Can someone purchase (or sell) in my name in Costa Rica? I am not able to be there in time for the closing. This is a pretty common question we receive from clients.
You are ready for your retirement in Costa Rica. Probably you have found the Costa Rica real estate you would like to purchase, hopefully with the help of an American European Group’s affiliate agent. You have to return home to wrap things up for your move to Costa Rica and find a way to get the funds ready for closing. The closing date cannot be changed and you cannot be in Costa Rica in time for closing.
Very few foreign buyers of property in Costa Rica are able put everything in place ahead of time. it often happens that they cannot personally be at the closing. Thus arises the question: “can someone else close my Costa Rica property purchase in my name?”
Formalize your real estate purchase
Normally, you will negotiate the sales price and other details through your real estate agent. Often, the wheeling and dealing don’t happen until you’re back home again. Everything happens via email.
You can even sign your offer to purchase and send it by email. Based on that offer, your Costa Rican attorney can formalize the offer through an option to purchase – sale agreement. This can also be done by email and send 2 signed originals by FEDEX. Once both parties have signed, you can make your earnest money deposit. Hopefully, you will use escrow for that. Please do NOT give the earnest money to the seller or your real estate agent!
The bank wire of the funds
Some years ago, it was possible to just call your banker from Costa Rica to request the transfer of the funds. Nowadays, your bank will probably request you to be physically there to be able to make a wire transfer. In Costa Rica, SUGEF will request, because of money laundering law No 8204, proof of origin of the funds.
This makes it almost always necessary to travel home to make a financial transaction possible. All that traveling back and forth doesn’t make things easier. Having any doubt that you can make it back in time for closing? Tell your attorney you read this article and ask “can you supply someone to close the purchase in my name?
That’s why you will need to send the balance of the purchase sales price to the escrow account of your choice, so there is easy access for those who have the powers of attorney you gave them.
Rent until closing?
Some buyers of Costa Rica real estate will choose to sign a short-term furnished rental while waiting for the closing date and their household container to arrive. That way they are able to personally attend the closing and sign the deed. But what needs to be done in case you are not able to sign the deed in person?
A special power of attorney to close
If you are aware that you will not personally be able to sign the deed to purchase the property before you fly back home, you could leave “a special power of attorney” to someone else to sign the deed for you.
This special power of attorney should be limited to the ability to purchase the property in your name or in the name of your corporation. That means that this same person cannot sell, transfer or mortgage that property. I recommend you ask your attorney how this is done and all the details.
In case you did not realize in time you will not be able to attend the closing and you are in a different country, go to the nearest Costa Rican consulate to get this special power of attorney.
You can give a special power of attorney to close to a friend or relative in Costa Rica. Although it is also customary to give the power to your real estate agent or someone at the attorney’s office. In the photos, you can witness a Costa Rica real estate closing, where the buyer gave powers of attorney to purchase to the lawyer’s assistant.
POA for other diligence
If you purchase land and you plan to build and you’re leaving the country again, you also need to think this through. You can leave a special power of attorney for building permits or other necessary diligence for your architect or builder. Get the power of attorney before you leave. If not, you will have to do this through the closest consulate to your hometown. That might not be so easy.
The question of being able to purchase in my name should be covered here, but feel free to ask any questions you might have.
Save yourself a lot of headaches and use an American – European real estate affiliate to purchase Costa Rica real estate. We appreciate your business, contact us now.
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