Client’s Perspective: Signing a promise of sale

A notary public will be the second or third person involved in what will probably be the most important decisions in your life. 

Luckily, I worked with Veronica Mizzi Young before, so it was only natural that when the time came to signing a konvenju (promise of sale) as first-time homeowners, my fiancée and I would ask for her assistance again. If you’re in a similar position and don’t know a notary yet, then consider this a personal recommendation!

As a couple, we’ve always put a lot of time and thought into all our decisions; however, over time, we noticed that the world tends to surprise us with opportunities we would never have expected. 

Often, the more we try to plan things meticulously, the more likely they are bound to go spectacularly awry! In hindsight, many of these unforeseen outcomes end up being far better than anything we could have planned.

“Connections” is the name of the (Maltese) game

We found the perfect place by chance through a work colleague who put us in touch with an old schoolmate that was selling. We hadn’t been looking around seriously for very long; we had gone for only a couple of viewings before, and the kind of property we planned on buying was the complete opposite of this particular property for sale.

Nobody is really prepared to make a decision as hugely consequential as purchasing property for the first time. You can try to be as objective as you want—like we tried to do—but the final “yes” always comes from the heart. 

In our case, the property clicked with us immediately, but we wouldn’t admit it so readily. Directly after the viewing, we went to one of our favourite public gardens, and after a long and animated walk, we decided to buy that property.

Hitting a snag or two

Things are never as easy as they seem to be. We almost thought we had lost our chance as we had to delay signing the promise of sale by a week due to a trip abroad we had planned earlier. 

We had already contacted Veronica by then, who duly gave us a list of all the documents we needed to bring with us and a tentative date for our meeting. With no way to confirm things definitively, we had no choice but to leave everything up to fate.

Luckily, fate was on our side this time. Back in Malta and a few emails and phone calls later, the property was still available and we managed to set a date for the meeting. 

Veronica was incredibly patient with us, and despite already being familiar with some aspects the konvenju process (I helped write that article!), I suddenly found myself doubting everything I knew. I couldn’t believe we were actually about to sign on a property: our very own home-to-be!

Signing the deed

We signed the promise of sale at VMY’s office in Rabat. Always the consummate professional, with an eye for efficiency and simplicity, Veronica had already drafted the contract for us. All that was left was completing the customary KYC and GDPR forms that every notary has to provide to their clients. 

After reading the document together and filling in our personal information, we were finally ready to sign the deed. Veronica would keep the deposit for us and forward the provisional tax to the right department. The whole process took around an hour and when we left, we had all the signed paperwork safely tucked in a VMY folder.

Not quite over yet

Of course, the world couldn’t help itself one more cheeky jab in the ribs. Little did we know that we had signed our promise of sale on the verge of the COVID-19 outbreak in Malta. 

Thankfully, we found a great deal of support from the architect, the bank, and of course, Veronica herself. It’s easy to get lost amid land registry plans, Schedule 8 forms, and property valuation form, but all the professionals involved were eager to guide us and let us submit several documents electronically, or by post if that wasn’t possible.