To buy in Brazil you must have a CPF number. This is easily gotten here in Joao Pessoa in person and takes 15 minutes once at the desk at the Receita Federal. There is no charge. It is not so easy in other parts of the country unfortunately. It is like a social security or social insurance number. You need it to be able to register a property in your name. It is the only requirement and you have full ownership rights equal to a Brazilian. One big plus for Brazil in this regard.
If you are here for the purchase that is all you need. If you are not here for the closing you will need to have someone here have a Power of Attorney (Procuração) to sign the required documents. It can be anyone you chose, BUT MUST be someone of total confidence. The signer has no rights to the property, simply the right to sign for you. This can be done when you are here for 100Reais in about 20 minutes at the local Cartorio in Jacuma.
A Power of Attorney can be for buying only a specific property, or for any property, or for selling or for anything one needs to sign for legally. You need to be smart about this. I have POA's for many clients and friends here.
In some countries it is easy to get one from there at the Brazilian Consulate, in others a nightmare. So work it out when you are here if at all possible.
From the UK: Getting Here:
Many Brazil-bound travelers fly from London to Rio or São Paulo and then waste four or five hours changing to a local flight, or even lose a day or more on a long-distance bus journey. TAP Portugal (flytap.com) flies from London via Lisbon into Fortaleza, Natal and Salvador and Brazilian airline TAM (tam.com.br) flies via Paris to Recife and Salvador. These services may be faster and better value than entering via the busy hubs if you are visiting the beaches of northern Brazil. See Opodo (opodo.co.uk) for prices, and visitbrasil.com and the website of the Latin American Travel association (lata.org) for a list of specialist tour operators.
For currency converter click HERE
Brazil Insights from Holland in English: HERE
Some basic requirements to follow if wanting to do a straightforward real estate purchase: This is not intended to be comprehensive. These things I make sure happen, I wrote this so you have some idea at least.
You must have a sales contract that clearly states the full details of both the buyer and seller, Two ID's at least for both. If not Brazilian, a passport and some other official document, a drivers license for instance. The contract must have all points clearly defined about the legal location of the property, the price being paid, the terms. It is best to have the contract registered at a cartorio with both signatures validated.
The contract should have the seller's bank information in full, including IBAN number, SWIFT code, noting if it is a savings or checking account, a personal or business account. Put the address of the bank even, they seem to look for any excuse to hold thing up so don't give them any.
On the contract it is useful to note that the seller is to receive the total amount agreed in Reais. There is a small IOF fee to be paid to the bank, this is the buyers responsibility. If the exchange is less than the agreed amount it is the buyers responsibility to make up the difference. Conversely if the amount is over, it is the sellers duty to refund that amount.
CRITICAL: The funds MUST come from an account of the buyer and be to the seller EXACTLY as written on the contract. The buyer needs to be sure they are dealing with the owner, exactly as noted on the deed.
You can't buy in your name, and send funds from your business account, (or your wife's or anyone else's) or send the money to the sellers Aunt. It will be returned.
Send a proof of wire receipt to the seller so their bank can "find" the wire more easily. The funds will be held at the Central Bank until the contract is sent to them by the sellers bank. They may request more details, (copy of deeds, tax records etc.) it is seldom cut and dried. The CB confirms that all the data matches exactly, then on their own time they will release the funds to the sellers account if all is correct. The exchange is done that day, at the current rate. Sometimes it is close to the commercial rate noted online, sometimes it is less.
If the buyer and seller are not in Brazil, each must have a Power of Attorney to represent them. You can NOT legally buy in Brazil by signing documents outside the country, sending, emailing them.
If the buyer and seller are both non Brazilian citizens it is legal for the funds to Not enter Brazil. Otherwise they are required to. A buyer would want to register the purchase with the Central Bank in Brazil to protect their interests in the future, for one thing reduce capital gains taxes if selling and sending the funds out of Brazil.
You need to be sure the property is registered property to the person you are dealing with. A Certidao de Onus is a minimum requirement to have from the local land registry immediately before you are ready to close the sale.
This shows the status of the property today, the owner and if it is free and clear of any liens, encumbrances. To be absolutely sure there is nothing in the history of the property that could come back to bite you get a Certidao de Inteira Teor. This certifies the property's history from it's origins, back to the very first sale. If there is anything irregular that occurred this will show it.
A common occurrence is for realtors or intermediaries to pay one price to the seller and show another to the buyer. They then make up a story about the seller not wanting all the funds to one account to avoid taxes etc and ask the buyer to send to two accounts. One account is the sellers, the other is theirs or a friends etc. DO NOT FALL for this.
If the property is near water, or cliffs, or preservation areas you can have IBAMA or UNIAO challenges that restrict building. (In Paraiba Sudema too) In my experience it is "buyer beware", realtors represent the sellers more than protecting the interests of the buyers. It is common to say nothing and just let the buyer deal with all the problems later.
Near water of any kind the property can be responsible for an annual Marine Tax. A property can be sold without mentioning this, the buyer to discover later that the tax has not been paid, sometimes for decades. Guess what, you are responsible for it all! There is also a 5% tax to the UNIAO to transfer ownership, the responsibility of the seller. Most pass it on to the buyer IF they even bring it up.
Some people have no idea their property is subject to a Marine tax. No one ever mentioned it. Friends discovered they had 70K Reais in unpaid taxes on their property, with no recourse to previous owners to collect. Their lots were in a Mangue (mangrove) area 25 years ago, the town filled it in, marked out lots and sold them. The UNIAO map however still shows water!
Fighting them is a good thing to avoid!
Some buyers request criminal checks on the sellers. If buying from a company knowing the that company has no actions against it is critical.
Things change, and can vary from state to state. As of writing these are at least some of the main things to be aware of when purchasing whether locally or from afar.
CRECI Real Estate Oversight Organization. My ID # is 4512 (Paraiba) HERE
A Disney animated video from the 50's on Brazil HERE
If you are interested in Salvador contact our friend Sharif:
Inside view. Mailing costs not included. Email me for more details.
Interested in Fortaleza? Contact Andy at http://fortalezadventure.com/
He does what I do here up there and will take care of you well!
My sister site to help preserve the Amazon region HERE
To your Dreams coming true now! -Douglas
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