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Colombia Real Estate - Legal advice to buy properties

March 06, 2023

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Colombia Real Estate - Legal advice to buy properties

Foreign investors looking to buy properties in Colombia is an increasing trend that has taken force during the past couple of years. The booming tourism industry in major cities like Cartagena and Medellín is one of the driving forces behind this demand. With the potential for lucrative passive investment opportunities, buying property in Colombia is now a highly sought-after venture for many.

However, the process of buying real estate in Colombia can be complex for foreign naturals. At AGT attorneys, we understand the questions that may arise from investors who are investing in real estate in our country. As practitioners at law, we are also aware of the importance of adhering to the legal requirements and ensuring a smooth and hassle-free experience for our clients.

With our in-depth knowledge and experience in the Colombian real estate market, we can guide you through the intricacies of property purchase in Colombia. As a law firm, we want to help our clients gain a passive income while enjoying a comfortable stay in your favorite Colombian city.
Contact us today by filling our Contact Form or directly through our WhatsApp +57 310 5706331.

Properties for sale in Colombia: All you need to know

Through this guide, we will present 5 steps for buying properties in Colombia. These are the main actions to take into account in the process of purchasing a property in Colombia:

    1. Title Study or Titles of Inquiry
    2. Drafting a purchase and sell promise
    3. Payment and legalization of funds
    4. Public deed preparation
    5. Notarial expenses and formalization of the sale

1. Title Study or Titles of Inquiry

    For starters, to begin the buying process of a property in Colombia, it is essential to proceed with a Title Study of the property you are interested in. The Titles of Inquiry or Title Study is the search and verification of the property's legal documents in order to identify valuable information in regard to the sell.

    This investigation process will kick off with the review of "Certificado de Tradición y Libertad" or certificate of liberty and tradition. This document contains all the relevant legal information to establish the legal situation of the desired property.

    Through the title study, attorneys will revise and check the following:

      • Affectations and domain limitations of the property.
      • The existence of precautionary measures or mortgages.
      • Property's titling chain.
      • Review of public deeds for any additional information.

2. Drafting a purchase and sell promise

    Under Colombian law, there are some legal formalities that are required when buying a property in the country. With that said, regularly, the parties must draft and sign a promise to sell and purchase agreement.

    The promise to sale and purchase is a contract, by which the seller obtains the legal obligation to sell the property to a buyer who has also promised to purchase said property. In this document, the parties establish specific details such as the price, conditions of delivery, and the date of the sale.

    In addition, when the buyer is not physically present in Colombia, he or she could sign the aforementioned contract through the power of an attorney. This is one of the many benefits of acquiring property in Colombia, since the buyers can advance with the purchase without having to travel.

3. Payment and legalization of funds

    In this part of the buying process of a property in Colombia, having a lawyer will be essential to properly bring money into the country. In this sense, the attorneys providing legal advice should clarify the various approaches to legalizing funds, preparing the necessary documents, and guiding you through the entire process.

    Therefore, depending on the buyer's needs, they must have to complete the following proceedings:


      1. Negotiation and legalization of the foreign currency between the seller's and buyer's banks. This procedure will be handled between the banks and requires the fulfillment of financial paperwork.
      2. Issuance of a certificate by the Bank of the Republic of Colombia. This document is issued by said organization and details the history of investments completed by the foreigner in Colombia.
      3. Opening of a bank account in the country, in this case, the person must have an ID for foreigners or "cédula de extranjería".

    Establishing a bank account and legally registering funds could be a burdensome process when there is no lawyer to assist you. At AGT Attorneys, our professionals will assist you through the paper requirements, due diligence and compliance with the Colombian central bank's policies on the registration of funds, or with the bank of your choice to open your bank account.
    Contact us today by filling our Contact Form or directly through our WhatsApp +57 310 5706331.

4. Public deed preparation

    At this point in the deal, both parties must decide on a date to finalize the purchase of property in Colombia. This process of the final contract must take place at a notary in Colombia, for which both parties must bring some of the following documents:

    • The purchase and sell promise contract.
    • The certificate of liberty and tradition, or, "Certificate de Libertad y Tradición" with a validity of no longer than 30 days.
    • Chamber and Commerce certificate when the property has a mortgage.
    • Copy of the current deed.

    In Colombia, to obtain a notarized document, it is typically necessary to physically attend the notary's office and sign the public deed. This document remains as the most important document when buying property in Colombia since it guarantees the ownership rights after executing the purchase agreement.

    In this sense, when you cannot assist in person to the notary, you can provide your attorney with a limited power of attorney in order to sign the document on your behalf. Your attorney must also ensure that all information provided is accurate and may supply you with an official translation for non-Spanish speakers.

5. Notarial expenses and formalization of the sale

    The final step of buying property in Colombia requires the buyer and the seller to assume the deed expenses. The value assumed by the parties generally is made equally between themselves.

    When the notary has finalized the public deed document, and it has been signed properly, an authenticated copy will be delivered to the parties, so it can be registered at "Oficina de Instrumentos Públicos" or Public Instruments Registry Office. From this moment on, once the registration is successful, the buyer is understood as the owner.

    As seasoned attorneys with extensive knowledge and experience in the Colombian real estate market, we take pride in providing our clients with comprehensive guidance on the nuances and complexities of property purchase in Colombia. Our firm is committed to helping you secure a passive income while enjoying a comfortable stay in your desired Colombian city.

