Uruguay is an attractive country to buy real estate, due to its beautiful coastline, the interesting city of Montevideo and eastern plains. The process of buying real estate in Uruguay is very official and requires many documents. Though the process is very involved, most of it is handled by the notary public.
Attorneys and Real Estate Agents
You will end up working with a notary in real estate process. The notary is the one who writes the deed, pays the taxes and registers the first copy of the deed.
An attorney can assist you in this process, but it is not as necessary to hire one in Uruguay as other places because the process is very official with the notary. An attorney can be sure that everything goes in your best interest, and can be useful if your Spanish is not great.
A real estate agent is helpful in this process, but is not necessary.
Rules, Regulations and Restrictions
Foreigners have the same rights in the real estate sphere as native citizens. They do not have to pay any additional fees.
First, you should settle on a property and make an offer to the seller. The next step is drawing up a pre-purchase agreement, which is called a boleta de reserva. This document outlines all of the obligations of the buyer, seller and real estate agencies involved. It will state the price, people involved, real estate agent’s commission, and and other necessary information. After you and the seller sign this document, you should put down a 10% deposit of the final purchase price either to the notary public or real estate agent.
The notary public will then continue the process with you, the buyer. They provide you with valid research and guarantees about the property. They are required to show you that there are no mortgages, liens or debts against the property, or any problems with the seller. The notary is required to come up with the history of the property for the past 30 years. The first guarantee comes from the Banco de Provision Social, and the second is given to the realtor’s office. The third guarantee is for the Registro de Actos Personales, and then the last is for the municipality.
Once everything clears with these guarantees, the notary will notify you, the seller and all other parties of the final date to sign all the final documents. At this time, the notary will send the documents that clear the property’s legitimacy to the property registry. The deed will then be authorized. You and the seller must pay the notary a fee of 2% of the value, who will forward that to the government. Afterward, the deed will be recorded. Finally, the notary will present to you the original and registered copy of the deed as well as all other documents about the property for the past 30 years.
A contract can be drawn between the boleta de reserva and the deed, which will be the promissory deed (this is used if there is a missing legal document). Once this clears, the deed is transferred in your name, and the property is yours.