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Selling Property

Panama - Selling Property

When selling a property in Panama it is essential that the seller ensures that they have all the correct documentation to prove that they are the legal owner. This will save time during the selling process. There can also be no outstanding bills, so if you are hoping to sell you should ensure any bills are paid immediately so that this does not hold up the selling process.

Most people who sell in Panama will use an estate agent to do so. The work estate agents do in Panama varies, so be sure to check exactly what is included in their fee. Some will do very little work in marketing your property as you need to be sure that you are getting the most for your money. Commission rates for estate agents in Panama also vary.

Selling a property in Panama yourself is getting easier. Panama has a number of websites and magazines that you can use to market the property yourself and avoid paying a fee to an estate agent. You will need to carry out some research on similar properties so that you can get the asking price right. There are also auctions where you can sell your property if you would prefer a quick sale.

When you sell your property there are taxes to be paid. There is a 2% tax on the transfer of the property title which is calculated on the value which is registered with the Public Registry. There are fees which are charged by the Public Registry and the notary for registering the contract of sale. The seller is normally responsible for the transfer tax but on occasion it could be made part of the contract so that the buyer pays.

Most sales of property can be completed within six weeks but this is variable and will depend on a number of factors. If there are no problems with paperwork or funds then a sale can be completed very quickly. The procedure is simple and if you are using a reputable estate agent they will be able to talk you through it.

The first stage is for the buyer and the seller to agree to the terms of the sale. The seller needs to provide all the relevant deeds and information on the property. The lawyer will carry out the title search on the property and draft an initial copy of the contract of sale. This is then reviewed by both the buyer and the seller who then set a date for the completion of the agreement. The buyer will then deposit the initial payment for the property and fees for the lawyers in Escrow. The promise to buy is signed by both parties and the seller receives a down payment from the Escrow funds. Once this has been done the final searches on the title of the property are carried out and this can take around five working days. The buyer makes the final payment to Escrow and the final contract is drafted. The deal is then closed and the final contract is signed.

When the buyer and seller have been through this procedure and the contract is registered with the Panama Public Registry so that the transfer of the title of the property can begin, but this can take up to 30 days depending on the work load at the Registry. Once this has been done the deed is sent to the lawyers and if you need a translation it can be carried out at this point. The final documents are sent out the buyer within five working days of this happening.

In recent years there has been something of a property boom in Panama. The economic problems that have been affecting much of the world have not really had an impact on the country, mainly because it is an attractive destination for expats and businesses so there is a great deal of investment taking place and most sellers are not having any problem selling property.

Those who earn a living by buying and selling property will find that they are taxed at a different rate than individual sellers. Capital Gains Tax is usually 10% of the profit but there are a number of conditions to this and each seller will need to consult their lawyer or accountant about the amount that will apply to them.

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