Overview of the Real Estate Buying Process in Argentina
It is very common that foreigners want to acquire housing in countries other than those of their origin and residence, either for business or because they are looking for new places to live in. That is why at HalloCasa we strive for you to receive reliable and concrete information about how is the process to carry it out.
In Argentina, there are no restrictions on the purchase of property by foreigners, as long as they have the necessary liquidity and comply with the corresponding tax payments, except for those properties that are located within border security zones.
2. You like a property
We are happy to see that you are interested in a property published on HalloCasa. On HalloCasa you will be able to use a large number of tools in order to understand the process of buying a property, as well as to find general information about it. On HalloCasa you can also find available documents and additional information, which will allow you to investigate in detail the environment and infrastructure of the property, facilitating the buying process.
If you like a property and you are interested in knowing more about it with the objective to easily make a purchase decision, the first step is to investigate at the public registry office to confirm that the property is free of mortgage encumbrances or limitations that may affect the buying process.
3. Contact the seller
In Argentina, property sales are done in two ways: directly through owners or brokers. HalloCasa will tell you the language in which you can communicate with the contact persons. Most agents speak English, but in case you need a translator, on HalloCasa you can also find translators.
4. You receive detailed information about the property
The seller will send all available and necessary documents for you. However, a visit to the property may be of interest for you, so if you need assistance with travel arrangements, HalloCasa’s experts will be available to advise you at the time you contact them. We recommend that you take a look at the tour operators; this will allow you to realize how beautiful this country is.
5. You negotiate the contract and the price
Contract negotiations are often processes in which both parties gradually approach each other. It is important to take into account that in Argentina apply specific conditions to the contract of trading, so it will be useful to know its details. You will be able to know notes regarding the additional purchase costs in our frequently asked questions; it can be very interesting for you.
6. You sign the contract and make the payment
You are about to acquire your property! You sign the contract, either personally in Argentina or through an authorized representative of the country of origin. In HalloCasa you can consult information about notaries with whom you can contact. Read below also our detailed process of buying Real State in Argentina.
7. You become the owner of the property
Your property is already registered on your name in the Property Registry of Argentina. Congratulations! You recognize that this country has great potential, and believes that this is a promising country. We are happy for you! Enjoy your property!
Detailed Process of the Buying Process of Real Estate in Argentina
1. You like a property
For each property, you will find information on the following topics:
- General information about the property
- Its location
- Its infrastructure
- Demographics of the area
2. Contact the owner / agent
Methods of getting in touch with the owner/agent:
- Via email
- Via telephone
- Via Skype
Pay attention to the details of the language skills of the owner/agent.
3. Information Transfer
The owner or broker in charge of the sale of the property will send you the following documents:
- The “Certificate of Ownership”:
This document contains the entire history of the property and can be requested in Property Registry to verify that the property is free of embargoes, inhibitions and other precautionary measures in addition to verifying the name of the owner. There is also information about the registration number (real folio), the functional unit (for example if it is horizontal property) and the cadastral nomenclature (the address of the location of the property), among other important and informative data.
It is important to take into account that the more recent the date of the certificate at the time of making the purchase process, the more updated the information.
Given certificate can be obtained by submitting the enrollment number or folio real.
- A copy of the invoice paid of the Real Estate Tax.
In Argentina, the bills are called tickets. The property tax is paid annually (every May but is settled every December 31 of each year).
To pay this tax, you must provide the actual enrollment number or the name and identification of the holder.
- Certification of debts for common expenses (equals administrative expenses in the case of horizontal properties):
This is the document (in Argentina is called “Certificate of Free Debt”) in which it is certified that the owner has up to date the costs equivalent to maintenance of common areas, administration and security of his property located either in a Condominium, building or any type of horizontal property).
The legal owner or broker must provide a statement that the administration invoices have been paid. This must include the respective receipts or invoices evidencing the payment. This also applies to all other public services such as: (electricity, water, gas and telephone). In the Downloads section, you can download examples of such documents.
In the case of buying directly from the legal owner, we advise you to consult with a lawyer (in Argentina they are called scribes), to translate and certify all documents before they are sent to you.
You can contact translators on HalloCasa.
4. In case of requesting a Appraisal
An appraisal is a certificate that gives a specific valuation to the respective property. In order to issue this document, several aspects must be taken into account: the state of the property, its antiquity, the area where it is located and its general physical characteristics.
- Name of the Appraiser
- Details of Contact
- Available languages
5. Signing of the promise of sale agreement
- The market price (or real value)
- The appraised value (optional)
- The environment
You or your representative signs the contract of the trading promise. The fundamental parts of this contract are:
- Full identification of the buyer and seller. Foreigners are identified in Argentina with the passport. However, to invest in the country, the foreigner must obtain a CUIT (Unique Tax Identification Code) code.
