After you’ve located a property you want to buy, you need to make the owner an offer. If you come to an agreement, you will need a solicitor who will draw up a binding promise of sale to be signed by you and the current owner.
This solicitor will usually carry out due diligence either before writing up the promise of sale, or failing this, make the completion of sale dependent on due diligence being carried out at a later date. When you go to sign, make sure the promise of sale contains the following as a bare minimum:
- Full name and particulars of the parties. If the seller is married, the spouse must also sign.
- Legal description of the property to be purchased.
- Purchase price and payment terms.
- Default clause.
- Date of delivery of the property.
- Due diligence required or done.
- Representations by the seller and remedies in case of misrepresentation.
- Obligation by seller to sign the Deed of Sale upon receipt of final payment.
After this is signed by both parties, a Deed of Sale is signed when the deal goes through. This is then sent to the internal revenue office where taxes are levied: Document Stamp Tax is RD$232(US$7) for the first RD$20,000(US$586) and 1.3% on anything thereafter. The buyer must also pay a transfer tax (3%) and a property registry tax (2%).
Documents are then submitted to the title registry office by your lawyer, where the deeds will be put into your name. Be patient - the process often takes a while as the relevant offices can take their time.