Real Estate in the Dominican Republic!

Operations with real estate in the Dominican Republic are governed by Law No. 108-05 on the registration of real estate, effective from April 4, 2007, as well as regulations on its application. The ownership of the property is formalized through the registration of a contract of sale, certified by a notary and meeting all legal requirements, in the appropriate register of titles. After registration of the contract, the title registrar issues a title certificate to the buyer, which confirms his title.


Unlike other countries where sellers and buyers usually sign an agreement or a private document without any prior legal advice, in the Dominican Republic it is recommended that the buyer use the services of a notary-lawyer bureau that specializes in real estate transactions before signing any agreement, make a payment or make a deposit, because the system does not provide the buyer with sufficient guarantees.


Most real estate transactions in the Dominican Republic begin with the signing of a preliminary contract of sale or purchase option, on the basis of which the buyer transfers the deposit or advance to the seller or a third party for the reservation of the property, and the seller undertakes to sell this property to the buyer, provided in the preliminary contract or option. The parties sign the contract in the presence of a notary who certifies their signatures.

The preliminary contract or option should describe in detail all aspects of the transaction, such as: a description of the property, the sale price, the form of payment, guarantees, the reasons for the cancellation of the contract, etc., since the function of this contract is the regulation of the purchase-sale transaction from the beginning to the moment payment of the whole transaction price and signing of the final contract of sale, which will serve as the basis for transfer of the right to real estate to the buyer's name.


a) Full names and personal data of all parties. If the seller is married, the spouse's signature is also required.
b) Cadastral description of the property is the subject of the transaction.
c) The price of the transaction and the form of payment.
d) Regulation on cancellation of the contract in case of default on payment obligations, if the parties have agreed on such.
e) Date of acceptance of the property.
f) List of all legal certificates and checks necessary to confirm the status of the property, with a reservation to effect payments, depending on the positive result of these inspections and the collection of documentation.
g) The obligation of the seller to sign the final contract of sale upon receipt of the whole transaction price.


Like the preliminary contract, the final contract of sale is signed after 100% payment for the property in the presence of a notary who certifies the signatures of the parties. The purpose of signing this agreement is the transfer of ownership by the seller to the buyer; such an agreement is tantamount to a notarial deed, which is used in Spain and in the Hispanic countries of America. In some cases, it is recommended to purchase not in your name, but on a Dominican company.


The final contract of sale must be submitted to the local office of the Dominican Republic General Directorate for internal taxes and fees and request a calculation of the tax on the purchased property. The local branch of the Main Department for Internal Taxes and Levies will check whether the seller has complied with all tax obligations at the time of application and will appoint an inspector who will estimate the value of the property and calculate the amount of tax payable. This procedure can take from a few days to several weeks, depending mainly on the amount of current work for the inspector appointed to perform the assessment or the remoteness of the property in the Dominican Republic and the office of the local tax office.


After the estimated value of the Dominican real estate object became known and taxes and fees were paid for the transfer of ownership, the final contract of sale and title certificate for the sold property, as well as documents received from the local office of the Dominican Republic's Internal Taxes and Levies Administration , it is necessary to submit to the registry the titles of the jurisdiction where the purchased property is located.

In practice, this procedure is accompanied by a number of various formalities that require in most cases the personal presence of an attorney or notary in the registry of titles; in this there is a significant difference from other countries, such as Spain, where the notarial act can be registered by mail or fax, followed by the transfer of the original by mail or in person, in the