Buying costs are low to moderate in Puerto Rico

Taxation Researcher | December 05, 2020

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

Transaction Costs

Who Pays?
Internal Revenue Stamp 0.55% - 1.00% buyer
Registration and Filing Fees 0.10% - 0.50% buyer
Attorney´s Fees 0.50% - 1.00%
0.50% - 1.00%
Real Estate Agent´s Commission 4.00% - 6.00% seller
Notary Fees 0.50% - 1.00% seller
Costs paid by buyer 1.15% - 2.50%
Costs paid by seller 5.00% - 8.00%
See Footnotes
Source: Global Property Guide

How difficult is the property purchase process in Puerto Rico?

Foreigners can freely buy property in Puerto Rico. To enter into a real estate transaction, it is important to hire a real estate agent as knowledge in Spanish is very much needed.

When an agreement has been reached, a deposit of 5% of the purchase price is usually paid by the buyer. The deposit is non-refundable if the buyer decides to back out of the transaction. In case the seller backs out, the seller will pay the buyer twice the amount of the deposit or earnest money provided.

The seller usually pays for the notary´s fees, and real estate broker´s commission (unregulated). The buyer, aside from the down payment, also pays for title insurance and documentary stamps on the deed. Additional costs may include appraisal and inspection fees. Property taxes, on the other hand, are prorated. Since property taxes are usually paid at the end of the year, the buyer and the seller share the expense according to the number of months each owns the house during the year of the transaction.

All real estate titles are recorded in the Registry of Property. The titles are further categorized into subsections according to the territory where the property is located. It is important to file the title of the property under the correct section to prevent any objections from the Registry officials, who check the title´s legality and requirements.

A foreigner can also take the corporate route to acquiring property in Puerto Rico. Costs for registering a property obtained through a corporation include US$300 for Corporate Resolution. This is prepared by a notary to authorize the representatives of the buying corporation to appear in the deed of purchase and sale. There also are additional costs for Internal Revenue Stamps. The whole process of registering a property by a corporation can be completed in around 15 days.

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.

Puerto Rico uses the US Dollar (USD).

Notary Fees:
It is mandatory that a notary prepares the sale and purchase deed. Maximum allowable notary fee is 1% of the property value for the first US$500,000 plus 0.5% of the amount in excess of $500,000.

Registration and Filing Fees:
Several fees must be paid to different offices such as the Municipal Revenues Collection Center (CRIM), Treasury Department and Registry of Property. These fees are minimal and are not expected to exceed 0.5% of property value.


Property Title Report 100
Property Tax Certificate 50
Corporate Resolution 300
Filing fee for Registry of Property 100
Filing of Notice of Sale with Treasury Dept. 20
Filing of Notice of Change with CRIM 20

Internal Revenue Stamps:
Internal Revenue Stamps are puchased to be canceled on the original of deed of purchase and sale and first certified copy of deed to be filed in the Registry of Property. The notary keeps the original while the certified copy is filed at the Registry. Before applying for registration, filing vouchers for the Registry of Property must be bought first. Internal revenue stamps and vouchers are acquired electronically by lawyers/ notaries.


Original Copy US$55.00 + 0.1% of property value
Certified Copy US$27.50 + 0.05% of property value 50
Filing Vouchers US$10.50 + 0.40% of property value 300

Attorney´s Fees:
Although not mandatory, it is highly advisable for foreign buyers to hire an attorney or lawyer. Attorney´s fees may vary depending on location and the complexity of the transaction. Most lawyers charge a percentage of the selling price, about 0.5% to 1%, while some lawyers charge a fixed fee or on an hourly basis. Each party pays for their own lawyer.

Real Estate Agent´s Fee:
Real estate agent commission is negotiable, typically between 4% and 6%.



Barry | April 29, 2010

Does a person selling a car in P.R. have to go in person to some government office before selling the car??

Bill | June 15, 2010

Are property taxes required to included in monthly mortgage payment or can they be paid seperately?
And where can you verify the tax amount on a specific property??

mari | March 21, 2015

I divided property, built a house on a portion, and sold a the other portion to a family. Years pass and they sell the property to another person. The new owner finds out that I forgot to divide the property with the legal documents through CRIM. The new owner says she paid taxes on my land. I told her I can keep my house and my land with out paying back the taxes the new owner paid. She says I am wrong. Am I right?

Alejandro | April 07, 2015


Sorry to say this but you are VERY WRONG. If she brings the matter to court, not only will you be required to pay her back, but may also be charged with fraud (which is no longer a civil matter).

Wil Rey | May 12, 2015

Well there is a saying in Puerto Rico "no haga las cosas como el culo de vaca". Before you think you know what you are doing with property in the sence of selling or renting and dealing with the CRIM and Hacienda do your research and homework. Dont take matters in your own hands before you know the facts. Especially in Puerto Rico where people tend to have that habit and dig a deeper for themselves.

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