Ensuring a safe international property transaction

It has often been said that buying a property is one of the largest financial investments most people will make in their lifetime. 

Such a considerable financial outlay compels most buyers to take the time to do the necessary research in order to ensure the property investment is a good one that will show solid returns on investment over the long term.  James Bowling, CEO of Monarch&Co - a market leader in facilitating residence and citizenship programmes through investment - says that research and due diligence is even more important when it comes to international property transactions, which commonly form part of investment requirements for various residence and citizenship programmes.
“Despite the fact that today’s property buyers and investors are savvier than ever before when it comes to sound investment practices, it’s amazing how many people still get conned by fly-by-night operations. This is something that could easily be avoided with a little research into the company that is facilitating the international investment,” he says.

Bowling points out that whether an investor is buying a property locally or internationally, it is crucial to undertake the necessary research to ensure they know exactly what they are buying into. Dealing with professionals who facilitate the transaction - whether it be estate agents or developers, lawyers or immigration specialists - should not be negotiable.

Bowling says that one way to ensure that you are dealing with a reputable international investment company is to check that they are members of the Association of International Property Professionals (AIPP), the industry body for the international property market. Bowling explains that in a largely unregulated industry, AIPP members voluntarily agree to follow a professional Code of Conduct.

“AIPP membership means that a company must follow professional standards and act with honesty, integrity and transparency. AIPP members have been vetted and approved, and they have voluntarily agreed to follow and be bound by the industry Code of Conduct,” he says. “AIPP's qualification requirements are based on professional experience and all member companies agree to be bound by its disciplinary and dispute resolution procedures.”

Aside from reassurance of professional integrity, investors who work through a company which is an AIPP member also have recourse to the AIPP if problems occur.

“While an independent study showed that 85% of buyers felt more reassured when they invested through a company that was an AIPP member, just because an investment facilitation company is a member of an industry body or organisation does not negate the buyers’ responsibility to do the necessary research and ask all of the essential questions concerning their investment,” says Bowling.

He says that buyers have a responsibility to protect themselves when they purchase property internationally, just as they do when they purchase a property locally. He gives some key areas that potential investors should explore before committing themselves to using the services of an international investment facilitator:

§  Make sure you work through professional investment facilitators, estate agents and developers. One way to determine this is by checking their membership status with the relevant professional industry bodies

§  Ask questions about the company and its track record.  Do some research online where both the company and its directors or founders can be researched

§  Ask for client testimonials

§  Some facilitators provide a more comprehensive service offering than others, so find out in detail about the services the company offers and what exactly it entails. It’s always best to get details on the company’s service offering and terms of business in writing

“There are many considerations to take into account when looking at purchasing an international investment property. It’s therefore also important for the company facilitating the investment to glean a sound understanding of what the investor is trying to achieve as well as what they are looking for in a property. As an AIPP member, Monarch&Co guides its clients through this process with its team of select international partners and specialists, who are ideally placed in each country where investment options are offered, in order to address all enquiries with detailed feedback and fulfil all investment requirements,” Bowling concludes.

  Comment on this Article

  Please login to post comments

Post to my facebook wall
Characters remaining

    Latest Property News
    • 22 Jun 2018
      The rental market in many Johannesburg suburbs has shown encouraging signs of revival this year but it remains a competitive market and landlords who best cater to their market’s needs will reap the healthiest returns.
    • 22 Jun 2018
      Home design is constantly evolving to reflect the changing needs of society. We look at some of the ways in which our use of space is changing.
    • 22 Jun 2018
      While estate agents can help the seller with correctly pricing the property and marketing a property to the right pool of potential buyers, at the end of the day it’s the impression that the property will make on buyers that counts the most.
    • 21 Jun 2018
      Anyone who’s ever been involved in a building project that’s gone wrong will appreciate the importance of adequate insurance cover in the construction industry.
    • 21 Jun 2018
      A recent news story about a blind tenant caught in a legal battle with his body corporate over letters and notices he was unable to read and consequently comply with has raised the question: what are the legal obligations for landlords with disabled tenants?
    • 21 Jun 2018
      A trend that’s taken the world by storm in recent years is that of hygge (pronounced: hue-guh), a Danish concept that is about creating intimacy, connecting with loved ones and taking pleasure in small, ordinary things.
    • 20 Jun 2018
      Buying or selling real estate isn’t as easy as it is portrayed sometimes, especially if there is a death of a party during the transaction which can make it awkward, tricky and inconvenient.
    • 20 Jun 2018
      With interest rates remaining at historic lows and banks continuing to compete for mortgage finance business, first-time buyers with funds at their disposal are currently well-placed to gain that initial foothold on the property ladder, particularly in the light of the slightly lower growth rates currently experienced in residential property values.
    Subscribe to the MyProperty Newsletter

    Last Name  
    Email Address  
    Email Frequency
    Share this Page

    For Sale Property
    Rental Property
    More Options
    Connect with us