The steps to buying real estate in Roatan:
- Once you have found a property that you like, we will prepare a simple purchase agreement. Our purchase agreements are written in plain English. You will state your price and terms, sign and initial the offer. We present it to the seller or seller’s agent and it is normal to have some back and forth negotiations before a final agreement is reached. We are here to advise you through the process.
- Once an agreement is reached, earnest money must be wired (10% of the purchase price) to our Broker’s Trust Account. Those funds are held in trust according to the terms of your purchase agreement. earnest money is typically due within 7 to 10 days of acceptance.
- You will select a Roatan real estate attorney to handle the closing. On Roatan, the sellers have to pay all real estate commissions and capital gains taxes. The buyers pay for the closing. The attorney begins by reviewing the purchase agreement and then reviews the survey and title for the property. The attorney will discuss and recommend the form of title that you should take, discuss Honduras corporations with you, and prepare the new deed and property transfer. There is a transfer tax that needs to be paid and that is usually part of the overall fee charged by the attorney. The attorney will also make sure that all taxes and fees have been paid, and any employees from the seller have been properly compensated so their are no claims against you as the new owner.
- If you choose to form a Honduran corporation, the attorney will discuss the best ways to structure the corporation for your needs. You will need to name the corporation and decide who the officers and shareholders will be.
- While the attorney is reviewing documents and forming a corporation, your real estate agent 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 Trust 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.
- 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.
- Your property taxes will need to be paid each year. We can assist you with the payment each year if you do not plan to return to Roatan often.
- Search our listings at https://www.roatanlandandhomes.com