- Original and photocopy of the national identity document.
- Domicile: (certificate of a domicile issued by a police authority, the act of notarial verification, photocopy of a bill of public services in the name of the taxpayer or responsible, photocopy of the title deed or rental or leasing contract, of the property where you reside).
- Diligence the form F460
- A detailed description of the property including the identity number that is called Real Folio, these data are obtained from the Certificate of Domain issued by the National Registry.
- The value of the property and the method of payment. The value of the penalty clause (“arras”) should also be stipulated in case of non-compliance by either party. The value ranges between 10% and 30% of the agreed-upon value.
- It must include the notary’s office in which the definitive deed will be signed, as well as the date and time of such firm.
- Likewise, it stipulates the distribution of notary expenses, taxes, and any other expenses that cause the process of trading.
To know the rates of purchase of real estate in Argentina, see the section “What are the transaction costs (notary fees, taxes, transfer costs)?” In our FAQs below.
- In case you make the purchase directly with the legal owner, ask a lawyer to translate and certify all documents. Make sure you have a copy of these.
- For those who do not have enough knowledge of Spanish, it is recommended to consult a lawyer who speaks the language, or hire a translator: HalloCasa provides you with a list of translators so you can get in touch with them easily.
- Examples of these documents can be downloaded from Downloads.
Remember that the contract of sale in Argentina must be in charge of an authorized notary.
6. You transfer the money to a Argentinian bank account
Most of the properties in Argentina are acquired by cash (Argentine pesos -ARS) and in Dollars. There are several ways to transfer the money into the country:
- Exchange houses: Exchange house give you an account at one of the branches of the federal capital (Buenos Aires). The value that the exchange house will charge you will be between 1.5% and 2.5% of the amount of the transfer. In the case of Money Gram, Western Union and Xoom, you can send money from abroad to Argentina of up to 30,000 Argentine pesos daily. (Remember that US $ 1 is 15 Argentine pesos).
- Official Banks: In case you don´t have a bank account in Argentina, transfers to official banks will be complex as well as expensive. In case you have a trustworthy person in Argentina, you will be able to deposit the money in the account of that person, however, that transaction will be made in Argentinian pesos and will cost 1.5% of the total consignment, but, if you must pay the property in dollars, you will have to pay back the currency conversion which will cost you approximately another 1.5% on the total value of the exchange.
Requirements to transfer money to an Argentine bank account:
- Data of the beneficiary
- Account number of the beneficiary
- Bank Swift Code
- Address of the bank (street)
- Postal Code / City
- IBAN code (used to identify an international bank account)
- Open an account in Argentina: you can do it but you will need a CUIL code (unique labor identification code – they give it to the workers), or the CUIT code (unique tax identification code – which you will have to take out to make investments in Argentina) In Argentina you can open an account in both Argentine pesos and dollars.
7. You can buy from abroad or from Argentina
Hay dos opciones:
7.1 Option 1: You travel to Argentina
Before traveling it is ideal to previously confirm the time you will need to carry out the complete business. Remember to bring all the necessary documentation. Check with your bank about the best option to transfer the money to Argentina according to the seller
7.2 Option 2: You buy from abroad
In this case, you must grant power to a representative in Argentina, fulfilling the requirements that they have previously indicated.
Since this document must be legalized in the Argentinian Consulate closest to your residence site, we suggest you contact the consulate so that the document meets all the conditions that they require. This will save time and make progress in the process.
In Downloads, you can download an example of such a power of attor
8. When signing the contract in Argentina
- The notary checks all documents (see Downloads).
- You sign the contract.
- You make the negotiated payment.
On the date, place agreed and before a notary public, you and the seller or broker in case it is done through an intermediary will meet to sign the deed. To do so is the legal celebration of the transfer of ownership over the property.
After signing, you will transfer or deliver the remaining money and the seller will proceed to make the transfer of the property together with the keys of the same.
9. By signing the contract abroad
- The notary checks all documents.
- Your representative signs the deed and makes the agreed payment.
10. Registration of the Deed
After making the reservation of purchase and signing the ticket of trading (equivalent to the contract of trading), you must give way to the deed.
This is the most important step in a process of buying a real estate since this is the formal act in which the transfer of ownership of a real estate is perfected.
This process is carried out before a public notary and immediately after its signature; it must be registered before Property Registry.
Usually, once the buyer acquires possession of the property, he can make use of this just signing the deed, but also depends on the agreement to which the parties have previously arrived.
