What is Property Conveyancing?

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This article is intended to both educate and answer numerous questions that our clients raise when engaging us to represent them in real-estate disputes regarding property purchase/sale that has gone wrong. Sadly, in many instances they do reach out to us too late to be able to remedy actions not taken at the right stage of property purchasing or made under the wrong perception when acquiring the real estate.

Over the years Dubai has gained worldwide recognition for its rapidly growing real estate market, offering a dynamic and lucrative investment environment. Year after year, the city’s skyline is adorned with architectural marvels, luxurious residential developments, and state-of-the-art commercial projects that capture the attention around the world. And this remarkable growth coupled with the government’s pro-business policies, investor-friendly regulations, and strategic location have contributed to the city’s flourishing property market attracting investors seeking profitable opportunities. Under investors, we consider both individuals seeking properties, but also international property developers looking to establish presence on ground, bringing their professional expertise to a new market.

This rapidly growing property market is now a flourishing mix of diverse parties – domestic and international property developers, real-estate brokers and agents – competing for market share. And, conveyancing as a professional service extended to safeguard the interests of buyers is becoming more and more in demand by the investors. This comprehensive procedure has been long established in stable real-estate markets and buyers choose it as it helps them navigate the transaction and obtain important information on the property, they intend to acquire. By availing professional conveyancing services, individuals can steer the intricacies of the Dubai property market with confidence, ensuring that their investment is protected, and their rights are upheld if it shall be needed. This article explores the reasons why conveyancing is highly recommended for buyers seeking to acquire property in Dubai and answers some of the questions that may be raised with regards to the service.

Q: What is conveyancing? And why is conveyancing not very popular, recognized, or welcomed by real estate investors?

Conveyancing is an essential part of buying a property and involves the legal transfer of property ownership from the developer/seller to the buyer. In summary, the conveyancing process commences when an offer on a property is accepted and ends when the buyer receives the keys.

Our professional on ground experience in handling real-estate disputes for the last 20 years indicates that even though conveyancing has its undeniable significance in the overall transaction of buying/selling of real estate, is the one that most investors tend to disregard.

We attribute this conscious avoidance to several factors:

  • the cost associated with the process, which in reality is a fraction of the subsequent litigation fees;
  • the extended timeframe to concluding the transaction, which again is a fraction of a litigation process; and
  • human nature, rejecting legal assistance until and only when one in their individual capacity is unable to resolve a burning issue that almost in all cases leads to money loss.

Property transfer is a complex process strictly guided by the real-estate legislation of each country, hence hiring a professional for their conveyancing experience to secure the transaction remains optional, however highly recommended choice to mitigate all possible unwanted scenarios.

Q: Shall I need assistance when purchasing a property in the UAE?

UAE, and Dubai in particular has been an appealing destination for real estate transactions, attracting investors from all over the world whose expectations in completing a transaction may vary from the process on the ground due to unique to the country’s regulations and procedures. It is highly anticipated that foreign investors will not be particularly or fully informed of the legal matters behind the end-to-end process of a real-estate purchase – be it a secondary market or off-plan. We, therefore, in the capacity of legal advisors, recommend to our clients that they do entrust us in protecting their rights and drive the real-estate transactions to completion.

Q: What is the role of a conveyancer in UAE?

Property Conveyancing Service is the tool ensuring the quick, efficient, and successful completion of a real-estate transaction, guarding investors against scams, the financial loss of booking or commission fees, future legal disputes and actions held in a foreign land, and the bitter taste of disappointment, which started simply as a dream.

The complete process of obtaining/selling a property in the UAE may not be analogous to the native’s own land, hence it is highly recommended delegating this end-to-end process to professionals aware of:

  • the particulars and the sequence of events in a real-estate transaction;
  • have experience in dealing with local developers and governmental organizations to navigate through the relevant regulations, procedures, rules, and processes;
  • aware of the financial regulations to be fulfilled in the event of acquiring a property.

Q: What should I expect when hiring a professional to assist me in a real estate transaction?