    We understand that the process of purchasing property in a foreign country can be daunting, which is why we are here to assist you every step of the way. Whether you are a first-time buyer or an experienced investor, we offer tailored legal solutions to meet your specific needs.

    To get started, simply fill out our Contact Form or reach out to us directly via WhatsApp at +57 310 5706331. We look forward to hearing from you and helping you navigate the Colombian real estate market with confidence and ease.

Do I need a visa to buy property in Colombia?

Foreigners who want to buy property in Colombia do not need a visa to purchase real estate. However, Colombian legislation allows owners of real estate to be eligible for an Investment Visa.

The Investor's Visa in Colombia is a category of the Type M visa granted by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. This visa may be granted to those foreigners who invest in the country through the purchase of a real estate property. The amount of the investment must be equal to or greater than 350 legal monthly minimum wages in force (around 83,000 USD), as long as they can prove that their foreign investment has been registered directly in Colombia.

However, in case of Foreign Direct Investment (FDI), the amount must be higher than 650 legal monthly minimum wages in force (around 155,000 USD). This type of visa may be granted for up to 3 years and allows the holder to apply for a visa for its beneficiaries.

As a result, it is NOT necessary for a foreigner to be a visa holder before buying a property in Colombia, nevertheless, once they have invested in real estate they become eligible for one.

Which is the best city to buy a property in Colombia?

As Colombia continues to solidify its reputation as a top tourist destination, it has become a prime spot for those looking to invest in real estate properties. With direct flights from the US and Europe, the number of visitors to Colombia has been steadily increasing, with over 4.5 million people visiting the country just prior to the pandemic. Hence, we anticipate these numbers to continue rising.

Tourists looking to invest in properties should consider selecting Cartagena and Medellín as their base, as both cities offer easy access to the Caribbean coast and the world-renowned coffee zone. These cities provide the perfect mix of relaxation and business, making them popular among tourists and vacation property buyers.

      Medellín

      This city is Colombia's fastest growing destination. It is our country's second-largest city, with a population of around 3 million people. Several elements have turned Medellín in a popular destination, including a pleasant and mild climate throughout the year.

      El "Poblado" neighborhood is one of the most attractive areas in Medellín for foreigners. The prices for apartments in this part of the city can range between $180,000 to $550,000 USD depending on the number of bedrooms and bathrooms, square meters, and location.

      Santa Marta

      Santa Marta is situated in the Caribbean coast of Colombia. It has been, for years now, a favorite spot for tourism and with it's growing reputation it has become a coveted destination for travelers around the world. In comparison to Medellín, it offers a more relaxed and less hectic lifestyle. The city's climate and location presents an irresistible lure for those who seek for the outdoors and ocean-focused lifestyle.

      As a smaller city, the prices for apartments in Santa Marta range between $170,000 to $380,000 USD. As mentioned before, the price range is affected by the location and the amenities offered in the apartment complex like swimming pools, jacuzzi, saunas, gym, and others.

      Bogotá

      It is Colombia's capital and one of the largest cities in Latin America, with a population over 13 million people. It has always being appealing to visitors and foreigners due to its commercial and business profile sided with tourism activities.

      Due to Bogotá being a world-class city, the prices of real estate increase exponentially compared to Santa Marta and Medellín. The range of prices comes between $250,000 up to $550,000 USD depending on location in the city. It is safe to say in Bogotá you could find the most luxurious apartments in Colombia.

      Cartagena

      Cartagena is by excellence the most visited tourist city in Colombia. This reputation has been achieved by the city's diversified occupations. It is a business center for the Latin American market, you can find historic sites and extensive islands to visit nearby.

      Apartments located in "Bocagrande", a famous neighborhood, in Cartagena start selling at the price of $130,000 USD. At "Morros", one of the most touristic areas of the city, the price for purchasing properties begin at $250,000 USD.

      Additionally, Cartagena is known for its historic infrastructure, with majestic colonial houses located all over the city. The prices for these houses can start at $1 million USD.

At our firm, we have extensive experience helping clients navigate the legal complexities of buying properties in Colombia. If you're considering investing in real estate in Colombia, we can provide expert legal guidance to ensure a smooth and successful transaction. Contact us today by fill out our Contact Form or reach out to us directly via WhatsApp at +57 310 5706331.

Looking for legal advice to buy a property in Colombia?

Every year, more and more foreigners invest in real estate properties in Colombia. Several factors have increased this trend, mostly being the great location of our cities and quality of life.

It is essential for investors to have a thorough understanding of the legal requirements and procedures involved when purchasing. At AGT attorneys, we recognize that buying property in a foreign country can be daunting, especially when navigating unfamiliar legal territory.

Whether you are considering a vacation home in Cartagena or a property in Medellín, our firm is dedicated to ensuring a smooth and hassle-free experience for our clients. We prioritize your needs and work tirelessly to ensure that your interests are protected throughout the entire purchase process.

Don't let the legal complexities of investing in Colombian real estate hold you back from pursuing your investment goals. Our team is ready to guide you through every step of the way and help you realize the full potential of your investment in Colombia.

Write to us on our Contact Form, schedule your legal appointment with our lawyers through the following link or contact us at +57 310 5706331.

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