Buyer’s guide to Abaco Real Estate
Investing In Abaco Real Estate
When buying in Abaco, the first tip is, to enroll the services of our fully licensed Abaco Real Estate company. One with a thorough knowledge of the real estate laws and the market rather than buying directly from a seller. With thirteen years experience in the local real estate scene, the brokers of Abaco Island Properties Bahamas are well qualified to advise any prospective buyer. We are conveniently located on Bay Street across from the Conch Inn.
The Bahamas is a developing nation with a stable economy. Dependent primarily on the tourism industry and maritime resources. Abaco boasts the most visitors’ return among the Bahamian islands. It has a population of second homeowners who spend a large part of the year on the island. Several high end resorts have sprouted in the last few years. They are, the Abaco Club at Winding Bay in the South. Baker’s Bay Golf and Ocean Club on Great Guana Cay and on a more affordable level, Schooner Bay, also in the South.
The government sees foreign purchasers with a friendly eye and although it might take a little longer than elsewhere at times, buying or reselling a property on Abaco is a standard procedure. Foreign ownership of property is encouraged. With a minimum investment of $500,000.00, one could apply for permanent residency. Otherwise a stay of nine months per year is allowed.
When Looking for a Property…
- Be as specific as possible when describing the property you are hoping to find.
- Be realistic about your budget and let the agent know about your financial status.
- Be prepared to make an offer quickly, should you find the perfect property. Like anywhere else, properties that show well and are well priced, sell fast.
- If financing is required, speak with your agent.
- Make a thorough inspection of the property you are interested in so as not to overlook anything.
- Ask questions. If your agent does not have an immediate answer, he or she will make every effort to find the information and supply you with one.
Buying a property in The Bahamas starts with a written offer or letter of intent. Once the offer has been accepted by the seller; a lawyer handles the rest of the transaction up to closing. There again, make sure you retain the services of a well established, reputable, Bahamian law firm.
Appointing Legal Representation
Once an agreement of terms to purchase has been met, it will be necessary to appoint an attorney to draw up a purchase contract. This is usually an attorney on the island and there are several Law firms to choose from. Your agent will assist you in choosing an one that best suits your transaction.
It is required that you use a Bahamian attorney familiar with the process in The Bahamas. Be sure to request a copy of the property recorded conveyance (Deed) that has The Registrar General’s Office stamp on it.
Below is additional information on purchasing property and property taxes in the Bahamas.
Abaco Real Estate
Stamp Duties & Taxes
The Government Stamp Tax on Property Conveyances
The Government Stamp Duty (tax on the conveyance of real property). This is a graduated tax. The total amount of the tax is calculated as follows:
- When the value of the consideration is less than or equal to $20,000, the rate is 4%
- When the value of the consideration is greater than $20,000 and is less than or equal to $50,000, the rate is 6%
- When the value of the consideration is greater than $50,000 and is less than or equal to $100,000, the rate is 8%
- When the value of the consideration is greater than $100,000 and is less than or equal to $250,000, the rate is 10%
The usual practice in the Bahamas is for the tax to be shared equally between buyer and seller unless otherwise agreed upon.
First time buyers may be exempted from stamp tax on a dwelling house or vacant land purchased for a dwelling house, up to the value of $500,000.
Real Property Tax
The rates of tax on abaco real estate are as follows:
- The first $250,000 of market value is tax exempt
- More than $250,000 and not exceeding $500,000 of market value is ¾%
- More than $500,000 and not exceeding $5,000,000 of market value is 1%
- More than $5,000,000 of market value is .25%
- First $7,000 of market value is $100
- More than $7,000 of market value 1½%.
- First $500,000 of market value is 1%
- More than $500,000 of market value is 2%
Value Added Tax
A VAT or Value Added Tax of 7.5% is charged on your attorney fee and real estate fee.
Seller’s Guide to Abaco Real Estate
Let’s Get Started Today! Abaco Real Estate is our Business.
To request information; simply complete our contact form.
We will provide you with information that you can use to evaluate your sales opportunities and real estate goals.
Once you have decided to move forward and sell your island property, prepare your property for sale. Understand your real estate goals, and with your real estate agent, establish a competitive price for your home.
Get your house in selling shape: clean the interior and exterior, increase curb appeal if needed and think about how you might stage the home for showings. Remember the first impressions are the lasting ones!
Your agent will establish a marketing plan for your property.
Some of our services include:
- Consistent Advertising
- Convenient Office Location
- Web Exposure on one of the best Real Estate Websites in the Bahamas
- Other customizable facets to get the word out about your property!
The process is about you; your plans and devising how we can best facilitate them. Selling your home in today’s market requires effective marketing strategies and the resources to implement them. Our agents will show your property to as many potential buyers as possible.
When you receive an offer (usually in the form of a Letter of Intent), read it over, consider what you require from the sale and either reject the offer, make a counter offer or accept the offer. If further negotiation is warranted, write down everything you have in mind and present it to your agent, who will advise you as to what is the best way to move forward and present your response.
Completing the Sale and Transfer of Title
Once the documents are executed and the balance of required funds are available for closing the transaction, the sale and transfer of title will be completed by your attorney. Your attorney will be responsible to handle the transaction on your behalf. He or she will make sure that the title is free and clear of encumbrances, liens or restrictions prior to completion. Your attorney will also apply for the appropriate permits required to finalize the purchase.
The buyers’ attorney will provide the funds for completing your sales transaction, in exchange for the transfer of title documents. The documents will be registered in The Registrars General Office in Nassau to ensure protection of your investment. Be sure to request a copy of your conveyance that has been stamped by the Registrar General’s Office.