ARTICLES

Red Alerts in Panama Real Estate Transactions

  • March 29th, 2022
Category: Commentary
Services: Real Estate

Real Estate transactions in Panama are usually a straightforward and safe process as long as you have the proper help. Since 2008, Kraemer & Kraemer has successfully completed many transactions, keeping our clients’ interests at the forefront of our service.

Through the years, we have taken note of important details to prevent fraud and to help you have a better experience when purchasing real estate in Panama. Let’s discuss a few of them.

Comparing Location and Price is Key

This should be obvious but is oftentimes overlooked. As a client, you need to visit the target property. We also recommended looking for similar properties to obtain reasonable price ranges in the area.

We have seen clients who want to acquire a property in a distant location without even visiting it. This can lead to sellers taking advantage and inflating the price.

If you want to buy real estate in Panama, our first recommendation to prevent fraud is that either you or someone you trust makes a local visit and research price around the area.

Inspecting Property Conditions

Visiting the target property also gives you the opportunity to compare it firsthand with the description and physical conditions provided by the seller.

We’ve had clients who were simply given a location map of the property, supposedly with guaranteed access to the main road, water, and other basic services. However, when the property is inspected, it falls short of the seller’s description.

Having someone to visit the site with you and actually confirm the property’s characteristics will save you time, effort, and money.

Is the seller in a rush?

Another alert sign happens when the seller is in a rush to complete a transaction. If the seller pushes constantly you may have reasons to be suspicious.

In our experience, once legal assistance is involved and takes part in conversations with this type of seller, transactions may be canceled. In fact, we have seen sellers disappear: no more emails, calls, or messages.

Don’t let the seller bully you. Take your time to do the necessary due diligence.

Is Your Real Estate Agent Trustworthy?

One time a client visited an apartment. He fell in love with it and immediately started the buying process. At the time, the seller’s real estate agent managed the communication between the buyer, seller, and lawyers involved.

Fast forward a few weeks later, the real estate agent got the client confused and made him spend money unnecessarily on “due diligence” against our counsel. In the end, the client stepped back from the transaction because the process got messy, and the real estate agent lost credibility.

Our recommendation is to get references from your real estate agent. Ask him for previous deals and contact information of other clients. This will help you move from a subjective to an informed opinion.

Understanding Local Laws

Buying a property in a foreign country is challenging, especially, when you assume the same laws, policies, practices, or rights from your home country also apply in Panama.

For example, in some countries, the seller is responsible for closing costs. In Panama, unless you clearly spell this out in a buy/sell agreement, this is not the case.

You will prevent a lot of disappointment when you understand the differences in Panama, whether in laws, policies or practices, compared to those of your home country.

Get the right legal assistance

We strongly recommend you to be prepared and become informed, hire the proper assistance, and perform the necessary inspections whenever you want to buy real estate in Panama. This will save you money and headaches.

Kraemer & Kraemer has the team and experience to minimize risks and help you go through a secure transaction. Send us a note to info@kraemerlaw.com and have one of our real estate experts give you more information.