Even in one's own country and surroundings that are familiar, the legal implications of clinching a real estate property sale can sometimes be tedious. Considering carrying out such deals in a foreign land are options that most investors refrain from as far as possible. But there always are exceptions and the Republic of Costa Rica is one such exception. The stable system of governance put together with investor friendly policies and ever appreciating land prices make Costa Rica a dream come true for many real estate investors. This is the reason why this country has been featured in the list of 'hot tropics' that are the latest destination to several foreign as well as native investors.
The sales process is fairly simple and with the right guidance from reliable sources it can well be termed a 'cake walk'! Once the real estate property that interests you has been identified and a price has been negotiated with the current owner of the property the sales process commences. A Reciprocal Promise may be required to be signed before the procedures for the title transfer are undertaken. In Costa Rica, the transfer of property from the seller to the buyer is done by the process of executing a transfer deed, which is also known as 'Escritura', in the presence of a Notary Public. Unlike other countries where the role of the notary is restricted to authentication of signatures, in Costa Rica the notary public plays a vital role in the sales process. The notary public has to be an attorney and is the one who is required to draft and interpret legal documents. He or she has extensive powers in order to act on behalf of the state and also authenticate as well as certify the authenticity of legal documents. The first step hence for the buyer and seller to select a notary-attorney who will be responsible for drafting the transfer deed and also registering the sale in the Public Registry that is also called the Registro Nacional.
Read about zoning in Costa Rica and how it affects development.
There is an unwritten law that is followed when it comes to choosing the attorney, based on the type of financial transaction associated with the sale process. If the buyer is paying for the property by making a cash down payment, the custom is that the buyer gets to select the notary-attorney to complete the sales process. On the other hand, if the seller is financing major part of the deal, they get to choose their attorney; in case the contribution from the buyer and seller is equal then the process is undertaken jointly by attorneys of both sides or else, if both sides request for separate documentation that option is also there, but for a higher price in the form of a registration fee.
Do get in touch with our expert panel of experienced consultants for advice on this front!