Foreigners are allowed to purchase real estate in Chile, and this is a fairly straightforward procedure. There are a number of regulations and documents that any buyer must go through and obtain. Foreigners also should hire an attorney to go through the many necessary legal procedures of which they bear responsibility.
Attorneys and Real Estate Agents
In order to buy real estate in Chile, it is important to hire an attorney who is fluent in Spanish and in your native language. This person will help you with many of the necessary procedures in this overall task. Real estate agents are also common in this process.
Rules, Regulations and Restrictions
In order for foreigners to buy property in Chile, they must have a few necessary documents presented to the notary (see below).
Foreigners who do not have a visa to legally reside in Chile must also apply for a RUT (Rol Unico Tributario) through the National Tax Office in Chile. The RUT is a legal number used for taxing purposes.
First, the buyer is required to settle on a property and make an offer to the seller. Once everything clears, it is customary to come up with a buy-sell contract once the buyer wants to go through with buying the property. This is a legally binding contract, so the buyer must be committed to go through with it so long as everything will clear. This contract is written by an attorney.
It is up to the buyer to clear many factors before making the final agreement with the property, and their attorney is important in this process. Foreign buyers must make sure that the property has a legitimate title, without any regulations or domain laws getting in the way. They should also check that the buyer has a Property Tax Debt certificate, that there are no outstanding debts or other confusions on this property. This document must be presented to the notary.
The buyer should also not let the seller trick them into paying all of the expenses, as this is generally split between both parties. The buyer is also responsible for having the property surveyed to make sure there are no problems. Once everything clears with these necessary tasks, a Title Report (Estudio de Titulos) for the property must be drawn up regarding the property.
The formalized contract (escritura publica otorgada ante Notario) should then be drawn up. It must include necessary information on the names of the buyers and sellers, like the RUT number, buyer’s nationality and martial status. It also must list the description of the title, description of the property, sales price, terms of payment, closing date, any land use issues, liability, any remedies if there is a breach of contract, and arbitration rights, if there are any. This important document must be formalized with a notary.
Foreign buyers should then make a copy of the formalized contract, so that they can take this document to the land registry. The land registry will then stamp this contract, with an official number assigned from the Index Book, the year of the Property Archive, and the number of that inscription in the year archive. Once this document is approved, the property is sold.