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Dec 11, 2012

Buying costs can be very high in Bahamas


How high are realtors´ and lawyers´ fees in Bahamas´ What about other property purchase costs?

Transaction Costs

Who Pays?
Registration Fees US$100 – US$650 buyer
Stamp Duty 1.0% - 5.0%
1.0% - 5.0%
buyer
seller
Legal Fees 0.5% - 2.5%
0.5% - 2.5%
buyer
seller
Real Estate Agent´s Fee 6% - 10% seller
Costs paid by buyer 1.60% - 8.00%
Costs paid by seller 7.5% - 17.50%
ROUNDTRIP TRANSACTION COSTS 9.10% - 25%
See Footnotes
Source: Global Property Guide

How difficult is the property purchase process in Bahamas?

There are no restrictions on foreigners buying property. Since the International Persons Landholding Act took effect in January 1994, replacing the Immovable Property Act of 1981, it has been much easier for foreigners to purchase property in the Bahamas. A permit from the government is only needed if the property to be bought is more than five acres or is an undeveloped land. If otherwise, the property must only be registered with the Investment Board and the Central Bank after the transaction.

Bahamas beachfront homesAn attorney will be hired by the buyer of property to determine the validity of the title and check for encumbrances to the title. A break in the chain of title owners or missing abstracts will reduce the marketability of subject property. Title insurance is neither required nor used in the Bahamas as a means of ensuring good title currently.

The registration of the purchase must be applied to the Office of the Prime Minister. The application should be submitted together with a copy of the conveyance (proof of ownership), and evidence of payment of Stamp Duty and Real Property Tax. A Bankers Draft/Proposal Money Order payable to ´The Public Treasury´ of US$25 is included for the application fee. A Certification of Registration will be issued afterwards.

All Non-Bahamian owners of residential property can apply for a Home Owners Resident Card. This allows the homeowner, homeowner´s spouse, and minor children port entry into theBahamas, and to stay in the country until the card expires. This costs US$500 per annum. If residing yearly in the country is an option, there is the ´Annual Residence Permit´, which costs US$1,000, and US$25 for each dependent.



Footnotes to Transaction Costs Table


The round trip transaction costs include all costs of buying and then re-selling a property - lawyers´ fees, notaries´ fees, registration fees, taxes, agents´ fees, etc.



Currency:
Bahamas uses the Bahamian Dollar. This is pegged to the US Dollar 1:1. Property is the city of Nassau in the island of New Providence.


Registration Fees:
The buyer must pay several fees for the property to be registered. These fees are minimal and are not expected to exceed 0.5% of property value.

REGISTRATION FEE

FEES FEE (US$)
Application for registration US$25
Application for permit US$25
Homeowner resident card US$500

CERTIFICATE OF REGISTRATION

PROPERTY VALUE IN (BSD) FEE (in BSD)
Up to US$50,000 US$50
US$50,000 - US$101,000 US$75
Over US$101,000 US$100

Stamp Duty:
Stamp Duty must be paid upon delivery of the property. Stamp Duty is typically split between buyer and seller. Bahamians and Non-Bahamians now pay the same amount of Stamp Duty. In the past, Non-Bahamians used to pay twice the amount rendered by Bahamians. . Fees are as follows:

STAMP DUTY

PROPERTY VALUE IN (US$) RATE
Up to US$20,000 4%
US$20,000 – US$50,000 6%
US$40,000 – US$100,000 8%
Over US$100,000 10%


Legal Fees:
Each party pays for their own lawyer. Legal fees are determined according to the property´s value:

LEGAL FEES

PROPERTY VALUE IN (US$) FEE
Up to US$500,000 2.5%
US$500,000 – US$1,000,000 2.0%
US$1,000,000 – US$5,000,000 1.0%
Over US$5,000,000 0.5%

Real Estate Agent´s Fee:
The real estate agents´ fees are set by The Bahamas Real Estate Association. The fees are determined as follows:

REAL ESTATE AGENT´S FEES

PROPERTY CATEGORY FEE
Developed Property   6%
Undeveloped Property (Vacant Land) 10%





Comments

#1 COSIMO RAIA | July 09, 2010

I have the same question:
Q: Is it possible to avoid the agent's fee by buying directly from owners? If so, how practical is it?

please let me know
thanks a lot

#2 TONY GU | April 17, 2012

My questions:
1- As a Home Owners Resident Card owner I have to live there to keep it?
2- If I rent my house through a agent, what is the average fee? Agent will maintain the house for me when I am out?

Many thanks

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