S2 and I spent a couple of hours yesterday at the real estate office signing papers. I’ve bought and sold a number of houses in the states, and the process was nothing like this. First off, the current owners were in the office with us. I’ve never experienced this before… usually, the paperwork is signed by the sellers and then buy the owners. The next thing was the negotiations happening even then… for example, trying to get the realty fee dropped from the customary 3% (we got it dropped to 2.4$). Also, the amount of paperwork was far less than in California. That said, it took so much longer to go through.
Reality in China is somewhat of a mill. This office had probably seats for 14 agent, crammed together in undersized desks. There were around six there at the time we were handling the transaction (starting at 3 pm).
Another interesting thing is that an escrow account isn’t used. When we put a down-payment on the property (which had to be delayed until this morning because the bank was closed), the money is transferred directly into the seller’s bank account. Sure, there’s paperwork signed and sealed saying that you’re the one who’s sent the money, but it is still a damn unnerving feeling
I’ll be adding more updates, as well as photos, soon.