by Maria Rotger

Ever-increasingly, people decide to live and work in other countries and own properties abroad

They might plan to move overseas after retirement or want to invest in real estate while it is cheap, or simply want to own a place in a foreign country that they fancy.

Over the past decade, buying and selling home abroad has become commonplace. Usually, a significant reason for buying property overseas is that, as a rule, it tends to be a lot cheaper than in your home country, and you will get much more quality for the same money.

Owning a home abroad is a great idea, but it is not always so easy to undertake. Nevertheless, although there are specific problems with buying abroad, judging by the popularity of this action benefits far outweigh the challenges.

Still, while it is a common opinion that buying property abroad is a good investment, one needs to be really smart about what, where, and how to either buy or sell. Indeed, when buying or selling property abroad, it is essential to be careful of whom you deal with and vigilant not to get cheated.

Therefore often, it is best to act on property-related issues through a reputable agency rather than via a private sale. And, it is crucial to pay great attention to all relevant documents and be well acquainted with the details of local regulations. The legal system and procedures to follow may appear very different from those experienced at home. Therefore, one should be aware that high costs and risks may emerge from such transactions due to not being a resident in the respective country.

An additional and specific difficulty appears to be a foreign language that often makes it difficult to negotiate and understand the paperwork, creating the need for someone to translate legal documents and interpret them during negotiations. However, frequently problems with real estate sales arise because lawyers and translators or interpreters who the interested parties have recommended are not to be fully trusted.

In particular, it is crucial that an independent and highly qualified translator makes an accurate legal translation of all contracts and other relevant documents and that a professional interpreter accompanies you to all meetings.

When buying or selling a home, one cannot afford to make any mistakes, as sometimes even minor errors may cause huge damages resulting in lawsuits and legal exposure consuming valuable time and resources. In particular, some mistranslations can cause severe damage to business transactions.


• Translation – communicates the substance of a source-language text by producing a target-language text with equivalent content, thus interpreting the meaning of the source text and attempting to create precisely the same sense in another language. The translation is usually characterized by fidelity or accuracy (i.e., faithfully conveying the whole meaning of the original text) and transparency (i.e., producing grammatically correct and idiomatic text marked by full functional equivalence, to be perceived as if made by a native speaker in their language).

• Official translation, legal translation – legally recognized translation of official documents such as laws, regulations, contracts, or certificates, intended for official use and for being presented to authorities at home and abroad. Accuracy is the single most crucial quality legal translation should exhibit. If translated by a certified or sworn translator, private documents are considered official and notarized if required.

• Sworn translator or interpreter – in some countries, interpreters and translators can register at an official body as sworn translators. Therefore they are recognized by authorities such as court officials and trusted to translate and legalize official documents —often referred to as producing a certified translation.

As a rule, sworn translators have passed a special examination and taken a general oath at a respective level of the judiciary system, having proven their professional expertise and personal aptitude to act as language professionals for courts, official authorities, and notaries.

• Certified and notarized translation – is a translation that makes legal documents valid in certain jurisdictions. For this purpose, it should be certified by an expert legal translation agency, declared to be faithful to the original, and notarized by a public notary or a solicitor whose task is to witness the individual (translator) who came to the office to sign the document in their presence. Such documents may appear legally valid both in the translator’s country and abroad.

• Certified translation services – an agency or company with a team of officially recognized and entitled translators by respective authorities to provide translation services of a specific kind, commonly including the certified legal translation of official documents (contracts, birth and graduation certificates, etc.). Customers can trust such agencies to employ professional translators and interpreters with comprehensive knowledge of the culture, language, law, and local and professional terminology.

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