In a real estate transaction, buyers and sellers must be present or duly represented by power of attorney at the closing.
The parties can use electronic signatures for private documents that don’t require filing to a public institution by mutual agreement.
At the moment, the DR does not offer title insurance.
Since we don’t have title insurance in the Dominican Republic, performing deep due diligence before buying a property is highly recommended. That process has to be handled by a real estate lawyer with the necessary expertise to cover all the details to ensure that all the paperwork is in standing and the property is free and clear.
Using a lawyer from a different country may help understand the process better by using familiar terminology. Still, unless that lawyer has experience and formation in real estate laws of the Dominican Republic, he will not be able to cover the details to make sure that all paperwork is in good standing and that the property is free and clear. Therefore, we recommend using a Dominican real estate lawyer, preferably based in the area where you are buying your property.
Every case is different, especially in terms of asset protection and tax savings; however, in terms of ownership, there is no difference. When buying in the name of a corporation, there will be additional obligations in terms of company maintenance, bookkeeping, and taxes.
In normal circumstances, the average time will be from 2 to 4 weeks; however, the timeframe for the due diligence will be dictated by the potential problems and situations that we will find out when performing researches and paperwork revision.
Since the pandemic, transferring the title to the new owner takes about 2 to 3 months.
There is no need to be a resident to own property. Private ownership is not subject to immigration status in the DR.
Transfer tax in the DR is 3% on the highest amount between the purchase price and the register value.
Property tax in the Dominican Republic is 1% a year, based on the registered value of the property; the first, approximately US$150,000.00, is tax-free. Therefore, the exemption is based on a natural person’s total real estate patrimony, meaning that the total amount of the exemption will be the same whether having one or multiple properties. This exemption does not apply to corporations.