Buying real estate in the Republic of Georgia? There are a number of legal checks and other processes that can help safeguard your purchase. The options can get pretty complicated and it’s often hard to know what is essential and what is not, depending on the type of property you are purchasing.

In this article I’ll sum up the main options to consider and why each may be important in your individual case.

We have grouped essential services into packages to help you know what is best for you. However, if you need individual services rather than complete packages, simply contact us for a quote and let us know which of the services below you need.

Who Are You Buying From? Developer Or Individual Seller?

The legal processes you’ll want to consider will vary depending on who you are buying from. Below you’ll find clear notes on whether a process is necessary or not, depending on your case. The following 3 categories are the most common scenarios.

Developer: Off-Plan

This is when construction has not yet been started, or is in progress.

With off-plan real estate, you should be signing a pre-purchase agreement which sets out the conditions that will lead up to a final purchase agreement being signed and completed. The pre-purchase agreement will define the conditions for which stages of construction will be considered complete, as well as the payment schedule, amongst other things. The title will be transferred once construction is completed and the conditions of the pre-purchase agreement are met. A purchase agreement will then need to be signed at this time.

Developer: Newly Built

This is when the main construction is completed, perhaps to a black frame standard, or more. In this state, the developer will sell the property directly to the buyer, and the property has never been lived in or previously owned.

You will be signing a purchase agreement directly with the developer and transferring the title at the point of sale.

Seller: Previously Owned

This is when the real estate has had 1 or more previous owners. You will be signing a purchase agreement directly with the current owner and transferring the title at the point of sale.

Seller: You Are The Seller

If you are the one selling your real estate, then there are fewer essential processes to consider, but you still want to make sure that the sale is completed, that the purchase agreement is sufficient, and that everything is done correctly.

What About Through An Estate Agent?

Purchases are never made directly through an estate agent and most estate agents do not (or cannot) offer quality legal service or direct assistance with the transfer of the title. You should also consider that estate agents in Georgia make commissions directly from the seller/developer. Thereby their interests are directly aligned with the seller, not the buyer. For this reason, taking advice from a real estate agent is highly risky.

Note: if an agent in Georgia ever asks you to pay a sales commission on your real estate purchase, you are likely being scammed.

If you would like the security of having an independent party represent you, ExpatHub’s Buy-Side Concierge service is set up to represent your interests, as we take a fee directly from you, not from a sales commission. We work for you, not the seller, and help you avoid all the typical problems of dealing with agents in Georgia.

Essential Real Estate Legal Services Explained 

In this section we describe the most important legal checks, what they mean and why you need them. These are all things that should always be performed before purchasing real estate in Georgia, in order to avoid a lot of potentially critical issues.

The below items are included in our “Lite” package, unless otherwise noted. Conditions apply.

1. Purchase Agreement Review / Template

In which cases do you need it?

  • Developer: Newly Built
  • Seller: Previously Owned
  • Seller/Developer: You Are The Seller

What is it?

The purchase agreement is the legal document that defines the conditions of the transfer of title. In Georgia the seller/developer often provides this document, which should be thoroughly reviewed by your lawyer to ensure that the conditions do not undermine your interests as a buyer.

In cases where the seller does not provide the purchase agreement, the buyer can supply it.

Why would you need it?

The signing of an agreement that has not been fully reviewed could lead to many nasty surprises after the title transfer is completed. These could include the seller not taking any responsibility for known defects, the property being smaller than listed (affecting its real market value), registered liens going through unnoticed, errors that may lead to rejection of title transfer by the authorities, mismatches between written and verbal agreements, and many more potential issues.

