Argentina is a large South American country, full of many real estate options for expats. The real estate purchasing process is straight forward, but you will need to hire a lawyer and appoint a public attorney.
Attorneys and Real Estate Agents
You should hire a lawyer in this process, especially if you are not fluent in Spanish. Your lawyer can do relevant research on your behalf. Lawyers are also responsible for putting together legal contracts and title deeds.
A real estate agent is helpful, but not necessary.
You will have to work with a public notary for much of the process. Usually the buyer is responsible for appointing one.
Rules, Regulations and Restrictions
The only restrictions on the foreign ownership of Argentinian property are in certain areas of national security. Otherwise, foreigners have the same rights as natives.
First, you should settle on a property, and make an offer. Then you should start with the Reservation, or “Reserva.” The Reservation is a document which contains information about the price, transaction and payment details. You should get legal advice before you present this contract to the seller. After you complete this contract, you are supposed to put down a deposit of 1% of the purchase price to hold claim on the property.
Then you present the Reservation contract to the seller, for them to accept, reject or counter-offer it. Usually it results in a counter offer, until both parties negotiate a final price.
After the final price has been negotiated, the following step is the Contract of Purchase and Sale. You and the seller must sign this contract in the presence of a public notary. This contract holds the seller responsible for transferring the property to you on a certain date, and you responsible for making payments. Once you sign this contract, you will have to put down a down payment, which is usually around 30-50% of the property value. You can then legally go to court and request the transfer of title; the seller can demand the balance from you.
The next step is the Deed, or the “Escritura.” You must also pay the balance of whatever is left of the purchase price. The public notary is responsible for clearing the title, and doing all the necessary research to make sure there are no confusions with the property. When you receive the official possession of the apartment, and the Title deed is signed. The notary will then register you as the owner of the property in the Real Estate Registry.