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The process of buying real estate in Medellin can be a little different than buying in your home country. There are legal, financial, and practical concerns that you should address to be able to make informed decisions and navigating the complexities of international real estate transactions. Here you can find an easy step-by-step guide to buying property in Colombia:

1. Find a lawyer and real estate agent:

What to look for in a lawyer?

  • Experience with real estate transactions with expats
  • Bilingual (not just speak in English but understand and can help navigate cultural differences)
  • They can explain the process easily
  • Past clients recommend them

What to look for in a real estate agent??

  • They understand the local market
  • They have experience with sales
  • They understand the expat cultural mindset
  • They know the requirements for investing
  • They have contacts that they can recommend for things associated with real estate (contractors, architects, furniture stores, interior designers, etc)

2. Open a bank or brokerage account

What is a brokerage account? It’s an investment account that can be used to exchange currency and for  investments such as stocks, bonds, mutual funds. It differs from a bank account in 
What are the differences with a normal bank account?

  • You can open a brokerage account virtually and without a local ID (cedula)
  • They will assign you an agent that speaks English so it’s easy to communicate with them (banks usually don’t have English speaking tellers or agents)
  • With a brokerage account you can send instructions via email or make transfers through the portal, banks usually require you to go personally for large movements of money.
  • Brokerage accounts  can be more expensive than some banks
  • With a brokerage account you don’t get a bank card to pay in stores like you do with bank accounts.
  • Brokerage accounts usually offer a much better interest rate than a normal account for the money you keep in there

3. Find the right property

These are the most important things to ask yourself when choosing a property:

  • Analyze your desired location (Poblado and Laureles are the most sought after neighborhoods)
  • Size
  • View
  • Amenities
  • Everything else can be modified

4. Negotiate the deal

Negotiations in Colombia may differ significantly from what you’re accustomed to. Colombians are known for their indirect communication style, which is polite, diplomatic, and often involves a fair amount of tactful negotiation. It’s important to be patient, as decisions can take time and may involve several rounds of discussion. Being too direct or aggressive in negotiations can be perceived negatively. Instead, aim for a respectful and patient approach, showing flexibility and willingness to find mutual benefits.

5. Legalities

  1. Title search: It’s important to make sure that the property doesn’t have any liens or mortgages
  2. Promise of purchase
  3. Tax residency and implications: You become a tax resident if you have lived in Colombia for 183+ days in any 365 day period. If you’re a tax resident you will not qualify as a foreign investor and won’t be able to obtain a visa for that investment.
  4. Register the investment: If you’re not a tax resident, you have to register your investment before Colombia’s Central Bank. It’s highly recommended to get assistance from a lawyer used to this process to make sure this document is filled and filed correctly. Not doing this can get you heavily fined.

6. Closing and delivery

  1. Costs of closing:
  2. Public deed;