Buying Property

Nicaragua Sotheby’s International Realty is proud to be the first luxury real estate brand in Nicaragua, and we look forward to showing you the best Nicaragua has to offer.

Nicaragua offers extraordinary opportunities in real estate, from elegant colonial houses in Granada, the old colonial city, to the tropical beaches of Tola and San Juan del Sur. The country is a hidden gem in Central America, and the time is right for purchasing property for investment or personal use.

Key points to know:

  • Foreign Investment Law 344 recognizes foreign investors’ rights to own property and to establish businesses as they wish. Foreigners are allowed 100% ownership with equal rights under the law.
  • Tourism Investment Law 306 also states that any income made within Nicaragua on certain tourism related property (registered hotels and resorts) is tax free. For years Americans have taken advantage of the tremendous opportunities and value Nicaragua has to offer.

Steps to Purchasing:

  1. Your Nicaragua Sotheby’s International Realty sales agents will help you find the right property at the right location for the right price. They will discuss your needs and arrange to show you properties that fit your criteria. They will advise you of any factors that may affect your choice of property. Our agents have exclusive access to the finest luxury properties in Nicaragua, and will help you find your dream home or the best investment opportunity.
  2. After you select your desired property, our agent will assist you in making an offer on your chosen property, including price and sales terms. The Seller will accept, decline or counter-offer. During this time, a cursory investigation of title is usually performed. Our agent may represent both the buyer and the seller which is quite common in Nicaragua. The property purchase process starts with the offer being accepted by the seller, you will then be asked for a 10% deposit, which is kept in escrow until the closing. Most real estate sales are 'all cash' as financing, while available is limited.
    • The whole process of closing on a property usually take s between 30-45 days. The legal process begins with a number of checks made by the lawyer. Nicaragua Sotheby's International Realty works with and highly recommends Garcia & Bodan, Central America's most knowledgeable, experienced and trusted law firm with offices throughout Nicaragua.
  3. The sales contract (promesa de venta) is written, then signed by seller and buyer, which includes all terms of the purchase and sale with the sales price, along with a power of attorney for you if you cannot be in the country for the closing. The contract should explain that your deposit will be returned if any irregularities are found in the title search. Unless you are a resident they may require a copy of your first two pages of your passport. Both English and Spanish sales contracts are binding in Nicaragua.
  4. The lawyer requests the Libertad de Gravamen (Free of Lien) document from the Public Registry Office. The property title is investigated to ensure the taxes and other obligations to the government are paid and up to date. They will also ensure there are no liens, ownership issues nor encumbrances against the property (libertad de gravamen).
  5. Once the lawyer has checked this paper: A new Escritura (or Title Deed) will be drawn up showing the buyer as the new owner. Fees are paid and the property is usually registered within 4 to 5 months.
    • All documents should identify the property by its legal description including the Finca, Tomo, Folio and Asiento identification numbers. From the seller the attorney requires: Copy of the deed (escritura) and site plan (plano). The seller should provide his Tax ID Number, Land Registry Certificate, Land Registry Survey, Power of Attorney (if not the property owner and Verification that all taxes have been paid to date).
    • A Certificate of No Objection (CNO) may be required if the property is near a lake, ocean or river. The CNO usually is completed after the closing since it may take months to complete. If a letter of no objection is required, this may take 3 to 6 months.
  6. At the closing will be the seller, buyer’s attorney and buyer (seller and/or buyer may be represented by whomever holds the power of attorney). Since Nicaragua Sotheby’s International Realty has only exclusive listings, there is usually only one realtor and one lawyer present at the closing. You will sign the new Title deed (Escritura) drafted by the lawyer and provide the remaining purchase funds. The seller of the property and the buyer of the property will sign this new document and it will be authorized by the lawyer.
    • When all documents are completed, they will be given to the buyer. You are now the owner of the property and in full possession. Following this, the lawyer will take the necessary steps to have the property registered in the buyer’s name.
  7. The Cadastral Office will evaluate the property: Since the cadastral value of your property is unknown until the registration after the closing, the exact amount of your fees is unknown. A settling then occurs and the realtor or lawyer rebates any overpayment on the registration fees or charges you for the underpayment. Similarly, for the seller, if they are paying the property transfer tax, the exact amount for the property transfer tax is determined and the difference is settled. A reasonable estimate of the Transfer tax is 4% (four percent) of the stated contract value. Payment of this Transfer Tax results in the transfer of the property to the buyer’s name.
    • In addition, the buyer will pay 1% of the assessed value to the Public Registry, however, this has a cap of C$30,000 (which at today´s exchange rate is around $1,080).

Nicaragua Sotheby’s International Realty looks forward to helping you find and purchase your dream home.