How to complete a reservation online

You are probably working overseas or have lived outside the Philippines for so long you have no idea on how to purchase properties in the Philippines. Here are a few steps that will help you purchase that Philippine home for your retirement or for a rental business.

1. Hire a reliable, trust-worthy and knowledgeable real estate broker or agent.

In the Philippines, you do not need to pay the broker's fee if you are a buyer unless there is an agreement between you and the agent that you will pay him/her for the effort of finding a property.

By practice it is the project developer or the seller who pays the broker/agent their professional fees for closing a deal. This can be a tricky part, how do you know if the agent is reliable? Ask if the agent is a license broker or an accredited salesperson. The Professional Regulatory Commission (PRC) is now giving accreditation to salespersons as well. These salespersons are under the supervision of a license real estate broker. If anything goes wrong in the transaction, you can always seek the attention of the real estate broker.

2. Get pre-qualified.

Your real estate agent will normally ask you about your budget and how much monthly amortization you can allocate for housing if you wish to pay through installment. There are three ways to finance a property here in the Philippines.
- Bank Financing
- HDMF or Pag-Ibig Financing
- In-house Financing (developer's loan)

Ask your real estate agent to educate you on these three financing options, on how to qualify, the required documents and other factors that might delay or affect the approval of your loan.

3. Choosing a house or property.

Discuss with your agent your preferences; location, house type, number of bedrooms, budget, amenities etc. Your agent will give you proposals according to your needs. Do not forget to do your own research as well on these developments. If you have an attorney-in-fact, you can ask your agent to show these properties to your attorney-in-fact, we call it "tripping".


How to make a reservation online?

Once you have decided which property to purchase, ask the real estate agent to send you Buyer's Information Sheet (BIS), Reservation Agreement (RA), Special Power of Attorney format and Sample Computation or Term Sheet. Since you are doing this online, ask for the bank account of the developer. After you have deposited the Reservation Fee, do not forget to email the transmittal form to your agent or send him/her the details of the bank transaction. Your agent will make the necessary follow-up with the developer informing them that you have deposited your Reservation Fee. In some cases, it might take three to five days before the amount is cleared and will reflect on the developer's account. You also need to send through email the signed BIS, RA, SPA and Term Sheet to your agent along with your valid identification card. This will complete the reservation process.

The reservation fee will hold the unit for 30 days, for some developers, only 15 days. You need to be aware of the validity of the reservation fee to avoid the reservation fee to be forfeited, the promos (if there) to be forfeited and losing your desired unit. You will have 30 days to complete the basic requirements of the developer. You may also change your financing option within this period. The agent will email you a copy of the Original Receipt for the reservation fee. Expect a welcome email from the developer as well.

So that's it, you now have a real estate investment in Cebu, Philippines!