Typical Process in Buying & Selling Property

Buenos Aires Real Estate Guide - Process in Buying/Selling Property

In Buenos Aires, as everywhere else, buying or selling a house is an extremely important decision.  After selecting the property to be purchased or accepting a buyer’s offer, there is a host of paperwork that must be accurately completed and processed in order to have a successful real estate transaction.  All of the players in this process are important: the seller, the buyer, the real estate brokers and the escribano publico (notary public).*

Buenos Aires real estate brokers and escribanos are professionals.  It is important to know them well or have positive references from others who have used their services.   A real estate broker should be a member of the Cámara Inmobiliaria Argentina – CIA (Argentine Real Estate Chamber).  An escribano publico must be registered with his/her local Colegio de Escribanos (Notary Public Association).

A typical Buenos Aires real estate transaction goes through the following process:

1. The seller grants the real estate broker an authorization to place the property for sale on the real estate market for a certain period of time (usually 90 days).  At this point, both parties agree to the commission percentage if the property were to sell.
2. When a buyer is interested in a property, the real estate agent submits an offer to the seller.
3. Once the selling price is agreed upon, a deposit is made subject to the owner’s approval.
4. The escribano runs a property title history to ensure that there are no liens against the property and that the property legally belongs to the seller.
5. If everything is in order, the escribano draws up the final paperwork to legally transfer title ownership from the seller to the buyer.
6. Once the new title is signed, the escribano registers it in the correponding Registro de Propiedad Inmueble (Real Estate Property Registry).

The whole process of registering a property takes around 30 days.

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Buenos Aires Real Estate Agent’s fee:

Real estate brokers in Buenos Aires usually charge a 3% commission for the purchase or sale of a property.  The buyer also pays from 3% to 4% (plus VAT) commission to his broker, if he had one.  Real estate agents and brokers offer their clients assistance, not only to protect their client but also to maintain their company’s reputation.  Though they provide general recommendations, the customer is the one who makes the final decision.

Notary Fees:

The role of an escribano publico is very critical in ensuring the legality of a real estate transaction; for this reason, it is the buyer who customarily selects the escribano of their choice.  An exception to this occurs when the seller is the one financing the purchase of the property, in which case he would select the escribano.

An escribano assists and provides professional advice to both the buyer and seller, verifies the property title history, the authenticity of the property owner, and ensures the property is free and clear of any liens.  Anyone buying or selling a property should be advised by a registered escribano publico.  An escribano’s fees usually run from 1% to 2% of the sale price of the property, plus VAT (Argentine sales tax).

Registration Fees:

In Buenos Aires, the fees involved in the selling of property are divided between the seller and the buyer.  Typically all fees incurred up to the drawing up of the property title are paid for by the seller.  The buyer pays for the remaining costs from that point forward.  The stamp tax is usually split 50-50 between the seller and buyer.  An exception to this in when the property in question is the buyer’s only property and he purchased it for under $360,000 pesos, in which case no stamp tax is owed.

* In Argentina, an escribano publico is a highly qualified individual with a law degree and additional post-graduate studies. When a property is sold, the escribano publico serves as a public official who guarantees the legality of the property title, the authenticity of the seller, and the legitimate transfer of the property title from seller to buyer.

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