While Monaco may only be 2.1km2, it certainly delivers when it comes to attracting wealthy families and investors to relocate. Monaco real estate for sale is some of the most sought-after in the world. A favourable tax regime, excellent health care and a lavish Mediterranean lifestyle all contribute to making it an enticing place to take up residence.
There are several legal procedures to complete when it comes to buying an apartment in Monaco. As a leading Monaco real estate agency, La Costa Properties Monaco has put together a guide to help steer you through the processes of buying Monaco property for sale.
How to buy an apartment in Monaco
Buy an apartment in Monaco – Step 1: Work with a skilled Monaco real estate agency
It is always best to work with a highly skilled Monaco real estate agency, like La Costa Properties Monaco, who knows how to navigate the fast-moving and demanding property market. La Costa Properties Monaco offers an exquisite portfolio of Monaco property for sale and will be by your side throughout the entire buying process, which is particularly helpful for those who have never bought Monaco property before.
Buy an apartment in Monaco – Step 2: Submit a written offer
Once you have selected your dream Monaco property, La Costa Properties Monaco will make a formal offer on your behalf to the seller in writing. The offer comprises your information, a description of the property, the offered price and a date for signature of the deed and completion. Your broker at La Costa Properties Monaco will ask you for all the relevant information and documents to carry out its due diligence. To secure the property, buyers will be asked to submit a deposit for 10% of the value of the purchase price, via bank transfer to the buyers chosen Notary’s escrow account. If it is accepted by the seller, the offer will be binding for both the buyer and the seller.
It must be noted that Monaco does not offer a period to pull out of the purchase without penalty, meaning it is essential that you are sure on the property you seek to buy.
Buy an apartment in Monaco – Step 3: Appoint a Notary
When the buyer decides to write an offer to buy an apartment in Monaco, they must select a Notary. It can be the same one as the seller.
The Notary’s role is crucial throughout all legal stages, for the sale and registration. Notaries and real estate agencies provide a lot of exceptional additional advice (legal and tax, for example) and will work together to conclude the sale under the best conditions.
In Monaco, there are currently three Notaries to choose from. Some buyers may also want to hire specific legal advisers to help with other aspects of the purchase, such as a first residency in the Principality of Monaco, or estate planning.
Buy an apartment in Monaco – Step 4: The pre-contract
Once the buyer’s offer for the Monaco real estate for sale has been accepted, both parties are legally bound. (While it is not essential for every case, the option is left to the buyer and seller to agree on signing a preliminary contract, referred to as the ‘Compromis de Vente’. The contract relates the conditions that will allow the buyer to withdraw from the agreement. These comprise financing, making physical modifications, or planning matters. The property may also come with pre-emptive rights to purchase by the government, meaning the sale will not occur earlier than within a month or when the rights are waived.
The vast majority of transactions are made directly from the offer to the authentic deed. The authentic deed will mention all the conditions, including financing, right of pre-emption of the state, and more.
Buy an apartment in Monaco – Step 5: Conduct Land Registry Research
La Costa Properties Monaco will then pass the next stage of the process to the Notary, who
will carry out due diligence, such as searches at the Monaco Land Registry, to confirm that the seller is the legal owner of the property, that there are no pending mortgages, and to determine any urban or other regulations that may affect the Monaco real estate for sale.
The Notary will also ensure that the land title is transferred from the seller to the buyer by checking with the Monaco Land Registry. They will also ensure the verification of the identities of the parties with forms and documents.
Buy an apartment in Monaco – Step 6: Completing the purchase of Monaco property
The process of buying an apartment in Monaco is completed when the deed is transferred to the buyer and signed by both parties in the presence of the Notary at their office. If the buyer cannot be there in person, they may be allowed to sign the final documents through a power-of-attorney exception prepared by the Notary.
Before completion can take place, the remaining purchase price, the registration fees and notary/real estate agent fees must be paid to the notary.
With a “resale” property, fees will amount to 6% of the purchase price and are to be paid for by the buyer. This cost comprises registration duty (4.5%) and notarial fees (1.5%) and applies where individuals or a Monaco SCI make the purchase.
However, a higher rate of 7.5% registration duty applies if a foreign company makes the acquisition. In this case, there will be notarial fees of 1.5% producing a total due of 9%.
Where the property is new or under construction, registration duty will not apply. Instead, the sale price will include value-added tax (TVA) at 20%. Notarial fees and transcription duty amounting to 2.5% will be due, payable by the buyer, regardless of whether the buyer is an individual or a corporation.
Before the final signatures, the property should also be pre-insured by the buyer to safeguard against any unforeseen circumstances. The buyer must insure his property on the day of the signing of the deed.
Buy an apartment in Monaco – Step 7: Register your ownership
Once the sale is complete, the Notary will register the Monaco real estate for sale with the Monaco Land Registry. The buyer will then receive a certificate of ownership / of sale (attestation de propriété), which can be used as proof of ownership, for residency, utilities, and insurance purposes.
How La Costa Properties Monaco can assist with Monaco real estate for sale
La Costa Properties Monaco is an established Monaco real estate agency with more than 40 years expertise. We boast an impressive portfolio of Monaco real estate for sale, as well as superb off-market properties. If you are looking to buy an apartment in Monaco and would like to learn more about how to go about doing so, then contact our Monaco real estate agents today.