Information For Buyers
Our goal is to help ensure that your Roatan Real Estate transaction is as trouble free as possible,
and that you completely understand each step, commitment, that is required along the way.
“We work very hard to ensure there are “NO SURPRISES“ for our clients. Our belief is that an informed client quickly becomes a happy client, and since 1991, we have added more happy clients than any other Real Estate Broker on the island.“
Although we don’t give legal advice, we do have long-term working relationships with all the very best legal firms on the island that do, and based on your precise needs, we’re happy to recommend one to you. Before you make any commitments to anyone, we’d like to outline the (most commonly asked) top considerations facing Foreign Investors.
Foreigners Purchasing Property:
The purchase process itself is an easy process.
Foreigners, (as individuals) can own up to 3000 square meters, which is approximately .74 acres, of land per investor. Therefore, a husband and wife can jointly own 1.48 acres of land.
In order to purchase more than .74 acres of land per investor, a Honduran Corporation must be formed.
Forming a Honduran corporation is a straightforward task for any qualified attorney and typically costs about $2000.00 USD.
Purchaser’s Closing Costs:
A budget of between 6% to 8% of the purchase price should typically cover all your closing costs.
This money covers the land transfer taxes charged by the Honduran Government plus bar and registry taxes and includes the legal fees associated with the transfer of the title.
If you decide to create a Honduran Corporation, or if a mortgage is required, or if title insurance is purchased, these items would be additional costs you’ll need to consider.
Our Proven Buying Process
Step by Step
Step 1: Objectives Meeting
We meet with you to discuss your requirements for the new property. This includes the “must have items”, the “like to have items”, etc.
Next, we’ll discuss neighborhoods / towns. With several of our owners having been born on the island, and living their entire lives here on the island, we have an enormous advantage over our competitors in this area. We know Roatan better than any other Real Estate Firm.
No one else knows the island AND understands the culture of a specific area as well as we do.
We’ll help ensure that you end up with the property of your dreams, in the area that fits you like a glove.
This first meeting can be in person or on the phone, your choice. We’ll have lots of questions for you, our goal is to ensure we completely understand exactly what you’re looking for and all your potential concerns.
Step 2: Visit The Potential Properties:
This part of our process continues until we find you exactly what you’re looking for. Unlike some other companies who are just focused on making a quick sale, we’re patient and we’ll work hard until you’re confident you’ve found exactly what you’re looking for. We’re even bold enough to tell you if you’re being unrealistic or you’re making a mistake instead of just blowing you off like so many others.
An added advantage that we have is that quite often we can find our clients properties that can’t be found on the Roatan MLS service. This happens because we were born here, we grew up here and we know lots of people. We know who owns properties that may not be on the market YET, we know how to reach those people to determine if they might be interested in a making potential deal.
YES, Of course we work with the MLS Listings, BUT we sell more of these NON-MLS LISTINGS year after year then we do traditional MLS listings. In fact, every property listed on our website is NOT listed in the Roatan MLS service and you will only find those listings here.
Working with us means you’ll have access to the most properties (both MLS and Non-MLS), on the entire island of Roatan and, you’ll get unmatched insight as to what’s likely to change on the island in the next 2 years, 5 years, etc.
Step 3: Make An Offer:
We work with you to make the best possible offer. This is where our local knowledge is unmatched by any other real estate company. Finding “comp” values on the island is not at all like you’ve experienced in other major countries (Canada, United States). Having grown up on the island, we understand how the “locals” think and how to best negotiate with them. We ensure our clients don’t pay “tourist pricing” for anything they buy through us.
The seller can accept the offer, submit a counter offer or reject the offer.
Step 4: Your Offer Is Accepted:
Ensuring Clear Title:
To protect your investment, you need to work with three entities on your real estate transaction: a qualified Real Estate Broker, a Honduran Notary and a qualified Attorney.
In many cases this next step will be for the buyer is to complete some due diligence such as a home inspection, title search or whatever other contingencies were written into your agreed upon offer. These contingencies must be removed within the time frame as agreed to in your offer.
Once these contingencies have been removed the next step will be that an “earnest money deposit” (10% of the purchase price) must be made within 72 hours (negotiable) to a pre-determined escrow account.
If there were no contingencies listed on your offer, you’ll bypass this due diligence step and the “earnest money deposit” must be made (typically) within 7 days.
While your attorney is reviewing documents and forming a corporation, your real estate agent (that’s us) will be busy assisting with the gathering of documents, paid tax receipts, and other items that the attorney requests. If the attorney finds something wrong or additional information is needed, you and the seller will be informed, and the closing dates may need to be amended. We review title documents before accepting a listing, so problems are rare, but if something is wrong with the title, the attorney will not let you close until his concerns are resolved. It is very rare to have an irresolvable title issue, but if it happens, your earnest money deposit is returned to you.
About a week before closing, you will need to wire the balance of the purchase price to the Escrow Account. It can take several days and sometimes up to a week for funds to get cleared through the bank and be available for closing.
Step 5: The Closing:
On the date of the closing, the seller signs all documents. You can be present for the closing or your attorney can represent you. The attorney will advise you that you now own the property. At that time, the seller receives his proceeds and the attorney is paid. You will receive copies of all documents. It is very important that you retain those documents until you sell the property in the future.
The property and corporate recording process can take 4 to 6 months. Once everything is recorded, you will receive stock certificates for your corporation. Keep those in a safe place.
A Note About Financing
Owner Financing May Be Available
Financing may be provided by the Seller, guaranteed by you through a mortgage registered against the property title at closing.
The terms of this type of agreement are negotiable. You should understand that the interest rates in Honduras are typically higher than what you’d find in the US or Canada, and the term is typically limited to 1 to 3 years. Most sellers won’t consider financing more than half of the purchase price. This type of financing has value in that it can help you purchase a property today and fund that purchase on your own timeline.