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The Buying Process in Barbados

Buying a property may seem like a daunting task, but with the right information you can make knowledgeable decisions that are best for you. Our sales representatives at Exclusive Hot Properties are here to help guide you through the process; we also advise that you consult an attorney regarding all legal documents. If you do not have a local attorney we will be happy to provide recommendations.

Important Facts You Should Know:

  • There are no restrictions on the purchase of property in Barbados by persons who are non-citizens or permanent residents.

  • Non-residents must ensure and document that all funds for the purchase of real estate are derived from external sources.

  • All financial arrangements such as mortgage, purchase price and deposit payments should be in place prior to entering a binding agreement.

  • Funds transferred to Barbados must be registered with the Central Bank of Barbados. This process guarantees repatriation of the same amount of funds if and when the property is sold.

  • Purchasers who are non-residents must obtain permission to purchase property from the Barbados Exchange Control Authority, regardless of whether they are a Barbadian Citizen or not. This is a standard procedure under the Exchange Control Act.

  • Purchasers must obtain the services of a registered local attorney who will have to search the register and establish title to the property prior to the completion of sale.

  • Property passes by conveyance of title, evidenced by the recording of the deeds and certified survey plans at the registry of title.

  • Attorney's fees are approximately 1.5% - 2% of the sale price. Attorney fees are subject to 17.5% VAT. Both buyer and seller are responsible for their own attorney fees.

  • A 10% deposit is required for payment when signing the purchase agreement. This is a binding contract. The seller's attorney holds the deposit with the balance payable on completion of the purchase.

  • The real estate agent's commission fee is normally 5% of the sale price. Real estate agents fees are subject to 17.5% VAT.

  • Sales commissions and survey costs are borne by the vendor.

  • In most cases international buyers purchase property through a company which has been incorporated outside but registered to do business within Barbados. This initiative may help reduce some costs and simplify the process when selling the property.

Town & Country Planning Office

  • If the purchaser is buying vacant land, the vendor will require a Certificate of Compliance from the Town and Country Planning Office (TCPO), which certifies that the roads and services have been provided in accordance with planning guidelines. It is illegal for a vendor to sell a property without the Certificate of Compliance.

  • If the purchaser is buying a built property which is to be improved, or intends to build a property on the land, planning permission is required from TCPO. The planning permission is granted in accordance with a set of guidelines established by acts of Parliament and statutory instruments. In addition, TCPO would be guided by the zoning of the land and environmental issues.

  • In all cases application is made to the TCPO and permission is usually granted within a period of two to six months.


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