We’ve worked with a number of real estate attorneys in Panama over the years. So you know what to expect ahead of the game, here’s a comprehensive checklist of what they should do for you in the buying process, whether you’re here in the country or abroad. And, as always, we’re happy to recommend one of the several exceptional firms operating here in Panama so you make sure you get stuck with a great one.
Services to be provided by lawyer:
1. Due Diligence
- Review all documents related to the property and advise buyer
- Review good standing documents and advise buyer
- Research property and owner at relevant Public Registries and government departments
- Water & Garbage – Get statement of balance and clearance certificate
- Building Administration
- Confirm that there are no liens, encumbrances against property
- Title search and investigation at the Public Registry and Ministry of Economic and Finance.
- Investigate of Catastral Value. Confirm if buyer needs to pay Property Tax on this property or if there is a Tax Exemption. Confirm that the Catastral Value has been updated properly or if corrections are needed in order to transfer to property.
2. Review Purchase & Sale Promise Agreement
- Provide official translation of the Agreement in English for buyer
- The Promise To Sell and Purchase Contract will establish the terms of the sale/purchase, including the down payment amount (10%), date of closing (30 days, 60 days, 90 days, 120 days), and other relevant terms. This contract should be signed by the parties at a Notary Public in Panama.
3. Draft Minutes of meetings of the shareholders for purchase of property.
4. Act as attorney in fact in the event the buyer cannot be in Panama at the time of closing.
5. Tax payments (real estate and capital gains)
- Seller’s responsibility to pay and obtain documents, but attorney will review relevant documents to confirm that these are paid and in good standing.
6. Obtaining clearance certificates (IDAAN and real estate tax).
- Seller’s responsibility to pay and obtain documents, but attorney should review relevant documents to confirm that these are paid and in good standing.
7. Assist as intermediary with the corresponding bank.
- Assist on as-needed basis.
- Review irrevocable guarantee to ensure that it is issued properly.
8. Apply for the Taxpayer Identification Number for the property in order to obtain the Real Estate Tax Clearance Certificates.
- Obtain a NIT (sepal taxpayer password) at the DGI so buyer can pay annual real estate taxes and review all property information online.
- Obtain from the seller the NIT, tax clearance certificates, and all relevant taxpayer identification numbers.
9. Review minute of sale from the seller and mortgage cancellation notification of the seller’s bank.
10. Draft and review Purchase and Sale Deed
- Draft final deed of purchase and sale
- Attend and represent the buyer at the signing of the deed of sale and purchase by the parties at a Notary Public.
- Ensure the balance of funds is released upon the property being transferred to the Buyer at the Public Registry of Panama.
- Obtain the corresponding signatures on the Deed.
- Obtain the mortgagee´s signature on the Deed.
11. Record the Purchase and Sale Deed at the Public Registry Office.
- Coordinate and process Title Transfer at the Public Registry.
12. Update ownership of the property at ANATI.
- Update the owner and Catastral value at the National Authority of Land Administration, Autoridad Nacional de Administración de Tierras –ANATI–.
13. Send all Public Deeds and relevant documents to Client.
So, there you have it. Make sure your real estate attorney lays all of this out for you before you sign. If they don’t, just get in touch and we’ll give you our list of recommended attorneys. Good luck with this big step in your Panama property purchase!