Potential Pitfalls: Any potential Purchaser of land in Belize is advised to seek the assistance of a Belize real estate lawyer. This is due to the fact that the transfer process is not automatic and can extend to a few weeks. In the interim, secure and reputable methods to secure funds have been established for the provision of Professional and Licensed Escrow Services. The complexity, and thus potential pitfalls, arising from the transfer of real estate in Belize is attributed to the various types of land titles available in Belize. There are Deeds of Gift, Indentures, Conveyances, Title by Prescription, Strata Titles (Condominiums), The Torrens System-First Certificates of Title (FCTs), Transfer Certificates of Title (TCTs), Registered Land Title (RLA) and Minister’s Fiat Grants or Leases. As such, freehold or good root of title has to be ascertained by a vigorous title search, as to be determined by succession and inheritance issues, absence of restrictive covenants or easements, physical possession and proper survey descriptions. Title and parties must also be crossed checked in the Courts of Belize since despite the fact that no liens, charges or encumbrances may be apparent on title, equitable interests may still exist by virtue of Court action against the property itself or the owner. Click here to read Ministry of Lands Press Release.
- Provision of legal advice as to the most appropriate structure for the transaction in light of the client’s needs and with regards to savings on taxes;
- Preparation and Review of the agreement for sale to discern the contractual obligations and to ensure the proper execution thereof and attestation thereto;
- Attending to its recording (if in recordable format) Investigation of title to the property at such registries as may be necessary depending on the type of property;
- Making requisitions as to title (if necessary) and title opinion thereon;
- Preparation of conveyance/transfer documents in respect of the property;
- Attending to the payment of all requisite government fees on behalf of the client including property taxes, stamp duty and recording or registration fees;
- Ensuring the proper execution of and attestation to the conveyance/transfer,
- Attending to recording or registering of the said conveyance/transfer documents at the appropriate registry;
- Placing or preparing Liens or Cautions on the property where required or appropriate;
- Submission of retainer agreement between the parties;
- Procuring all locally required permits for foreign ownership if applicable
- Providing such other normal professional services as may be necessary from time to time to effect the real estate purchase/sale transaction.
After initial review, Arguelles and Company will provide an exact quote of all fees payable by client for the contemplated transaction. There will be no hidden professional or governmental fees.
Buyer's Agent/ Seller's Agent Services
- Legal representation & review of all title issues, contracts and monitoring of timelines;
- Requisitions of all further lien information, title documents and tax information;
- Property Searches;
- Title Insurance arrangements;
- Negotiation of terms, costs and sales price;
- Market Valuation comparisons;
- Architectural, Environmental, Development and Contracting contracts and permits
Type A - Acting on behalf of one party:
- Preparation of detailed and tailored escrow agreement for your personal special terms and conditions;
- Full practical and legal protection for client’s money, security of title and interest;
- Release only when favourable to clients which is dependent upon the specifics of the properly drafted escrow agreement.
Type B - Acting as an Independent Third Party Escrow Agent
- Preparation of escrow agreement with local industry standard terms and conditions;
- Release strictly upon terms of the agreement being fulfilled or alternately, a refund of the escrowed funds;
- Total and assured impartiality, independence and integrity.
For clients wishing to supplement their piece of mind, Arguelles & Company is country approved attorney for First American Title Insurance Company, International Division, Latin American/Caribbean. The firm reviews Root of Title and submits a full report (together with tile documents, affidavits etc.) to First American for them to act upon after their review. To maintain a high level of professionalism and independence, it is preferable that clients request insurance services directly unless otherwise preferred.
The Legal Report is then reviewed for compliance with standard quality assurances, a commitment is issued and then underwritten if everything is satisfactory.
Financing and US Dollar Accounts
Arguelles & Company works in conjunction with local bankers to secure financing for any purchase of land (or further development) by non-residents of Belize secured by the property itself. For further details on procedure or personal references, please contact us.
US Dollar accounts (in either your name or through the use of local corporate structures) can also be facilitated for repatriation of profit, outgoing wires, or incoming funds. There is no ceiling on any transaction, unless when dealing in cash. There are no foreign exchange regulations applicable, currency conversion rates, or are clients subject to US Dollar availability. 100% access and availability at any time. Please contact us for details.