Expatify

Travel & Expat Lifestyle Magazine

Buying Real Estate in Guatemala

Guatemala is a Central American country, and it is fairly straightforward for foreigners to purchase real estate. There are a few restrictions on the location of properties where foreigners can acquire land, but it is otherwise a standard process.

Attorneys and Real Estate Agents

It is recommended to hire a real estate attorney who is fluent in Spanish and in your native language, but this is not necessary.

A good real estate agent can be helpful in researching ideal properties in Guatemala, but is also not necessary.

Rules, Regulations and Restrictions

There are few restrictions foreigners acquiring and owning property in Guatemala. Foreigners are not allowed to own land that is next to rivers, the ocean or any international borders. Other than that, foreigners have the same rights as Guatemalan citizens.

General Process

First, the buyer should settle on a particular property, and make an offer to its seller. Upon approval of this price, the seller is required to obtain a Certificate of the Property Registry, to prove that there are no hidden fees or confusions with the title of the property. The seller must also obtain the official value of the property from the city’s Municipality. The buyer must obtain the registry numbers of the property during the research process.

Once all of these documents are obtained, and everything is clear, the lawyer or notary should prepare a sales agreement. This must be signed and notarized, and the buyer will usually put down a deposit to secure the property.

A Public Deed can be prepared in order to transfer the title. The buyer then must pay necessary taxes and transactions costs for the Deed, so that it may then be forwarded to the Real Estate Office for recording. The buyer must also transfer the remainder of the money to the seller. This transaction must be notified to the Municipalty, so that it can be updated for tax purposes.

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