Buying a Property in Panama

Purchasing  your investment property in Panama means you will have to engage a Panama Real Estate Lawyer. 


A Pensio Agent will refer you to several lawyers who will work with you and your Immigration Lawyer to make sure you receive the best advice and you receive clean title to the property.  

Panama's land title public registry is one of the best in the world.

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Buying Property

Buying Property in Panama is safe and secure, and foreigners enjoy the same property rights as Panamanian citizens. There are over a dozen laws that have been enacted to protect foreign investors specifically. Recently, the changes include an opportunity for foreign investors to obtain Permanent Residency. Panama's constitution also protects private property and its owners. Every year, thousands of property transactions are conducted.

Pensio advises you to seek the advice of a qualified real estate lawyer in Panama to manage your property purchase. Pensio will provide you with contacts or you can retain your own lawyer.

While it is legal for foreigners to own property in Panama using their name, those about to purchase property should do so in the name of Panamanian corporation for protection of assets and income tax benefits.

Possession rights (different than title) should always be held in the name of a Panama corporation, and the purchaser should be listed as the shareholder of the corporation. Your closing lawyer will assist.

Closing costs can vary greatly. In general, closing costs can vary depending on your needs:

  • Property transaction legal fee is generally USD$1,200

  • Public Registry fees USD$350

  • Title Transfer Fee of 2%

  • Incorporation fee of USD$1,500 to set up a Panama Corporation*

*Real estate investors who buy and then quickly sell homes in Panama can attract capital gains tax, which can be avoided through the use of a Panamanian corporation.

The quality of life, combined with the advantages of obtaining your Permanent Residency Status, have made Panama a popular place for foreigners to buy real estate. The country is truly a tropical paradise with a warm attitude toward foreigners, low crime, and an eco-friendly way of life. Making a property purchase in Panama will undoubtedly be one of the best decisions you have made in your life, not just for you but for your family.

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Making your Property Purchase Decision

Pensio has a considerable inventory of condo and resort properties available to foreign purchasers wanting to take advantage of the Qualified Investor Permanent Residency Panama program. There are three types of property purchases available:

  1. New Build: Immediate Occupancy or Immediate Investment Income
  2. Resort Residence: Immediate Investment Income
  3. Pre-Construction: Occupancies ranging from 24 months to 30 months
You must negotiate directly with Pensio Agents if you want the Pensio benefits for your purchase (at no additional cost):
  1. Immigration Legal Fees: Paid by Pensio
  2. Property Management (Optional): Provides you with 5-year property management with guaranteed rent; the documents are provided to you by your Pensio Agent. This is an optional agreement; if you decide to live in the property you purchased, or if you want to manage the property yourself. You are under no obligation to Pensio.

Executing the Promise to Purchase Agreement

The Pensio Agent will provide you with a "Promise to Purchase Contract"; this is your purchase agreement between you (the buyer), and the seller. Included in the contract are the contract terms, including deposit instructions, Buyer Deposit Guarantee Agreement (if pre-construction) conditions, and the optional Pensio Property Management Agreements. You will be required to complete the Seller's Know Your Client disclosure forms provided to you by the Pensio Agent. These will be included in the Promise to Purchase Contract schedules.

Requirement of Buyer's Refundable Deposit

You are required to wire transfer a refundable down payment (this amount is included in your agreement) when this contract is signed by the you and the Pensio Agent. At this time, the property purchase agreement is held in escrow to give you the time to complete the initial Qualified Investor Permanent Residency Application with the Immigration Lawyer provided to you by the Pensio Agent. The deposit amount becomes non-refundable when you have received notice by your Immigration Lawyer that you and your dependents have been conditionally approved for Permanent Residency. This should take 15 business days, or longer depending upon the information you have provided.

Buyer's Closing Lawyer in Panama

The Pensio Agent will provide you with the name and contact of a Panama Real Estate Closing Lawyer who will represent you in Panama to close your property purchase. You are required to wire transfer to the Real Estate Closing Lawyer an initial USD$2,000 retainer fee. The Pensio Agent will provide you with the wire information. Your Closing Lawyer will research the property's condition and verify the seller is the true owner along with any liens on the property. Your Closing Lawyer will register the Promise to Purchase Contract with the government Public Registry to give notice to other potential buyers that the property is unavailable.

Applying For Qualified Investor Permanent Residency Status in Panama

You must execute a Special Power of Attorney for the Panama Immigration Lawyer, provided to you by Pensio, to authorize your Immigration Lawyer to act on your behalf to complete the Qualified Investor Permanent Residency filing for you, your spouse and qualified dependents. There is no charge for the Panama Immigration lawyer, although you will be required to pay the Panama government application fees. You should read the Qualified Investor Permanent Residency FAQ, provided to you by the Pensio Agent, to fully understand the process.

Buyer's Legal Advice

Pensio Agent will schedule an online video conference meeting with your Panama Immigration Lawyer and Real Estate Closing Lawyer once you have wired your deposit.

What is my Qualfied Investor Permanent Residency Status Prior to Closing?

Your Immigration Lawyer will advise you of your Qualified Permanent Residency approval status. Please ensure you read the Qualified Permanent Residency FAQ to understand the steps that must be taken by you and your Immigration Lawyer.

What is Property Management with Guaranteed Rent?

Pensio will pay guaranteed rent on the last day of each calendar quarter, regardless if your property is vacant or tenant has defaulted.

Closing Your Purchase of Property

Your Closing Lawyer will search the title through the Panama Public Registry records confirming the seller is the true owner along with any liens on the property. The lawyer will also research encumbrances or other problems related to the property. The Closing Lawyer will also research the government utility agencies to ensure all bills are paid for including electricity and water services. Pensio will assist you in setting up bank accounts and will introduce you to reputable Panama Banks. You are required on the date provided to you by your Closing Lawyer to wire transfer the balance of the closing funds. The Closing Lawyer will provide you with a Closing Statement, providing a full review of your transaction. The Promise to Pay Contract is the form of deed in Panama that will be registered by your Closing Lawyer at the Panama Public Registry. You are advised to stay in touch with your Closing Lawyer to confirm all of the details of your closing.

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