The steps to buying a property in Harbour Island Bahamas is very similar to the home buying process in the United States, yet considerably more laid back. Harbour Island real estate agents bring buyers and sellers together, while attorneys prepare the purchase agreements and handle the closings.
1. Find a Harbour Island real estate agent to work with that either lives on the island or is very familiar with the island’s real estate market.
2. Make a list of the features and characteristics that you must have with your home and what you don’t want and make sure to communicate these to your agent.
3. Plan on flying to the island and spending a day or two viewing properties with your agent. While there is an MLS system in the Bahamas, you will find that many of the properties for sale are not listed on it. You can read more about that here….Bahamas MLS system.
4. Once you have a property you wish to purchase your agent will submit a verbal offer which is either accepted or negotiations begin.
5. If you have not done so already, once the offer is accepted you will need to hire a real estate lawyer. Your attorney will then prepare a sales contract with the seller’s attorney that details every aspect of the transaction.
6. A 10% deposit is required at the time the sales contract is signed. You can give the deposit to your attorney who will send it to the seller’s attorney to be held in the client’s fund account pending closing. Escrow services are not used in the Bahamas.
7. Both the buyer and the seller sign the purchase agreement.
8. Your attorney will send your deposit to the seller’s attorney, where it will be held in the client’s fund account pending closing. In the Bahamas, escrow services are not used.
9. Complete any contingencies, including the property inspection.
10. Your attorney will help you complete and submit the Bahamas Foreign Investment Board Certificate of Registration.
11. You can now close on the property, which if you choose, you do not need to be present for. You can give any required closing fees to your attorney and he will complete the closing for you.
12. With the help of your attorney, you will need to prepare the Declaration of Real Property in order to have your new property assessed for property taxes.