What is the Role of the Buyer's Attorney?

The Costa Rica Buyer's Attorney's Multifaceted Role

The role of the buyer's attorney/notary in a real estate transaction in Costa Rica is multifaceted and crucial for ensuring a smooth and legally sound process. Here's a description of each aspect of their role:

Examine the Property Title

The attorney/notary thoroughly examines the property title to ensure it is free of any encumbrances, liens, or legal issues that could affect the buyer's ownership rights. They verify the ownership history and confirm that the seller has the legal right to transfer ownership.

Ensure that any HOA fees are up to date and the Status of the Project

The attorney/notary reviews the Homeowners Association (HOA) documents and regulations to ensure the buyer understands their obligations and any restrictions associated with the property. They also assess the status of the residential project to confirm compliance with regulations and any pending legal matters.

Construction Permits or Water Letter in Case of a Lot

For properties requiring construction permits or water access, the attorney/notary verifies that all necessary permits have been obtained and are in compliance with local regulations. They also ensure the availability of water through a water letter or other documentation for properties located in areas where water supply may be a concern.

All the Seller's Utilities Be updated on the Day of the Sale

Prior to the sale, the attorney/notary ensures that all utilities associated with the property, such as water, electricity, and gas, are up-to-date and transferred to the buyer's name upon completion of the transaction. This includes verifying the settlement of any outstanding bills or fees.

That Municipal Taxes and Corporate Taxes Are Up to Date

The attorney/notary confirms that municipal property taxes and any applicable corporate taxes are paid up to date by the seller. This ensures that the buyer will not inherit any outstanding tax liabilities associated with the property once the sale is finalized.

Form the Buyer's Corporation (if Necessary)

If the buyer opts to purchase the property through a corporation, the attorney/notary assists in the formation of the corporation, including drafting and filing necessary legal documents. They advise the buyer on the implications and benefits of corporate ownership in accordance with Costa Rican law.

Make and Guide the Buyer to Provide Legal Power of Attorney in Case the Buyer Is Not in Costa Rica on the Day of the Sale

In situations where the buyer cannot be physically present in Costa Rica for the property transaction, the attorney/notary helps them appoint a legal representative through a power of attorney. They prepare the necessary documentation and guide the buyer through the process to ensure their interests are protected.

Sent his Fees and other Expenses from the Buyer to the Trust

The attorney/notary provides transparency regarding their fees and expenses to the buyer, detailing the costs associated with their legal services and any additional expenses incurred during the transaction. They may arrange for funds to be deposited into a trust account to facilitate the financial aspect of the transaction.

Make the Sales Act and Register the Property on Behalf of the Buyer in the National Property Registry

One of the most critical tasks, the attorney/notary drafts the sales deed (escritura) documenting the transfer of ownership from the seller to the buyer. They ensure the deed complies with legal requirements and register it with the National Property Registry to officially transfer title to the buyer.

Transfer Utilities on Behalf of the Buyer

The attorney/notary facilitates the transfer of utility services, such as water, electricity, and gas, into the buyer's name. They coordinate with utility providers to update billing information and ensure uninterrupted service for the buyer after the property is transferred.

Bookkeeper Service (In Case of a Corporation)

If the property is purchased through a corporation, the attorney/notary may offer bookkeeping services to manage financial records and ensure compliance with corporate reporting requirements. They may assist in maintaining accurate financial records and filing necessary reports to regulatory authorities.
Overall, the buyer's attorney/notary plays a pivotal role in safeguarding the buyer's interests throughout the real estate transaction, ensuring legal compliance, and facilitating a successful and secure transfer of property ownership in Costa Rica.


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