ExpatHub Services:

  1. Purchase Agreement Review. Our lawyers will review the purchase agreement and its appendices. We leave legal comments relating to issues or concerns with the agreement for you to review. Up to 10 pages are included in the “Lite” package. Additional pages at a surcharge.
  2. Full Written Analysis (Legal Opinion). We go beyond highlighting concerning parts of the agreement and can provide an in-depth written analysis to help you understand every level of the issue we have identified. Optional add-on, please request this when you get a quote, if needed.
  3. Purchase Agreement Template. Ideal if you are selling your property, or the person you are buying from does not have a bi-lingual purchase agreement. INSTEAD of a purchase agreement review, you can receive a copy of our standard bilingual purchase agreement template. Revisions of the agreement (extra fees apply) and filling of essential custom details of the buyer and seller (included) are optional. Included in the “Lite” package as an alternative to the purchase agreement review above (1.1). Or, the template can be purchased separately from any package.
  4. Legal Translation Of Existing Purchase Agreement. If the agreement exists but is only in Georgian, we can translate the document to be fully bilingual in English. This service is at an additional cost.

2. Pre-Purchase Agreement Review / Template

In which cases do you need it?

  • Developer: Off-Plan
  • Developer: Newly Built (Occasionally)
  • Developer: You Are The Developer

What is it?

The pre-purchase agreement will define the conditions under which stages of construction will be considered complete, as well as the payment schedule, amongst other things. A pre-purchase agreement will usually be required for cases when the property is not at the final stage/condition, or when the purchase price is being paid in installments.

In cases where the seller does not provide the pre-purchase agreement, the buyer can supply it.

Why would you need it?

You are liable for making payments based on the agreed payment schedule. If work is not completed to the standards agreed, the agreement needs to protect you from being liable, amongst other things. The pre-purchase agreement also outlines all the terms that would be covered under the purchase agreement, so you will have no surprises once you reach that stage.

ExpatHub Services:

  1. Pre-Purchase Agreement Review. Our lawyers will review the pre-purchase agreement and its appendices. We leave legal comments relating to issues or concerns with the agreement for you to review. Up to 10 pages are included in the “Lite” package. Additional pages at a surcharge.
  2. Full Written Analysis. We go beyond highlighting concerning parts of the agreement and can provide an in-depth analysis to help you understand every level of the issue we have identified. Optional add-on, please request this when you get a quote, if needed.
  3. Pre-Purchase Agreement Template. INSTEAD of a pre-purchase agreement review, you can receive a copy of our standard bilingual pre-purchase agreement template. Revisions of the agreement (extra fees apply) and filling of essential custom details of the buyer and seller (included) are optional. Included in the “Lite” package as an alternative to the pre-purchase agreement review above (2.1). Or, the template can be purchased separately from any package.
  4. Legal Translation Of Existing Pre-Purchase Agreement. If the agreement exists but is only in Georgian, we can translate the document to be fully bilingual in English. Not included in the “Lite” package. To be purchased separately.

3. Renewal And Checking Of The Property Extract

In which cases do you need it?

  • Developer: Newly Built
  • Seller: Previously Owned

What is it?

Renewal of the property extract (title/deed) to obtain updated information about any legal defects (mortgages, obligations, liens, claims, etc.) that can be on the property. 

Why would you need it?

The extract must be renewed in order to have the most up-to-date information. Mortgages and other obligations left on the property would be passed on to the new owner (you) if no provision is made in the purchase agreement to clarify how they should be handled. Certain obligations can prevent the completion of the sale until resolved by the owner. Claims on the property may mean that the seller is not even permitted to make the sale. 

ExpatHub Services:

  1. Renewal of Extract. We’ll inform you of everything we discover in a short report. Included in the “Lite” package.
  2. Checking 3 Previous Extracts. Further investigation into 3 previous extracts to check no mortgages or other obligations have been passed forward. Included in the “standard” package.

4. Due Diligence: Background Checks On The Property And Seller/Developer

In which cases do you need it?

  • Developer: Off-Plan
  • Developer: Newly Built
  • Seller: Previously Owned

What is it?

Background checks will include our checking for listings in the debtor’s registry, ownership of other immovable property (seller), and the reputation of the developer (there are limited options for this specific type of check, depending on the developer). The check will also show any legal defects (liens, mortgages, restrictions, obligations, etc.) which are present on the property. We will also be checking the power of attorney, if one is present.

Why would you need it?

