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#298133 - 09/11/08 12:05 PM Buying real estate  
Joined: Sep 2008
Posts: 102
Verbatim Offline
Verbatim  Offline
Hi there everyone, I have some questions about what is involved in buying a property in Belize. I found the property and the Seller has sent a photocopy of the title to my lawyer. Below is what my lawyer had told me is involved and it seems pretty straight forward except my lawyer is not happy with the contract the Seller has sent me. Clearly the Seller is not using a lawyer to draft the sales contract and it requires a number of corrections. The Seller seems to feel my lawyer is making things complicated in terms of the contract but I don't know what the contract should have in it. My lawyer says that for her to draft a contract will cost me more $$. In North America we have standard real estate contracts so why would a fresh one have to be drafted? This is feeling very complicated and is drawing things out. Also, how do I know the property described in the contract is the one I saw? There is a lot number but who knows for sure? There is no solicitor involved by the way.

My lawyer is answering questions in bits and pieces so I am not clear, and she has not answered this one. Initially this is what my lawyer said was involved:

The first step is a title search. If you don't have a copy of the Vendor's title, we would request a copy from the Vendor on your behalf. And, if the Vendor is a company, we would also undertake a company search to ensure that the company is in good standing. Additionally, we would ask for a copy of the agreement for sale or draft one on your behalf if so instructed by you.
The likely fees are as follows:

1. solicitor's fee - between 1.5% and 2% of the purchase price, depending on the actual amount.

2. General Sales Tax (GST) - 10% of the solicitor's fee;

3. title search - between US$38.00 and US$150.00, depending on the type of title;

4. stamp duty - 5% of that portion of the purchase price in excess of US$10,000.00;

5. recording fee - between US$8.00 and US$16.00, again depending on the type of title.

We have an escrow account that is used for such purchases. We would receive the funds from the purchaser and hold in escrow until such time as is agreed between the parties.

Once the title is free and clear, we would prepare the necessary transfer documents for the execution of the parties. If instructed by you, we can also conduct the closing on your behalf.

My friends, does all this make sense? What in heck is this sales draft that we apparently need and why is this so complicated? My lawyer is apparently on vacation for a month (!) so answers are sporadic...and finally, how long does it take, with this change in government, for all to be finalized? We picked a closing date but isn't that up in the air depending on how long the transfer takes?

Would love some help with this if anyone can enlighten me, help through any potential pitfalls and hopefully speed things along without spending any more $$! By the way, the seller lives abroad, if that makes any difference.

Thank you!!!

#298136 - 09/11/08 12:18 PM Re: Buying real estate [Re: Verbatim]  
Joined: Jun 2003
Posts: 969
Inplub Offline
Inplub  Offline
Can you tell me who your lawyer is and is he in Belize if you do not want to answer PM me.

Last edited by Inplub; 09/11/08 12:23 PM.
#298137 - 09/11/08 12:22 PM Re: Buying real estate [Re: Inplub]  
Joined: Jan 2008
Posts: 166
RathaBnBelize Offline
RathaBnBelize  Offline
That was going to be my first question too...location of lawyer. Not sure...but I would think a Belize lawyer would be the best.

#298140 - 09/11/08 12:34 PM Re: Buying real estate [Re: RathaBnBelize]  
Joined: Jun 2003
Posts: 969
Inplub Offline
Inplub  Offline
Have you paid any money as a deposit?

#298141 - 09/11/08 12:35 PM Re: Buying real estate [Re: RathaBnBelize]  
Joined: Sep 2008
Posts: 102
Verbatim Offline
Verbatim  Offline
Definitely using a Belizean lawyer who was recommended to me.

#298142 - 09/11/08 12:38 PM Re: Buying real estate [Re: Verbatim]  
Joined: Sep 2008
Posts: 102
Verbatim Offline
Verbatim  Offline
No, have not paid money as a deposit yet and unsure about when and how to go about doing that in a secure way. The lawyer makes no mention of that part of the procedure but it seems the seller wants that sent to them and right away. How does that part work?

#298143 - 09/11/08 12:41 PM Re: Buying real estate [Re: Verbatim]  
Joined: Sep 2002
Posts: 10,850
Ernie B Offline
Ernie B  Offline
Get a new lawyer. Or, a good used one.

Last edited by Ernie B; 09/11/08 12:42 PM.

Gun Control is Hitting Your Target.
#298145 - 09/11/08 12:48 PM Re: Buying real estate [Re: Verbatim]  
Joined: Jun 2003
Posts: 969
Inplub Offline
Inplub  Offline
I bought a property in San Pedro in 2002 and then sold it in 2007. It can become complicated if you do not take care. Can you tell me if you are paying in full or are you taking it on terms.

Last edited by Inplub; 09/11/08 12:55 PM.
#298147 - 09/11/08 12:53 PM Re: Buying real estate [Re: Inplub]  
Joined: Jun 2003
Posts: 969
Inplub Offline
Inplub  Offline
The seller wants a deposit and if you do not pay the rest by the closing date they keep the deposit, that is why they have you pick the date. You go by how things work out in your country, but that does not work in Belize everything takes longer.

#298148 - 09/11/08 01:06 PM Re: Buying real estate [Re: Inplub]  
Joined: Sep 2008
Posts: 102
Verbatim Offline
Verbatim  Offline
I understand things are different in 'my country' but I'm trying to find out how. And why not have a standard contract?

The seller suggested a closing date but how do you determine one? Isn't it all dependent on when the title transfer goes through? I hear that can take a long time.

So you pay the deposit to the seller via your lawyer, the title is signed over by the seller and sent back to the lawyer, the lawyer transfers the balance of funds to the seller which they held in trust, and you wait for the transfer to take place? Is this all correct? Then what is the closing date?

Inpub, I am paying a deposit and then paying in full. What do you mean by "on terms"?

Ernie, why suggest I get a different lawyer?

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