Process of buying a property in Dubai

Process of buying a property in Dubai

Buying a property in Dubai, Step-by-step Guide!


The process of buying a property in Dubai is smooth and fast, assuming you are using the services of the RERA certified agent who will guide you through the process end to end and handle any potential challenges you may face. The Dubai Land Department, along with the legislating bodies in charge, have made sure the process of purchasing a property in Dubai is straightforward and streamlined. However, the home buying process in Dubai depends on the type of purchase. A cash or a mortgage purchase, a ready or an off-plan property – and whether you are buying from an individual owner, company or developer. All these factors will dictate the time frame and paperwork required.

Here is an insight on the four scenarios when buying a ready property on the secondary market.

Cash To Cash transaction

Cash buyer & Mortgage-free property

Once a property is selected and after mutual agreement on the price, buyer needs to issue a 10% security deposit to the name of the title deed holder, which will be held by the agent and returned when transfer takes place. The broker then prepares the contract between buyer and seller, also know as form F.

Step two and after signing the contract by all parties, the seller then applies for a no-objection certificate NOC from the developer which will state that all services charges and fees are cleared and developer has no objection to the sale. NOC should be in Arabic and addressed to Dubai Land Department. The NOC charges vary from developer to another and ranges from AED 500 to AED 5,000, takes a five to seven days usually and is paid by seller.

The DLD only conducts transfers if both parties to a transaction are GCC nationals; all other transactions must be done through a DLD-accredited RT office. Both parties or their legal representatives, through a valid power of attorney, must attend the transfer. The buyer must bring the following manager’s cheques :

Property Price :

  • 100% from selling price to the name of the seller (Manager chq). Buyer will get back his security cheque.

Land Department Fees:

  • 4% from selling price + 580 AED (If Apartment, Villa) or + 430 AED (If Land) (Manager chq).

Registration Trustee Fees: cash only

  • 4,000 AED + 200 AED (5%VAT) if the price of the property equal or more than 500,000 AED.
  • 2,000 AED + 100 AED (5%VAT) if the price of the property less than 500,000 AED.

Broker Fees:

  • 2% of the property price

Required Documents:

  • Original title Deed.
  • Original NOC from Developer.
  • Original passport, visa, Emirates ID (seller and buyer).
  • Signed form F

In the case that the property is rented, the seller must refund the rent security deposit and the balance of the rent, on a pro-rata basis, from the day of transfer back to the buyer. On the other hand, the balance of the service charges must be refunded back to the seller from the day of transfer on a pro-rata basis as well.

Once all payments cleared, DLD then issues the Original new title deed which will be handed over to the buyer along with keys and access cards for the property. The cash-to-cash process time frame can take from One to Three weeks.

Cash To Mortgage Transaction

Cash Buyer & Mortgaged Property

In the scenario of a cash buyer and a mortgaged property, the first step should made by seller where he needs to approach his bank requesting for a Liability Letter which will state the balance of the loan, as well as any fees or penalties. The liability letter has a validity period ranging from 7 to 15 days, depending on the bank.

If the seller does not have the funds to settle the mortgage, then the buyer must do it. Since a cash buyer needs protection against the seller transferring a property to another person, or changing the terms of the agreement after the buyer pays off the seller’s loan, it is important to “block” the property. Once the liability letter is received, the parties must go to the Registration Trustee office to block it.

The parties must bring the following documents and manager’s cheques:

Required Documents:

  • Original title Deed.
  • Original NOC from Developer.
  • Original passport, visa, Emirates ID (seller and buyer).
  • Signed form F
  • Liability letter

Property Price :

  • Liability letter amount payable to the bank by the buyer (Manager chq)
  • Cheque for the seller (purchase price minus liability amount, held by the RT until the transfer is completed)

Blocking Fees:

  • AED 1,520 payable by buyer to the DLD (Manager chq)

Land Department Fees:

  • 4% from selling price + 580 AED (If Apartment, Villa) or + 430 AED (If Land) (Manager chq).

