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Due Dilligence

Discussion in 'Egypt property' started by Flyerman, Sep 24, 2008.

  1. Flyerman

    Flyerman New Member

    I have read a few of the comments about West Side Village and would like to add a few comments that I hope are taken in the spirit that they are meant, which is simply to help buyers make good choices.

    I must first admit I am a fully disclosed and paid up agent here and my company, Jet2Let Property does indeed market West Side Village, amongst others, in Hurghada and Sahl Hasheesh.

    Comments here could have applied to any number of other developments around the world. I saw people, including myself, making the same investment mistakes so I set out to arm all investors to the best of my ability on how to conduct the due diligence process.

    I thought I would add a few points here tha may be of use to people considering buying in Egypt or indeed elsewhere. I have the full report available downloadable at my blog site

    You will note that most agent sites have a disclaimer, and often brochures will have comments to indicate that images and the details are for indication only. Pretty pictures of pyramids and the like are there to attract your attention, and not to say the development is a stones throw away from a pyramid, for example.

    We are bombarded with information and I think I have to admit that unless I see some nice pictures and some alluring words I might never look twice at the offering.

    So when buy a property anywhere the main focus must be on the contract you sign. The natural reaction will be to give to a lawyer and if says ok then it must be. Wrong. You need the skills to manage your lawyer.

    I won't discuss here the obvious benefit for an independent lawyer (covered by UK/Irish Law Society), however the skill's required are to be able to understand from your lawyers perspective. Believe me, he does not read agents or developers web site on what has been promised.

    So we should check what is in the contract and if its not there, then accept that it probably will not be there at completion. I would also ask for the lawyer to confirm that the English translation from Arabic is accurate. Typically, in case of dispute, its the local language which is specified as to prevail. My past experience has produced some of this comment on kitchens:

    1/ what literally translates as a "kitchen box" is actually not a nice set of units - but means an area to put your own kitchen in. Check translations.

    2/ local builders kitchens can be so nasty that there is zero value to having them in. Buy without kitchen so you can coordinate with furniture

    3/ I always like to design my own kitchen to ensure i get some nice touches like a built in microwave or maybe a larger fridge freezer or even a dishwasher

    4/ Don't think that because the property is a load cheaper than your home country that the kitchen and furniture should be as well.

    In emerging markets such as Egypt its common not to have kitchens included. Why? The only previous sales will have been to locals. Builder have in the past built for locals and locals often buy unfinished apartments, as they want to get the home the way they like. Typically, labour is cheap and they know that they can supervise the work and get exactly what they want.

    Moving on from whats included to other brochure talk such as "private beach access" and "free use of spa". assume nothing will be free unless its documented in the contract. Indeed free things may not be good as if its a pure investment property you may prefer your tennants to carry costs of use of facilities.

    Due Diligence is a huge area but my thought is that I am pushing to make contracts for common availability before payment of reservation fees. I am already there fro a few developments and hopefully more soon. You will then assess upfront what you are getting.

    My final point is that in Egypt long contractual negotiation is unlikely. The culture can be quite different to what you expect. It can be a case of "take it or leave it". A developer may not want to have lots of different contracts they could fall foul of being in breach of. All this needs to go in the pot for assessing the risk of investing here.

    Careful due diligence is clearly vitally important. Agents may be helpful, but if you remember that they are introducing you to a seller and its the seller's contract you sign, then this may help to put marketing material in perspective.

    I also admit to, in the past, having acted in good faith on the information provided by a developer diligently passing on answers to questions from buyers If these are found not to be supported by the contract then its very regrettable, and annoying, but not the case of an agent misleading with intent.

    Finally, i will add that when comparing properties, like west side village, with others, remember the saying "you often get what you pay for". Raw material costs have risen sharply and doubled in some cases, in Egypt. The finishing of developments costs real money and corners may be cut. Inferior product means less saleability, and rental, later.

    any comments would be welcome.
  2. Lsab

    Lsab New Member

    Thanks for taking the time to write this post Lance. Extremely helpful information that needs to go on a thread that more members will read. I'll have a think as to where.

  3. Flyerman

    Flyerman New Member

    Hi Linda,

    and thank you for your kind words. Please move/copy wherever you see fit as this is now off topic. I'll then try and correct my typos.

    In fact you have encouraged me to show forum readers my system for viewing property abroad, which is all part of the due diligence process. Its evolving so any comments are welcome and i am updating the whole due diligence download to be found here:

    I ask all our clients to provide their feedback on viewings and their thoughts on property.

    Why do I do this? Very simply, I have found that it makes for better property investment decisions from clients, and at the same time helps me improve my real estate services and to find the best properties.

    I call this Property Viewing Process (PVP). (Well I did used to work for GE - the spiritual home to acronyms)

    This simple 10 point scoring list was originally developed for my own investing when I discovered, much too late, that I had made a mistake by not being able to recollect the properties I had viewed. Nor could I rate them properly. I sometimes could remember the pretty young lady doing the showing, but not a lot else.

    Then I also found it was hard for me to always remember exactly why I preferred one property over another - and for what reason. It is another way to be sure I have made the right decision after viewing, taking into account price etc.

    Viewing List

    1/ list general pros (+ve points) and cons (-ve points) of each property

    2/ rate your own view on property location (marks out of 10 - for example 7/10)

    3/ rate on perceived design (marks out of 10 - for example 7/10)

    4/ rate on expected build quality (marks out of 10 - for example 7/10)

    5/ rate on rental prospects (marks out of 10 - for example 7/10)

    6/ rate on capital appreciation prospects (marks out of 10 - for example 7/10)

    7/ rate on perceived value for money (marks out of 10 - for example 7/10)

    8/ rate for personal own use, i.e How much would you like to stay in the property and development yourself? (marks out of 10 - for example 7/10)

    9/ rate property overall on how close the property matches your personal buying criteria (marks out of 10 - for example 7/10)

    10/ rate for exit strategy - how easy will it be to sell (marks out of 10 - for example 7/10)

    Add own notes to explain each rating in more detail.

    so its not too long a list, otherwise I just wouldn't bother to do it after a viewing session and is used in conjunction with other due diligence work, such as risk, contract details, infrastructure assessment etc

    hope this helps for some who feel, like me, that viewings are a job that require a structure. full due diligence tips at

    Last edited: Sep 24, 2008
  4. Lsab

    Lsab New Member

    After some interesting posts on the subject I thought I'd start a new thread.

    There's a lot of us out there who know what due dilligence means but don't really know exactly what to look out for and there's some of us who have no idea what it means. We're the ones who'd appreciate any input from those who do
  5. chriscross34

    chriscross34 New Member

    well done Lance, very useful , Chris
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