A seller/developer with debts may lead to issues with the sale or construction, preventing it from completing. Checking other properties an individual seller owns is important to assess their overall financial strength. Developers with a poor track record of completing projects, or with huge debts, are a very high risk as an investment.

ExpatHub Services:

  1. Performance Of Background Checks. We’ll inform you of everything we discover in a short report. Included in the “Lite” package.

Compare our real estate legal service inclusions and pricing here.

Recommended Legal Services For Peace Of Mind

Real Estate Georgia

Though some clients are happy to risk going no further than the essential checks above, we offer a number of services that check additional aspects of the sale that could otherwise lead to problems. We also offer additional expertise for parts of the process you may not feel qualified to do yourself – such as negotiations in Georgian language.

The below items are included in our “Standard” package, unless otherwise noted. Conditions apply.

5. Agreement Negotiations With The Seller / Buyer

In which cases do you need it?

  • Developer: Off-Plan
  • Developer: Newly Built
  • Seller: Previously Owned
  • Seller: You Are The Seller

What is it?

Legal issues with the deal/agreement are rarely immediately solved. Our team can negotiate on your behalf to get the required changes made.

Why would you need it?

The seller/developer or their legal representative will want to get the best deal possible for them. Their level of English also may not be at the required standard to discuss detailed legal issues. Having one of our legal experts perform negotiations and represent your interests can simplify matters immensely.

The legally binding part of your bilingual agreement is the Georgian version, not the English version. We negotiate the Georgian version directly, or in English if you are buying from a non-Georgian seller.

ExpatHub Services:

  1. Legal negotiations, up to 2 hours. Our lawyers negotiate all the points of contention identified during the purchase/pre-purchase agreement review, to get you the best possible outcome without needing to deal with negotiating yourself. Up to 2 hours are included in the “standard” package. 
  2. Full legal and offer negotiations. If a lot of changes need to be negotiated, and/or you would also like us to negotiate on more than just the agreement, our team can represent you in full. Included in the “premium” package, see below.

6. Full Translation Check

In which cases do you need it?

  • Developer: Off-Plan
  • Developer: Newly Built
  • Seller: Previously Owned

What is it?

We check that the English language version of your agreement is a completely accurate translation of the legally binding Georgian language version.

Why would you need it?

The legally binding part of your bilingual agreement is usually the Georgian version, not the English version. This means that, although you may resolve all issues in the English version, that is no guarantee that some very important details may have been lost in translation and may leave you exposed once the Georgian version is legally enforced. In cases where you have requested corrections to the English version, we ensure that the Georgian version is updated to accurately reflect your requested changes.

ExpatHub Services:

  1. Translation Check. We confirm the accuracy of the translation and provide the necessary corrections. The first 10 pages are included in the “standard” package. Additional pages at a surcharge.

7. In-Person Assistance With The Registration & Title Transfer Proceedings

In which cases do you need it?

  • Developer: Newly Built
  • Seller: Previously Owned
  • Seller: You Are The Seller

What is it?

Our representative accompanies you to the Public Service Hall to assist and oversee the transfer of the title and to handle any last-minute questions and requests from you or the other party.

Why would you need it?

If you are not familiar with the process and do not speak Georgian, having an expert to assist you will ensure things are done correctly and there are no misunderstandings.

ExpatHub Services:

  1. Registration Assistance Service. One of our lawyers accompanies you to the transfer of title appointment to ensure the transfer proceeds correctly. The 4 business day transfer governmental fee is included in the price. Included in the “standard” package. Faster service (same day OR next business day) at a surcharge.
  2. Power of Attorney. This service allows us, as your legal representative, to make the transfer of title on your behalf, without your presence. This service can be purchased separately.

Compare our Real Estate legal service inclusions and pricing here.

Additional Premium Real Estate Legal Services

A number of special scenarios may lead you to need additional services beyond the essential and standard options.

The below items are included in our “Premium” package, unless otherwise noted. Conditions apply.

8. Transaction structure & tax analysis.

In which cases do you need it?

  • Developer: Off-Plan
  • Developer: Newly Built
  • Seller: Previously Owned
  • Seller: You Are The Seller

What is it?

