You selected the property and agreed with the seller on the terms of transaction. The next step is to go to the notary, where you need to conclude an agreement of intent. At this stage you make a deposit up to 10% of the total price of the property.
The agreement of intent must contain:
From now on the property is taken down from the market and reserved for you.
After concluding the agreement the notary needs about 2-3 weeks to check the property.In the Dominican Republic, the notary is the guarantor of the legality of the transaction, who also collects and checks all documents.
Every property has both the title and the certificate of a legal status, which reflects the entire history of changing rights, arrests and restrictions, and cadastral documents, if it is a house or land plot. But lacking of cadastral documents does not prevent the final transaction. Although you have to take into account the cost of cadastral works in the total price. The notary must check these documents, issue copies and give you a guarantee that the property is free from encumbrances.
The notary also calculates all possible taxes and fees, prepares a contract of sale and receives a certificate of ownership. The rate for the service is about 1% of the real estate price.
After checking the property, you conclude a purchase and sale agreement or a "promise of sale" agreement, if the property is purchased in installments.
This document must be signed in the presence of a Dominican notary. If you can't attend the transaction yourself, you can conduct it remotely. In almost every country there is a Consulate of the Dominican Republic. Their staff are remote notaries of the Dominican Republic and issue power of attorney for a realtor or other representative. A proxy can conduct a purchase and sale transaction without your personal presence.
In the Dominican Republic it is not prohibited to pay in cash for real estate. However, there may be restrictions on export of cash in the buyer's home country. In some cases you can export up to $10,000 from without declaring it. But most transactions with foreigners are made via bank transfers.
You can also transfer funds directly to the seller or a notary. In the second case, the notary will forward the sum to the seller through their accounts.
After the full settlement is done, the notary registers the new owner and receives the title in their name. The state registration process can last from 3 weeks to 1.5 months. You don’t need to pay anything, all state fees are included in the notary's fee.
The stage at which the keys are transferred to the new owner is decided individually. Some owners may transfer the property immediately after signing the purchase and sale agreement, while others will want to wait for funds to be received. It must be spelled out in the contract.
On average, a typical transaction takes 3-4 months. If there are encumbrances, it may be delayed. But as a rule, sellers are interested in completing the process as soon as possible, so they start preparing documents in advance. The notary will simply confirm this information after that.
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