January 8, 2013
Real Estate Agencies, Notary offices, Architects, Engineers
St. Maarten benefits from the presence of several and very resourceful real estate agencies that use the services of licensed salespersons. Today we can count on the professionalism and reliability of:
- Sunshine Properties
- Tendal Real Estate
- Remax Island Properties
- Antilles Realty
- St. Maarten Investments
- Island Real Estate Team
- Barclays Caribbean Properties
- century 21 island realty
and many more.
Depending in the listing these agencies hold, they can provide with the necessary information on the property, specifications and asked price from the seller. They can also serve as intermediary between both parties in the event either or both parties request to remain anonymous during the transaction. The real estate agent will also be responsible for coordinating any tour of the property, the preparation of the sale and purchase agreement for both parties to sign and the coordination with the office of the notary in charge of the dossier.
A civil law Notary is a person of integrity appointed by the Queen of Holland to serve the public as an impartial and unbiased witness by identifying persons who come before the notary.
The most common function of the notary is to prevent fraud by attesting that a person actually signed a document.
In Sint-Maarten, the presence of a Notary is required to complete the transfer of title of ownership from the Seller to the Buyer. In such case and once parties have agreed on the terms of the sale, the Notary must receive from either party:
- Copy of passport
- Proof of residency for the purchaser
- Signed sale and purchase agreement
- Deposit from purchaser as specified on the Sale and Purchase Agreement
Upon receiving these documents, the office of the Notary will complete a search at the Cadaster’s Office to verify that the Seller indeed holds the title of ownership for the property he wishes to sell and that such property is free of any encumbrance or liens.
The Notary will then prepare the legal and final documents such as the Deed of Transfer to be signed in his/her presence and will summon both parties at a date and time that is convenient to all parties.
Funds as specified in the Sale and Purchase Agreement must be placed on the escrow account of the Notary and as per the deadlines indicated in the same document. Failure to complete such could prevent the transfer of title from taking place and if the deadline for the completion of such transfer has passed for deposits to be lost by the prospective purchaser.
A simplistic view of the role is that architects create architectures and their responsibilities encompass all that is involved in doing so. This would include articulating the architectural vision, conceptualizing and experimenting with alternative architectural approaches, creating models and component and interface specification documents and validating the architecture against requirements and assumptions.
However, any experienced architect knows that the role involves not just these technical activities, but others that are more political and strategic in nature on the one hand and more like those of a consultant, on the other.
The architect becomes actively involved in the coordination with local administrations that are responsible for the delivery of building permits: he will issue the various plans needed as per the requirements indicated to hime by the administration.
Upon filing out the application form for the building permit, names and contacts of the architect in charge of the project are indeed requested for further references.
In Sint-Maarten, the architect must be licensed to operate on the Dutch Side. It is therefore crucial that before the owner of the parcel of land or residence contracts the services of an architect that he ensures that he is licensed to operate.
In a real estate purchase deal the role of the engineer is to perform the necessary appraisal on the property and/or parcel of land and produce an accurate and reliable report that is the essential element in both negotiation of purchasing terms and support for financing application.
The engineer will also be responsible for continuing supervision on the progress of any construction and will ensure that such construction has respected building requirements in terms of dimensions, boundaries and safety measures.
Upon requesting financing for a project that will be completed through various building stages, a progress report will need to be completed by a local licensed engineer for each financial disbursement to be presented to the contractor.