Buying Real Estate in Georgia
Buying Real Estate in GeorgiaUpdated on Friday 30th October 2020
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Moving to Georgia is an important decision for foreign citizens who decide to leave their home countries. No matter if one decides to relocate here because of a new job or for starting a business, an important decision that comes with it is buying a property in Georgia.
Foreign citizens and companies have the right to acquire real estate in Georgia without complications, however, they need to respect the requirements imposed by the Civil Code. Also, there are several steps that need to be completed in order to ensure the purchase process is done without any problem.
Below, our lawyers in Georgia explain the steps for buying a property in this country. You can rely on us for purchasing any type of property in Georgia.
Foreigners seeking to buy real estate in Georgia
Georgia has become an open country when it comes to foreign investments, however, the government still imposes certain restrictions on ownership of land, which is also common in other small European countries.
Most of the types of properties that can be purchased in Georgia are usually in the residential or commercial areas of cities like Tbilisi, Batumi or Kutaisi, and intended for these purposes. There are no restrictions when buying properties are natural persons who have moved to Georgia and looking for a place to live.
Companies can also buy various types of commercial properties intended for commercial or industrial use.
The only restriction applicable to foreign investors is related to the purchase of agricultural land, however, these can concession such land and still develop farming activities, for example.
If you are a foreign investor or citizen and want to move to Georgia, you can buy a property here without having to worry about lengthy procedures or hassle.
Steps in buying real estate in Georgia
Buying a property is an important decision when deciding to move to another country and Georgia makes no exception. There are a few steps to complete once the decision was made and, among these, we mention the following:
choose the most suitable region/city in accordance with the needs or requirements;
get in touch with a real estate agency or the seller, if the buyer is sure about the decision;
complete a real estate due diligence check-up in order to make sure there are no problems with the selected property;
start the buying procedure by signing a pre-sale agreement before perfecting the transaction;
register the property with the Land Register once the purchase is completed.
Even if the real estate due diligence is not a mandatory step in buying a property, our law firm in Georgia recommends it as a measure of precaution.
How to choose the region in which to buy real estate in Georgia
Georgia is a small country which is why finding and buying a property here is not complicated. The region around the capital Tbilisi is very sought and also cheap. Another city which attracts foreign buyers is Batumi which is chosen by many foreign investors willing to start companies in Georgia.
No matter the choice, real estate due diligence which can be completed with the Land Register in Georgia is recommended.
Our lawyers in Georgia can complete various types of verifications related to real estate purchases.
How to find a property to buy in Georgia
There are various channels through which a foreign citizen or investor can find a property. While some go for the advice of locals who know the market (however, this applies to small portion of foreign people who know someone in Georgia), seek the help of real estate agencies or simply perform an online check, each person decides the most comfortable way to find a property.
Most foreign citizens are attracted by developed regions, such as the one of the capital city Tbilisi. However, Georgia has evolved into an European recognized tourism destination which is why it is not uncommon for people to also consider regions in which they can buy real estate for rental purposes.
No matter where you decide to buy a property, our law firm in Georgia is at your service for guidance in completing all the necessary procedures.
Property verification in Georgia
When deciding to buy real estate in Georgia, a verification of the property is always recommended. The due diligence procedure depends on the type of property to buy. While foreign citizens can purchase houses and apartments, companies can buy constructions and various commercial properties. It should be noted that agricultural land cannot be bought by foreigners in Georgia. Companies interested in completing agricultural activities can, however, concession land for such purposes.
The main aspects that need to be verified when buying real estate in Georgia are related to the property title and encumbrances, such as unpaid mortgages and other debts related to the respective real estate. In the case of commercial properties, searches should be more extensive.
Our lawyers in Georgia can complete such verifications on properties to be acquired by citizens and investors.
The sale-purchase agreement
When buying real estate in Georgia it is always best to first sign a pre-sale agreement in order to retain the property until the final documents are ready. During this stage, an advance deposit is made. Then, the sale-purchase contract can be signed, and the buyer can transfer the remaining amount of money to the bank account of the seller. The contract needs to be notarized by a public notary and registered with the Public Service Hall. In case of contracts drafted in a foreign language, these must be translated.
Once the transaction is completed, the buyer has the obligation of registering the property with the Land Registry based on the sale-purchase contract and the Extract issued by the Public Service Hall.
Foreign citizens buying real estate in Georgia can grant a power of attorney to one of our lawyers in order to complete the procedure on their behalf.
Buying residential real estate in Georgia
The procedures related to buying a property in Georgia as a foreign citizen and as a company are not different, however, it is simpler to purchase residential real estate because of the fewer documents and preparations to make. Furthermore, it is simpler to find a place that matches the taste and needs of an individual or a family.
If you are a foreign citizen who has decided to buy a property and you want to work with us, you can grant one of our lawyers in Georgia a power of attorney through which most of the formalities will be completed without you having to come here. Once all the documents are ready, we will let you know so that you can come and finalize the transaction yourself. Also, the payment can be made by bank transfer in order to simplify the entire procedure.
Buying commercial real estate in Georgia
The purchase of commercial real estate in Georgia is not complicated, however, we do recommend extensive due diligence procedures in order to make sure the property respects all your demands, especially considering the fact such transactions usually involve significant amounts of money.
Our Georgian lawyers can verify all documents attached to the property, as well as the sale-purchase contract in order for you to rest assured you have made a good decision for your company.
If you have any questions related to the legal procedures associated with purchase any type of property, for commercial or industrial use, please send them to us by email.
The real estate market in Georgia
Georgia has become an appealing investment destination during the last few years which has determined the development of the real estate market. Nevertheless, prices here remain quite competitive compared to other European destinations.
It is worth noting that:
Georgia’s economy increased by 4.7% in 2018, according to the International Monetary Fund;
properties rented in Tbilisi can yield profits of 12% to 18% of the rental price;
the property tax in Georgia is calculated based on the value of the property and does not exceed 1% of this value;
for 100,000 euros, foreign citizens can obtain residence by investment through the purchase of a property.
FAQ on real estate buying procedures in Georgia
Must I present in the country for the purchase of a property?
No, you don’t need to travel here for formalities as real estate due diligence or agreement drafting procedures, as our lawyers can handle this part of the process.
Is it hard to buy real estate in Georgia?
No, it is not, as there are no special requirements to comply with once you have found the property you want to buy.
Must I pay an advance once I decide on a property?
Yes, in order to retain the respective property, it is recommended to make a deposit as a sign of good faith, however, there are no specific requirements in this sense.
How long does it take to buy a property in Georgia?
The purchase procedure can be completed in a matter of weeks, however, it all depends on how soon the documents are ready.
Are there any other formalities I need to complete after I buy a property in Georgia?
Yes, the last step you need to complete in order to become the legal owner of a Georgia-based property is to register it with the Land Registry.
Can I own more properties in Georgia?
Yes, you can. There are no restrictions related to the number of properties a person can own.
For assistance in buying real estate in Georgia, please contact our law firm.