiving the Memorandum of Sale. After your attorney receives the sale agreement from the seller's attorney, you will be required to pay a 10% deposit and sign the agreement. Sale transactions usually take between three to six months to close, providing that there are no unforeseen complications. Please note that the buyer and seller are responsible for their legal fees. The attorneys prepare quotes and submit them to each party before embarking on their legal duties.
For information about the available lands for sale, contact us today at 246-426-9469 or send us a message via our Contact page above.