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Sulyk Roman

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 Familiar situation when you have chosen an apartment and are ready to buy it, but at the stage of checking the documents it turns out that the property will be sold not by the owner, but by his representative by power of attorney? Such cases are not uncommon, and often, due to certain risks, buyers refuse to buy an apartment without the presence of the owner. Are such risks justified? Is it worth agreeing to such agreements or not? Let's find out.

 What is a general power of attorney for sale?

A general power of attorney is a document that allows a property owner to entrust its sale to proxies. Such persons have the right to dispose of real estate at their discretion, to represent in state, notarial bodies the interests of the owner related to the alienation of real estate, to receive funds for it. During the sale, the property owner does not need to be present at the notary at the conclusion of the transaction, everything is done for him by a proxy who has the right to sign.

This document has a number of advantages:

Real estate can be sold even if the owner is abroad or for other reasons is not able to come to the notary to enter into an agreement. The law does not limit the list of grounds on which a power of attorney may be issued.

Save time. A property owner with a busy schedule does not need to worry about negotiations with the buyer, collecting documents, arranging the signing of a preliminary contract and the main purchase agreement, because the trustee will do everything for him.

A trustee can be relatives or family members, as well as any person you trust, such as a realtor or a lawyer - the list of persons is not defined by law.

 What are the risks for the buyer?

 In itself, a general power of attorney is a completely secure document, if it is properly executed, issued at the will of the owner, in compliance with all laws.

 However, the absence of the owner during the transaction, the inability to be sure of his will and ability to work, frees the hands of fraudsters, and a power of attorney is often a convenient tool in their dark affairs.

 Why do most real estate fraud schemes involve a power of attorney?

The authenticity of the signature on the power of attorney can be confirmed only by examination. Notaries check only the presence of such a power of attorney in the register, whether all documents are provided, whether the procedure was followed during the conclusion of the agreement. What scammers use.

The signature may be genuine, but the owner of the apartment signed the power of attorney as a result of pressure, threats and blackmail. It is also impossible to check the will of the owner without his presence and communication with him.

In case of observance of the legal procedure of the transaction, the notary shall not be liable for the consequences of concluding the agreement. Preliminary verification and risk analysis is the responsibility of the parties to the agreement.

What should alert?

Representative by power of attorney - a stranger. The power of attorney is usually issued to trusted relatives or loved ones. It can also be verified by professional realtors or lawyers who have authority and value their reputation. In this case, the fact of family ties can be verified by documents, the data of lawyers are contained in open registers. Such people are easy to find on social networks, their activities are legal and transparent. If the power of attorney is issued to a third party, the connections and reasons for such a power of attorney for this person cannot be verified, you need to order a power of attorney verification from lawyers.

Age of the apartment owner. Elderly people are at risk and often fall victim to fraud. Often such people have visual impairments or mental disorders that do not allow them to read and understand the essence of the document. Such people are easily misled and forced to do something with psychological and even physical pressure.

The power of attorney is issued in another city or in another country. In this case, it is more difficult to verify the voluntariness of its signing and who actually signed it. You need to find out the motivation of the seller, why he sells the apartment by power of attorney. If he does not hear a reasoned answer - it is guaranteed a risky deal

Person of the representative. Often fictitious persons are disadvantaged or disadvantaged people without a permanent place of residence. In case of violation of your rights, it will be impossible to find such persons or to collect funds from them. Therefore, the identity of the representative as well as the owner should be thoroughly checked and not in doubt.

Low cost of the apartment. The price of the apartment is more than 15% lower than the market - a favorite hook of fraudsters. Buyers easily lose vigilance and fall into the trap. In order to sell a liquid real estate in a short time, it is enough to calculate the correct market value of the apartment. Such objects are in demand, you do not have to look for a buyer for a long time, so it makes no sense to underestimate the cost of the apartment. In this case, the buyer needs to clearly understand the seller's motivation for the rush to sell and draw conclusions.

 How to minimize risks?

  • check the notary who issued the power of attorney;
  • check the correctness of the power of attorney, its validity;
  • meet and talk to the owner of the apartment in person if possible;
  • check the identity of the owner and representative by power of attorney, including through social networks, find out their social status and family composition;
  • check the history of the apartment, talk to neighbors, concierges, representatives of persons check the history of the apartment.

 Buy by power of attorney or not? Are the risks justified?

 Buying an apartment by power of attorney is always risky. However, sometimes there are objective circumstances that do not allow the owner to be present at the conclusion of the transaction. For example, the owner's residence abroad or a banal reluctance to deal with the issue of sale, because it requires a lot of effort and time.

 Such an agreement can be agreed if such risks are justified by the low cost and legal purity of the property. In this case, we strongly recommend that you order a legal inspection of the property and enter into the agreement only accompanied by a law firm or a specialized lawyer - they are the only ones who can guarantee the legality of the transaction. Neither realtors, nor notaries, nor any representatives will be able to give such a guarantee and will have to buy a "cat in a bag".

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