11. Open a Bank Savings Account
Opening a bank account in Argentina is not always easy for a foreigner since you must present proof that you have an address in the national territory. In the case of investors, they must submit as part of the requirements the CUIT (Unique Tax Identification Code), however, if they do not have a domicile in the country, it will not be possible to open it.
In the case of Banco La Nación it is necessary to present the following requirements to be able to open the account:
- Identification document, original and copy
- Proof of domicile (gas bill, telephone, etc.)
- Your CUIL (Unique Labor Identification Code) / CUIT (Unique Tax Identification Code) / CDI (Identity Card) \ CUIL is a number that is given to all workers when they start working for someone.
- Initial deposit. To open an account in pesos must be at least 10 Argentine pesos. To open it in dollars the initial deposit is USD500
- The annual maintenance cost of an account is 5 Argentine pesos for the peso accounts and USD2 for the dollar accounts. The cost includes a Maestro debit card.
If you are not going to reside in Argentina, it is best to use your account abroad, although the costs will increase due to the exchanges of currency that you must make and the use of ATMs in the Argentine national territory.
What are the expenses necessary for the process of trading a property in ARGENTINA?
The mandatory expenses are: the values are stated in ARS (Argentine pesos)
Transfer tax: 1.5% on the value of the sale.
Notary sheets (usually between 9 and 11 sheets in a standard Writing). 50 ARS per sheet.
Note: a sheet in Argentinia means a sheet of paper that composes an official writing.
Notary contribution. (Approx. 0.1%)
Study of titles.
Administrative Certification. Free debt from Aysa, ABL (public services) and administration, approx. In $ 1,000
Certificate property registration: approx. $ 400 each. Usually, they are from 3 reports.
Presentation/preparation of forms to the UIF – Financial Intelligence Unit (depending on the notary, since some charge it and others do not).
Notary contribution: 0.1%
Variable contribution approx. $ 150
Registration in the registry of the property 0.2%.
Diligence approx. $ 600
Fees to be agreed with the professional: between 1.5 and 2%
Taxes of stamps in federal capital: 3.6% of the amount of the deed
The recommended expenses according to each case (Remember that the value of one US dollar (USD) is equivalent to 15 Argentine pesos (ARS):
- The commission of a real estate agent is usually between 3% and 4% of the sale price (There is no standard price). It is paid by the person who hires the agent. It carries VAT of 21%.
- Appraiser if desired: an appraisal in Argentina is charged depending on the type of property and its characteristics. This value is paid by the person you hire.
- Translation costs, if necessary, paid by the buyer.
Where can I find Argentine real estate financing?
One of the primary requirements to access a housing loan is to have legal residence in the country:
Requirements for credit:
- Be between 18 and 50 years old
- Being a Foreigner with Legal Residence in the Country
- Residing in Argentina at least 2 years prior to the postulation.
- Have monthly net income between 1 to 4 vital and movable minimum wages (SMVM) for individual applications and between 1 to 5 SMVM for joint applications.
- Do not have properties in your name.
- • Have no unfavorable financial background.
About the real estate market in Argentina:
How liquid is the market?
For the year 2016, sales are at a very good level, it is an expansion phase that began in 2015. The land law for its part, with the Government of Macri, had improvements that allow more foreign investment, especially in rural areas, since for every total in hectares, the foreigners can acquire up to 15% of determined zones.
Thanks to the exit of the exchange rate block and access to the dollar, the real estate market was activated and this has been reflected in the increase in the number of registered deeds in the City of Buenos Aires.
For example, in CABA (Autonomous City of Buenos Aires) the number of registered deeds increased by 17.4% in April compared to the same period in 2015.
By the end of April, were 3,347 registered acts, an increase of 6.7% compared to March and 14.9% in the total of the four-month period (January – April) compared to the same period of 2015.
How has the Argentinian real estate market developed in recent years?
2012: Tthe crisis of the exchange stocks. The prohibition of converting mortgage loans from pesos to dollars worsened the situation of the Argentine real estate market.
2013: A real estate collapse took place. For the first quarter of 2013, the number of trade deeds fell 41.3%.
2014: The worst year. According to the College of Notaries, in October the trades reached 3,125, that is to say, 11.35% less compared to the same month in 2013. Well below the 6,000 and 8,000 operations registered per month in 2009, 2010 or 2011 before Real estate stocks.
2015: The real estate market began to improve. There was an 11% increase in the registration of deeds, however, 41.6% below the number of deeds registered in 2011, before the implementation of the stock.
The following types of housing are common in Argentina:
They are the usual towers, which are destined to be used as housing by a family. The owner may also want to rent it temporarily.