Analysis and structuring of the purchase transaction from the tax perspective to ensure minimal tax leakage. Includes cost & risk analysis between different entity types, as well as whether it makes financial sense to apply for any tax breaks, such as the tax reduction on renting out residential properties.

Why would you need it?

Avoid any tax surprises with your purchase or sale. Learn your options to minimize taxes.

ExpatHub Services:  

  1. Structure & Tax Analysis (up to 60 mins). Meet with our senior tax attorney (online or in-person) to discuss all structure and tax matters relating to the sale. Included in the “premium” package.

9. Handling All legal & Offer Negotiations With The Seller

Discussed in item 6 above. In addition to standard negotiations of revisions to the agreement, we offer extra time spent negotiating (especially useful on more complex cases that will need more than 2 hours), we also assist with negotiating the offer, as required.

ExpatHub Services:

  1. Full legal and offer negotiations. If a lot of changes need to be negotiated, and/or you would also like us to negotiate on more than just the agreement, our team can represent you in full. Included in the “premium” package.

10. 20% Discount On Legal Residency Services (Residency Via Property Investment)

In which cases might you need it?

  • Developer: Off-Plan (Note: off-plan property cannot be used for residency purposes until the title is transferred)
  • Developer: Newly Built
  • Seller: Previously Owned

What is it?

If the value of your real estate will exceed $100,000 USD, then the owner can use that ownership to support their legal residency application and the application of immediate family members.

Why would you need it?

If you intend to get residency for yourself or your family, the 20% discount could be quite significant and make it worth upgrading from standard to premium, in some cases.

ExpatHub Services:

  1. Legal Residency Via 100k USD Investment. Get a 20% discount off that service for your whole family. Included in the “premium” package.

11. Purchase or Pre-Purchase Agreement Review – Full Written Analysis (Legal Opinion)

This service goes beyond our basic review (See items 1 & 2 above) and includes a detailed written analysis (legal opinion) and explanation of each of the points we identify in the agreement as problematic.

ExpatHub Services: See items 1.2 and 2.2 in the essentials section above. Optional add-on, please request this when you get a quote, if needed.

12. Power of Attorney (PoA) Purchasing

In which cases do you need it?

  • In all cases, whether you are the buyer or seller, when you are unable to attend the registration and title transfer appointment in person.

What is it?

You give us the legal right to represent you for the transfer of title, transfer of funds, and/or any other elements of the process where you will not be able to perform the required actions yourself. We draft your PoA and assist with its completion, including the necessary local translation to the Georgian language.

Why would you need it?

You will not be in Georgia at the time of purchase, will not be able to attend legal appointments in person, or need us to carry out legal actions at any time during the process.

ExpatHub Services:

  1. Power of Attorney. This service allows us, as your legal representative, to make the transfer of title on your behalf, without your presence. This service is not included in the premium package. It can be purchased separately.

Compare our real estate legal service inclusions and pricing here.

Buy-Side Concierge

Our legal packages assist with the checks, negotiations, and purchase of your real estate.

Our buy-side package is designed for those who do not have the time, experience, or inclination to deal with the whole real estate process independently. This is especially useful for persons who will not be in Georgia the whole time, or at all, during the process.

It’s a start to finish real estate assistance package, including:

  • Property research and vetting.
  • Dealing with difficult real estate agents. As well as access to our preferred agents list.
  • Remote property viewing as well as translator assistance at viewings.
  • All our premium legal services.
  • After sale care and assistance, tax filing, rental management assistance, and much more.
  • Personal assistance and advice from start to finish.
  • And much more…

To get the full details on what is included, see our buy-side package info here.


Join our community group of experts & expats on Facebook. Practical discussions on business, tax, relocation, real estate, and other expat issues. | Join Our Tbilisi Expat e-News. | Download Our Free eBook: The Georgia Expat Guide.


Tom Williams
Tom Williams

Managing Partner @ ExpatHub.GE | Expert on Tbilisi/Georgia re-location, visas/residency, business, food, wine and more. Previously from the UK, now a full time expat in Tbilisi.