A conveyancer is the driving force behind the real estate transaction and is involved in some or all the below:

  • offering the client step-by-step guidance and honest/ethical legal opinion at every stage of the buying/selling process;
  • drafting, clarifying, and examining legal documents in relation to the transaction – for example: reservation from, SPA or a Memorandum of understanding (MOU);
  • verifying the property’s legal file – for example: certificate of title;
  • compiling the various costs and levies associated with the real estate transaction;
  • leasing with a selected bank or other financial institution in case a mortgage is involved;
  • working with a real estate developer or facilities management company to obtain NOC for the property transfer;
  • represent and act on behalf of the client’s best interest in front of institutions and individuals involved in the transaction.

Q: What is the estimated time frame I should expect when hiring a conveyancing specialist?

The length of the conveyancing process could be determined when factors specific to the transaction are identified and taken into account:

  • Is the selected property under mortgage?
  • Are the sellers/buyers acting in their individual capacity or the ownership is under a corporate structure?
  • Are the sellers/buyers present to finalize or the transaction will be completed through a proxy?
  • Are the buyers’/sellers’ residents of UAE?
  • The selected financial model of purchase – in full or through a mortgage?

The particulars of each real-estate transaction will determine the length of the conveyancing process, which we estimate between 2-7 weeks.

Q: How should I budget for conveyancing service in the UAE?

Conveyancing costs are based on the transaction at hand and are calculated considering the legal form of the property (leasehold or freehold), off-plan or under registered property status, mode of payment, and the total property price.

We shall be able to offer you a conveyancing quote, detailing as accurately as possible, for a full understanding of the expected cost in advance of your transaction.

Q: On what basis are conveyancing fees calculated?

  • Legal/Professional fees of the lawyer handling the real estate transaction;
  • Disbursements – established fees paid on your behalf to third parties for obtaining and processing documents/verifications/applications/approvals/registrations in relation to securing the real estate transaction.

Q: Who pays conveyancing fees, the buyer, or seller?

Each party – the buyer and the seller – shall be responsible to pay independent conveyancing fees for their part in the transaction, resulting in new title deed registration at Land Department.

The buyer may have additional costs to factor in, related to the due diligence performed for the seller.

Q: How we can be of assistance to you?

Motei and Associates Conveyancing Package

We, understand how stressful and overwhelming buying or selling a property is, and how things beyond control could increase the “heat” and delay the process and this is why we have designed our packages to offer you the service that resonates best with what you associate as “peace of mind”.

Upon contacting us to assist you in Conveyancing we shall offer you the package that fits with your transaction particulars. Below listed are our professional services:

  • 1 hr meeting with the client to discuss the property selected by the client.
  • Reviewing the SPA offered by the seller/seller’s representative or real estate agency.
  • Reviewing and discussing presented SPA and its terms and conditions to the client
    • Advising and recommending amendments taking into consideration client’s exceptional circumstances;
    • Preparing MoU to reflect agreed stipulations;
    • Bulletproofing set deadlines for completion of the transaction.
  • Confirming all relevant fees associated with annual service and maintenance of the property are duly paid and a NOC is issued as verification.
  • Preparing and approving the final transfer documents that include all the funds involved.
  • Drafting, clarifying, and examining legal documents in relation to the transaction – for example – reservation form, SPA or a Memorandum of understanding (MOU).
  • Verifying the property’s legal file – for example: certificate of title.
  • Compiling the various costs and levies associated with the real-estate transaction. *Optional – leasing with a selected bank or other financial institution in case  mortgage is involved in the transaction.
  • Working with the developer/facility management firm to obtain NOC for the property transfer.
  • Representing the client at meetings/acting on behalf of the client’s best interest in front of institutions and individuals involved in the transaction.

Based on our experience, what our clients value us for are:

  • Transparent and unbiased professional advice and guidance on buying and selling property throughout the UAE.
  • The legal expertise to support beyond the completion of the transaction to address wealth management.
  • Due diligence performed on the chosen developer/broker.
  • Our legal status to act on behalf of our clients in litigation or fraud in front of relevant government authorities.
  • Competitive professional fees.
  • Transparency in all disbursement fees.
  • A dedicated point of contact with an assigned member of our team to ensure a personalized experience.
  • Appointments via video call to save on travel time and costs.

If this is of interest, please do not hesitate to reach out.