Registration Trustee Fees: cash only

  • 4,000 AED + 200 AED (5%VAT) if the price of the property equal or more than 500,000 AED.
  • 2,000 AED + 100 AED (5%VAT) if the price of the property less than 500,000 AED.

Broker Fees:

  • 2% of the property price

After the mortgage is settled, the clearance letter and original title deed are provided to the seller.

The NOC process then takes place. When received, the parties proceed to the RT office to transfer the property. The cheques are disbursed and the buyer takes the original title deed.

Mortgage to Cash Transaction

Mortgage Buyer & Mortgage-Free property

As per the updated LTV rules and guidelines by the UAE Central Bank, and in the case of a first-time buyer, banks will provide finance of up to 80% of the purchase price. Meaning the buyer must have a 20% deposit as well as associated fees to contribute to the purchase.

Once the parties have signed the contract and the deposit is handed over, the bank will conduct a valuation or appraisal of the property’s value. The valuation fee generally ranges from AED 2,500 to AED 3,500 and is paid by the buyer.

If the property is valued for at least the purchase price, the bank issues the final offer letter (FOL) to the buyer that includes all the terms and conditions of the loan and mortgage. The buyer arranges with the bank to sign the FOL and issues security cheques to the bank, as required.

The parties then apply for the NOC. Once it is obtained, the bank schedules the transfer at its preferred RT office. The buyer must bring the following manager’s cheques:

Property Price :

  • 20% from selling price to the name of the seller (Manager chq). Buyer will get back his security cheque.

Mortgage Registration Fees:

  • 0.25% per cent of the loan amount, plus AED 290 payable to the DLD

Land Department Fees:

  • 4% from selling price + 580 AED (If Apartment, Villa) or + 430 AED (If Land) (Manager chq).

Registration Trustee Fees: cash only

  • 4,000 AED + 200 AED (5%VAT) if the price of the property equal or more than 500,000 AED.
  • 2,000 AED + 100 AED (5%VAT) if the price of the property less than 500,000 AED.

Broker Fees:

  • 2% of the property price

At transfer, the bank brings a cheque payable to the seller for the remaining balance of the purchase price. The mortgage is then registered with the DLD. If it is a conventional loan, the title deed is issued in the name of the buyer. If it is an Islamic (Sharia) loan, the lender is listed as the landlord and the buyer as tenant. In either type of mortgage, the original title deed is given to the bank to hold, until it is paid in full.

Mortgage to Mortgage Transaction

Finance Buyer & Mortgaged Property

This is by far the lengthier process scenario, with two mortgages, and two bank probably. That makes the most challenging part is the expiry dates of the documents throughout the process, such as the developer’s NOC , liability letter, valuation and final offer letter.

Once buyer and seller sign the agreement, the buyer’s bank conducts the valuation of the property and the FOL is signed. Next, the seller requests a liability letter from his bank. Once the liability letter is issued, it is sent to the buyer’s bank, which settles the mortgage with the seller’s bank.

After the mortgage is settled and the clearance letter and original title deed have been received, the parties apply for the NOC. When the NOC is ready, the buyer’s bank arranges the transfer.

At the transfer, the seller’s existing mortgage is released. The fee for the release is AED 1,290, which is paid by the seller. The property transfer documents are signed. The buyer provides the cheques, as described previously, and the buyer’s bank issues a cheque to the seller for the remaining balance of the purchase price.

The buyer’s mortgage is then registered and the buyer’s bank retains the original title deed until the mortgage is paid in full.

Useful Links

Dubai Land Department FORMS :

Registration Trustee office :

Title deed verification :

Investment opportunities :

Great you took the time to read full article, feel free to reach out me for assistance with your real estate matters.


Sofiene Haddad

Senior Sales Manager
+971503390477

For all your real estate related matters, please reach out to me !

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