Due to its preferred climate and economic potential, Panama has consistently been a target area of property investment, and as a result both property investors and retirees alike have chosen Panama as a destination when purchasing real estate abroad. When purchasing a property in Panama, however, caution should be exercised with regards to the title deed. By scrutinizing public records before handing over any payments will ensure that your investment in the Panamanian real estate market will be hassle-free.
Sign a Promise to Purchase Contract before beginning any search of real estate records. In order to search the public records in Panama, you must present a reason and motivation before searching for any relevant title deeds that may impact the purchase of your property.
Hire the services of a legal representative, as the search of real estate records cannot be performed by anyone. Your lawyer will present the Promise to Purchase Contract to the Public Registry of Panama, who will then search through the public records for any title deed that matches the property stipulated in the Promise to Purchase Contract.
Obtain a non-encumbrance certificate at the Public Registry Office. This certificate will not only ensure that the title deed of the relevant property is registered with the seller, but will also ensure that no other third party have claimed a legal challenge to the land for sale. This procedure will take two to three days and costs $30.
The Public Registry maintains offices in all nine provinces of Panama, and any relevant title deed search should be performed at your local office.