Buy Sell Contract

The deal is tied up with the execution of a contract commonly known as a PROMISE OF BUY SALE, where all the conditions of the deal previously discussed are set out in detail: description and identification of the property, price, final closing date, terms, etc. A down payment of 10-20% of the price is customary with the signing of the contract. (See a sample contract).

With the signing of the contract and the down payment that the selling owner receives, he / she must pay any outstanding tax or mortgage debt, if any, and the latest utility bills. The buyer has the time to get the pending money to pay. This contract generally has a penal clause in which if one of the parties decides to undo the deal, the breaching party must pay the other a penalty for non-compliance. If the party that defaults is the seller, he/she must return the money received, plus the fine.

This contract can be waived if the deal is with a single payment and the property titles are in order without mortgages or liens so we can proceed directly to the signing of the deed and the simultaneous total payment.

I study the titles beforehand and I will clearly communicate their conditions to the parties. I carefully revise a current title certificate and the last deed of sale. If necessary, a more detailed study is made of the title of the last 20 years of the property.

On the final closing day stipulated in the contract, the parties meet at a notary's office and sign a public deed of sale where the seller transfers the title to the buyer and the buyer pays the seller the full balance. Forms of payment used: bank transfer or cashier's check. The commission to the selling agent is also paid on the same day.

In a couple of days following the signing, the deed is processed to be entered at the Office of the Public Registry to complete the title; It is in this final step when the Colombian state recognizes the new owner. The Registry Office normally takes 10 business days to make the entry on the record where the name of the new owner appears.


Summirizig: buyer pays 2.7% and seller pays 1.3%. Notary fees, which are approximately 0.6% of the declared value on the deed, are usually paid equally divided between buyer and seller. 1% Tax witheld is paid by the seller. To enter the deed to the registry or recording office, the buyer must pay 3 taxes such as stamps, hospital tax, plus the recording fee, all of these add up to 2.4% of the declared value. The notaries when releasing the deed, deliver the invoices ready for these payments to the buyer.


Signing persons: If you are a Colombian citizen or permanent resident in Colombia, you must have a valid colombian ID (cedula). If you are a foreign citizen you must have a valid passport.

Documents required for the deed: The documents required to proceed with the deed of the property will be obtained and requested by Paul Juan Realty, charging the costs incurred to the corresponding party. The following documents are required:

1.- Title Certificate: Having the real estate registration number, it can be obtained at the registry office or online:

2.- Property tax paid for the current year. The notary verifies online that it is in zeros and prints the invoice. No document is necessary.

3.- Special Assesment tax good standing certificate. In Cartagena there is an entity called: Oficina de Valorización Distrital which handles extraordinary taxes that are imposed for public works of general benefit, comparable with the IDU in Bogotá or Megaobras in Cali. Because it is a special tax, it is paid when it occurs and it is eventual. You can verify on line if a property owes special assesment tax by visiting: [valorizacion] and entering the catastral number. The certificate of good standing (Paz y Salvo) has a cost of $ 20,000 pesos.

4.- Community good standing certificate applies to properties subject to horizontal property regime: apartments or houses in gated communities. The selling party must provide this document as of the current month of the signing of the deed.

Paul Juan

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