Buying Process in the Dominican Republic

If you have gotten this far in your search then maybe congratulations are in order.  Hopefully you have found the home of your dreams and are moving towards ownership here in the Dominican Republic.  


Here are some insights about the buying process in the Dominican Republic.


The first step is to choose a reputable company to represent you throughout this process.  Keller Williams is an internationally recognized brand with a global reputation for quality service and reliable results.


Next, you will need to decide what type of property you would like to purchase.  This can depend on the purpose and your goals for the property.  For example, if you want to earn income it's important to purchase in the areas that are popular for vacation rentals.  Your KW Agent can help you decide the best area for you based on your needs and wants for the property.


The next step is to establish a price range.  Once we know what you are looking for we can help you to understand what it will cost to get what you want.  If you need financing then we can recommend some local banks or maybe there might be the possibility of seller financing where the seller will take back a mortgage.  Your KW Agent can tell you more about how Seller Financing functions.


Now that you know what you are looking for and what it costs and with the finances in order it's time to hit the road (if necessary).  


Before your arrival coordinate with your KW Agent to pick you up from your condo or hotel and show you the available properties that meet your requirements.  If you will have a car you can also meet at our office located on Avenida Alemania in El Cortecito.  When you are with the Agent you will have the opportunity to ask any remaining questions and get to know the areas you have read about, seen pictures of, or have seen videos and TV shows about.  


If you are still afar and do not want to wait to travel you can skip this step, but you can feel very confident that the information you have seen and read from Keller Williams Punta Cana is up to date and accurate.  We take pains to make sure you are up to date and aware of what is going on in the market so that you don't miss out on any great opportunity.


Once you have decided on a property your KW Agent will assist you to fill out a reservation form or draft an Offer or Letter of Intent for your desired property.  This stage is to establish a high agreement between you and the Seller.  This document will include your name, address, nationality, marital status, and include the property address, price, and any conditions regarding inclusions/exclusions and the payment schedule.


Once the Seller signs the Letter of Intent/Offer/Reservation Form you can then coordinate to send the deposit to officially remove the property from the market and hire your attorney to perform the due diligence.


Normally this first payment is held in safekeeping by Keller Williams Punta Cana until the lawyer completes due diligence confirming that the property's paperwork is in order and you are ready to sign the promise of sale.


Some projects offer to prepare the contracts with their own legal team, but we never recommend this as it poses a risk to you and you will not have your own legal representation.  Anyone can copy-paste a name and personal information into a document and of course it is not costly, but you are making an important investment and should be legally represented by someone who will protect your interests.  Thereby we always recommend you hire your own lawyer to perform due dilligence and draft your contract.  We can recommend very good and reputable lawyers to assist you with this stage of your purchase process which normally lasts 2-4 weeks depending on the situation.


After due diligence is complete you will be ready to sign the contract and either make the next deposit or pay the balance of the purchase price.  If you are buying an existing property you will most likely be receiving the key upon signing of the contract.  If you are buying pre-construction then the process continues. Your KW Agent can keep you up to date with the contruction progress and how the process is progressing.


When you have your keys in hand it's time to celebrate!!!  If you bought an unfurnished property then you will have the exciting task of furnishing your new home.  In any case you will need to get the utilities in your name.


Your KW Agent can give you some insight on how to get the utilities put in your name and if you don't want to worry about this task we can offer you our prices and you can hire our support team to take care of this on your behalf.  This will entail a Power of Attorney to get the electricty put in your name and to order cable and maybe internet service.  Let us know if you are interested in our prices for these services.


If you are interested in insuring your property now is the time to make that decision.  Your KW Agent can provide quotes for Property Insurance.  You will need to decide and inform us of the value of insurance you are interested in.  The would be either the value you paid for the property or possibly that value plus the value of the furniture for the home.


Now that you have your home, furnished, and with utilities it's time to celebrate!!!  Your KW Agent and the rest of the team can definitely support you with this, no problem at all!!!



THE BUYING PROCESS (once you have found the property of choice)


In the Dominican Republic the buying process is slighty different than in the United States or other countries.


The document that proves your ownership of a property would be the "Certificate of Title" and it is issued by the Dominican Title Registry Office.


Once you have found the perfect investment, we are happy to guide you and be your support through the process and help you find a lawyer you can trust.


These are the steps to follow when purchasing a property with us:


1) Your KW agent will write an offer to the seller with the price and conditions that you are offering. Both the buyer and the seller should sign this offer, compromising to reserve the property for you for the time agreed.  That way we make sure that, while the contract is being prepared, the property is off of the market reserved for you.  Usually this offer is binding for both parties and should be done together with earnest money or a down payment. We at Keller Williams Punta Cana do an initial screen of all properties we offer, nevertheless, it is always recommended that the buyer hire a real estate attorney to perform the due diligence of the property before signing any other documents than this offer or making a deposit to any property owner without Keller Williams Punta Cana’s reputable advice.


2) After the offer is made, the attorney can proceed to prepare the "Promise of Sale", conditioning the purchase to the results of the due diligence done on the property.  The "Promise of Sale" is a formal document in the form of a private contract, binding for both parties, which should be signed by them and confirmed by a Dominican Notary Public.  This document can even be more important than the deed of sale itself, since it contains all details of the transaction, from the very beginning with the reservation down payment un to the last payment when the property has been then fully paid and ready to be transferred into the new buyer's name.


A proper "Promise of Sale" should contain the following:

  • Full name and details of both buyer and seller.  If the seller is married, the partner should also sign.
  • Legal description of the property in question
  • Total purchase price, payment terms and dates
  • Default clause
  • Delivery date for the property
  • Due diligence required or done
  • Representations by the seller and remedies in case of misrepresentation
  • Obligations of the seller to sign the Deed of Sale when the final payment has been received.


3) The other formal document to be signed, the "Final Sale Contract" (Contrato de Venta), it is binding for both parties and it is primarily used for conveying the property from the seller to the buyer.  In case of a cash purchase, it is simpler and cheaper to go directly from the KW offer to the Final Sale Contract. The Promise of Sale mentioned before would then not be necessary.


After this is done, your lawyer will be responsible for everything regarding the determination and payment of the transfer and registry taxes and for filing the Certificate of Title at the Title Registry Office.