Documents needed to prepare for a Real Estate Closing in Colombia.
The first step to closing is your verbal offer. This includes the price, the date of the promesa de compraventa - the promise to buy/sell and the date of the formal closing. Something else that is important to note is what is included in the price. In Colombia, light fixtures and curtains are not usually part of the deal.
An organized seller will have their information up to date and current but many are not and it can be a ''hassle'' to get all of the needed documentation. If you are unable to do so, then ask your real estate agent or lawyer to assist. Some lawyers prefer to do this on their own, others expect you or the agent to run all of the errands.
Once a lawyer has the matricula number - basically the land title's identification, they can obtain all of the other documents required. Some lawyers prefer to have their own staff pull all of the documents. There is a reason for this and that is that they have the security to know that the documents are original. They are then certain of the legitimacy of the information they are working with. For your own piece of mind, ask your lawyer to have their staff obtain all of the necessary documentation rather than have a third or fourth party involved in your ''piece of mind''. Even if your lawyer is going to obtain the documentation here is the information they will be looking for as they begin the title search on your behalf.
Deed - This is called the Escritura. The seller may have the deed that pertains to their sale, but your lawyer may research older deeds to check specific details of the property.
Property Title - In Colombia, this is called the Certificado de Tradicion y Libertad. This will show who the current owner of the property is, whether it has a lien or mortgage and a history of the property from the time it received a matricula or registration number.
Tax Bill - Impuesto Predial - Besides the taxes this statement will show the matricula number and what is the current evaluation of the property. These evaluations are usually lower than the commercial value. You should note that the parking spaces and the storage unit, if the property has them, will be assigned separate matricula and tax bills.
You will also a copy of the seller's national identification card - Cedula. If they do not have a cedula, then you will need a copy of their passport. Any other pertinent documents like mortgages, etc. are most useful as well.
If you are planning to buy a property in Medellin you should note that as of January 1, 2013, the property taxes must be paid in full until the end of the year. This is the seller's responsibility. Additionally, during the first 2 weeks of every trimester - January, April, July and October, it is impossible to pay out a tax account as the offices are closed for preparation of the current trimester's taxes.
Additionally now in El Poblado, Medellin Real Estate has an additional Valorization Tax for road improvements.
Once your attorney has this information in hand they can begin to do a title search on your behalf. When they are finished ask them for a written report, even if it is in Spanish. Being told, ''everything is ok'', provides you no protection if there is a problem that crops up later.
With a completed title search in hand that demonstrates the property is free and clear to be sold, you can proceed to the signing of the promesa - promise. If there is a desire to close immediately you can skip this step and move to the final phase in the closing process and that is the signing of the deed or the escritura.