- Before you sign this very important document, you should make an offer, backed up by a deposit and subject to acceptance by the Seller and subject to Sales and Purchase Agreement in which the terms and conditions will be agreeable to both parties, i.e., you and the Seller. If your offer is accepted, then the Realtor will prepare a Sales and Purchase Agreement. Before you sign this very important document, make sure that you fully understand all of the terms and conditions laid out therein, even consulting your banker or your lawyer if you feel a little shaky. Keep in mind that most home purchases in New Providence do not close on time, so make sure that the waiting period takes into account the inherent slowness of the legal and banking systems. If the seller asks for a closing in thirty days, insist on ninety days. If the seller asks for a closing in ninety days, ask for one hundred and eighty days. If you are buying from a non-resident owner, you need all the time you can get, unless his/her Bahamian lawyer is authorized to act under a power-of-attorney. Make sure that the Sales and Purchase Agreement clearly states who will pay for what at the closing, i.e. legal fees, stamp duty, real estate agent’s commission, outstanding property taxes, outstanding utility bills, etc. Make sure that a duly authenticated inventory list is attached to the Sales and Purchase Agreement if furniture and furnishings form a part of your purchase.
The following conditions should be included in the Sales and Purchase Agreement:
- That a proper survey plan be provided by the Seller
- That boundary markers be set at the expense of the Seller
- That your purchase is subject to a current appraisal report
- That the Seller will be obligated to provide you with free and clear title to the property, with failure to do so resulting in a full refund of your deposit.
- That your deposit will be refunded in full if you are unable to secure financing for the balance of the purchase price from a specified reputable lending institution, with proof of your inability to secure financing to be given in writing to the Seller by the specified lending institution. The waiting period for you to secure financing should be clearly stated in the Agreement.
- That you will lose your deposit if all the conditions are met and you fail to complete your purchase, with the Seller to retain half of the deposit and the other half going to the Realtor.
- A closing date for completion of your purchase must be specified in the Sales and Purchase Agreement.