Single-family houses are the most popular type of housing in Argentina, where the family group lives and usually, but not always, is inhabited by a single family.
It is a kind of housing that characterizes the neighborhood of La Boca, This is a property of many rooms, where each of them is rented to a family or individual and common services, bathrooms, kitchen, dining room, may or may not be common to all the inhabitants of the dwelling.
In a building, this kind of housing is formed by the union of two superposed floors, connected internally by a staircase. Outside a building, the house is called simply duplex.
Triplex type housing:
It is a house constituted by three plants superimposed and that are connected to each other.
It is the dwelling to which each owner accesses his property through an extensive corridor that communicates the private apartments between them and at the same time, with the exterior.
What are Strata?
The socio-economic strata in Argentina are divided as follows:
C2: Upper middle class
C3: Typical middle class
D1: Lower class
D2/E: Upper Low Class
Do I have to report my rental income to the AFIP Federal Revenue Administration?
Yes. And it corresponds to the annual declaration of income for personal property that includes gains by real estate concepts. According to the AFIP, all those persons who, as of December 31 of the year before submitting the declaration, possess assets that -valued according to current regulations- exceed $ 305,000 Argentine pesos.
Individual residents in the country are required to pay annually for this tax a sum equivalent to 0.5% of their personal assets whose value is between AR $ 305,000 and AR $ 750,000.
Above this amount, and up to AR $ 2,000,000, the rate of this tax amounts ascends to 0.75% (applicable to the total value of the goods reached by the tax).
Between AR $ 2,000,000 and AR $ 5,000,000, the rate is 1% (also applicable to the total value of encumbered assets). Values higher than those mentioned above must tribute a rate of 1.25%.
In the case of rents, the withholding tax is 21% of the gross amount of income tax, although foreigners may request the AFIP to hold 35% of the net profit, that is, after deduction of expenses and amortizations.
Is there a limit on the amount or price for investments?
Yes, there is a limit. Foreigners own 5.93% of Argentine rural land: all the properties of people of other nationalities sum up a total of 15,881,069 hectares, an area similar to the province of Salta.
The limit of denaturing of rural lands established by Law 26,737, known as the “Land Law”, is 15% at the national, provincial and sub-provincial levels. At the national level, the relieve conducted by the National Rural Land Registry (RNTR) shows that the current scenario is well below the limit.
What kind of real estate can a foreigner acquire in ARGENTINA?
There is no obstacle for foreigners to acquire property in Argentina, as long as they have the economic opportunity to do so and to pay the respective taxes since this country promotes foreign investment. In general terms, if a foreigner acquires a property in Argentina, he does not necessarily have to be a resident of the country.
What immigration policies apply to foreigners? Can I bring my family in an emergency?
First of all, in order for a foreigner to invest in Argentina, he must apply for a temporary investor’s visa, as long as the investment amount is not less than $ 1,500,000 Argentine pesos:
1) The applicant must submit to the consulate the project of productive, commercial or service investment, for a minimum of one million five hundred thousand ($ 1,500,000) pesos, and must prove the origin and legality of the funds and their income country by means of banking or financial institutions authorized by the Central Bank of the Argentine Republic (BCRA). If it is in a language other than Spanish, the corresponding translation must accompany it.
2) This General Consulate will send the project to Argentina to be evaluated by the National Directorate of Migration (DNM).
3) Finally, the DNM will inform this General Consulate of the approval of the project by the Ministry of Industry and Tourism, which will have a specific peremptory deadline.
This process can take several months.
In case of emergency, you must apply for temporary resident visa
If you are a Family member of a foreign citizen temporary resident in the Republic of Argentina you must comply with the following documents:
- Birth certificate and the relatives to the Civil Status of the Persons required according to the invoked link, duly legalized or apostilled.
- Passport or travel document, valid and in force.
- Certificate relating to the marital status of the recurrent, duly legalized and apostilled.
- Over the age of sixteen (16): certificate of lack of criminal record in original, issued by the competent authorities of the countries in which they have resided for a period of more than one (1) year during the last three (3) years, duly legalized or apostilled.
- Certified copy of the Disposition of the National Direction of Migrations and the National Document of the Persons for foreigners.
- Four (4) photos 4 cm x 4 cm, front upper bust, white background, no glasses or hat.
Is there a reliable property administrator on the site?
HalloCasa provides you with a list of property managers.
Is it possible to transfer money from ARGENTINA to my country of origin?
Yes, you can transfer money from Argentina to abroad. We recommend that you discuss this matter directly with the administrator of your property.
Apart from the bank transfer option, you can use positioned companies as western union, money gram, or Xoom.