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Legal Services for Property Investors

Over the last few years more and more of our clients have decided that investing in international property makes sense.

We are not independent financial advisors and it is not our job to help you decide how much of your wealth should be invested in stocks and shares, cash, bonds, commodities etc. and how much should be put into international property.  We would urge you to take advice from a qualified person as to your investment plans.  If you do not know an IFA we will be happy to recommend one to you.

We recommend IFAs who appear to have given our clients good service in the past.  We, of course, cannot take any responsibility for the quality of advice they give you.  We do not receive any commissions for making the recommendations.

Once you have decided that you wish to invest in international property and how much you wish to invest we can provide you with a wide range of services.

Preliminary Meeting

Very often our work will start with a meeting with the client. We will send you a questionnaire so that we can learn, in advance, what we need to know about your financial affairs, your family situation, your aspirations etc. We also send you a draft agenda for the meeting so that you can indicate the things you wish to discuss with us.

A typical meeting will last for between an hour and an hour and a half and it is followed up by a written summary of what was discussed.

At a typical meeting with an investment client we will discuss and decide which countries, areas and types of property best suit his or her personal requirements. We are not estate agents. We do not try to sell you any particular property nor, indeed, do we generally even consider individual properties at this stage.

Alternatively, it may be that investing via a Property Investment Club or a Property Investment Fund will suit the client better.

Or the client might be better advised, in his or her particular circumstances, to invest by way of a becoming a developer, a joint venture with a developer or a fixed rate loan to a developer.

We will also discuss and agree the best legal ownership structure, the best tax minimisation structure and the best inheritance structure in your circumstances.

We will usually also discuss where the money is coming from and, if you wish to borrow, the opportunities in the country where the property is located and in the country where you live.

Usually there are also other items that the client wishes us to deal with at that meeting.

Our preliminary meetings cost a fixed £500 + VAT unless you wish to extend the meeting beyond the allocated 1½ hours, in which case we will charge you on a time basis for the extra time involved.

Our Property Finding Service

As we have already said, we are not estate agents. We do, however, provide a property finding service for our investor clients.

If you wish to take advantage of this service we will use our knowledge of the market place and our contacts to locate properties that meet your specification.

We will charge you for the work that we do. We charge a fee of 3% of the value of the property found, subject to a minimum.

Of course, you are not really paying us for the few letters and telephone calls it takes us to find your property. You are paying for the hundreds of hours we spend each year researching the market and for our 20+ years experience and list of contacts.

The good news, however, is that we will very often receive a commission from the estate agent or the developer who is selling the property. This is a ‘thank you’ for introducing you as a buyer. We pay the whole of this commission back to you. It can easily be more than the fee we charge you! For example, if you were buying a property in Spain we might receive a commission of up to 7% of the value of the property in which case, on a property of £200,000, we would end up sending you a cheque for £8,000. This comes as a very pleasant surprise to our clients.

Of course, we do not receive a commission in every case. There are some countries and some places within countries where no commissions are payable or where the commission is, in any event, paid by the buyer and not by the seller. Nonetheless, we end up sending a lot of money to our clients.

Our Property Transfer Service

Once you have found your property – whether using our property finding service or your own initiative – our members will be able to deal with the transfer of the legal ownership of the property into your name.

Ongoing Assistance

Some of our investment clients ask for our ongoing assistance by way, for example, of an annual review of their portfolio. We can then suggest which of the properties, in our view, are likely to have reached their peak and might be sold.

More Information

See our country specific pages for brochures about these various services.

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