If licensed brokers are involved in brokering a real estate sale and purchase transaction in Dubai, then from 1 August 2017, brokers will need to initiate their contractual relationship with their respective seller clients or buyer clients via online platforms which have recently been rolled out by the Dubai Land Department (DLD). The DLD envisages the primary portal will be through the DLD's Dubai brokers app which brokers can download onto their mobile phones.
The Dubai brokers app will have many helpful features, which includes enabling a prospective seller or buyer to search through a list of brokers that have experience working in a particular locality in Dubai. Such list is generated based on the brokers previous registered real estate sale and purchase transactions with the DLD.
From 1 August, the following forms must be initiated through the DLD online platform:
Form A: Contract between seller and broker;
Form B: Contract between buyer and broker; and
Form F: Property sales contract between seller and buyer (if brokers are involved in the transaction).
Once the above mentioned contracts have been generated electronically via the online platform by the brokers involved, it is the DLD's expectation that parties to these contracts will 'sign' them via merely clicking the 'accept' button at the end of the terms and conditions of these electronic contracts.
We understand the DLD has instructed registration trustee offices not to accept a paper form of the Form F contract or initiate (create) a Form F contract in their offices from 1 August. Instead an officer at a registration trustee office should ensure that the Form F contract for the transaction is already prepared through the online platform and 'signed' by the parties electronically before the parties attend to the registration trustee office to complete the transaction.
The idea is that once the electronic Form F contract has been signed electronically by all the relevant parties, then a QR code will be generated on receipt of the last electronic signature (that is upon the last party to the transaction clicking the 'accept' button). An officer at the registration trustee office simply needs to scan the QR code to download the electronically signed Form F contract, in order for the officer to complete the transaction. Thus saving the officer's time to type all the pertinent information of the parties into its computer, which is what is currently happening at registration trustee offices).
Currently, the above process is not mandatory when brokers are not involved, or when the transaction is a primary off-plan sale (that is, the sale of an off-plan property from a developer to a buyer).
The above process will be mandatory when brokers are involved, and when the transaction is a secondary off-plan sale, or a sale of a completed property.
The DLD appreciates that the above process is not likely to be a 'one size fits all' and is welcoming feedback from stakeholders so that the DLD can continuously improve the process and experience for all users.
For individual brokers, the below checklist may be helpful.
1. Individual brokers should ensure that their contact details (especially their mobile number(s)) registered with the Dubai Land Department are up to date.
2. A broker should download the Dubai Brokers app onto his mobile phone.
3. When a seller reaches out to a broker, the broker should request:
a) a clear copy of the seller's title deed. A clear image of the QR code on the title deed would be very handy), and
b) the seller's email address and mobile number (not a mobile number of his friend) given that the seller can provide his electronic signature with respect to the Form A and Form F contracts mentioned above via his own mobile phone. The seller's email address will also be helpful as the seller may also provide his electronic signature to the Form A and Form F contracts via his email.
4. When a buyer reaches out to a broker, the broker should request:
a) a clear copy of the buyer's UAE Emirates ID card, if available, if not, a copy of his passport, together with information of the properties that the buyer would like to consider buying, and
b) the buyer's mobile number (not a mobile number of his friend) given that the buyer can provide his electronic signature with respect to the Form B and Form F contracts mentioned above via his own mobile phone. The buyer's email address will also be helpful as the buyer may also provide his electronic signature to the Form B and Form F contracts via his email.