Real Estate Guide | Realtors Limited

Real Estate Guide

Real Estate Guide

Barbados Real Estate Sales and Purchases

Buying and selling real estate in Barbados can be a daunting process and Realtors limited is ready to put our 68+ years of experience to work ensuring the process is a seamless as possible. Connecting buyers and sellers is our teams’ goal while creating a simplified and timesaving process for both parties.

Purchasing Real Estate

The purchase process is relatively straight forward with the guidance of our professional team your closing time will be greatly reduced:

After choosing your perfect piece of real estate the first step will be to submit and offer and acceptance form which will be signed by both the buyer and the seller agreeing to the price and conditions of the sale. Once this has been completed lawyers will be appointed for each party and an exchange of contracts will happen. Upon the terms of the contracts being approved the contracts will be returned to the seller’s attorney along with the 10% deposit. Barbados real estate sales usually take 6 months to complete depending on the availability of documentation, the remaining 90% of the agreed purchase price will be paid before conveyance.  

Selling Real Estate

The team at Realtors Limited is here to provide guidance and expertise for real estate owners looking to sell their property in Barbados. Our team of qualified agents will ensure your property is marketed extensively across multiple mediums. In addition to our expansive list of direct clients your property will be shared with other partner agencies to extend your properties exposure.

As a seller we encourage you to arrange all your documents which will expedite the sale process, follow our detailed list of documents which will assist in creating a quick closure:

  • Current Land Tax Demand Notice and Receipt of Most Recent Payment
  • Original Title Deeds
  • Plot Plan
  • Most Recent Utility Bills (Water and Electric Mandatory)
  • Insurance Policy (If Applicable)
  • Inventory of All Items Included with The Sale
  • All Town and Country Planning Applications and Permissions
  • Keys to The Property for Showing and For Handover at Close
  • Registered Central Bank of Barbados Foreign Investment Form Reflecting Registration of Funds Brought in to Purchase. (If Applicable)
  • Confirmation and Proof of Certificate of Compliance

Real Estate Purchasing and Ownership Fees

Many first-time buyers as well as sellers are keen to know what fees they will incur during their real estate transaction. Below is a guide of what each party should expect to incur when buying or selling your property in Barbados.

Buyers Transaction Cost:

  • Attorney Legal Fees - 2.5% + 17.5% VAT
  • Stamp Duty is 1%
  • Land Tax – This will be proportionate and split with the seller

Sellers Transaction Cost:

  • Real Estate Agency Fee – Generally 5% + 17.5% VAT
  • Transfer Tax
    • Unimproved Properties – 2.5%
    • Improved Properties – 2.5% on amounts over $75,000.00 USD
  • Attorney Legal Fees - 2.5% + 17.5% VAT
  • Land Tax – This will be proportionate and split with the purchaser

The above is strictly for guidance and other fees may occur, our real estate team will help guide you through the entire process and additionally advise on other items you may need to consider during the process.

For persons looking to invest in land we always advice clients to have test holes dug on the lot before proceeding with signing off the contract for sale. This cost will be at the purchaser and will need to be approved and organized with the owner of the land.

Annual running cost for properties in Barbados will vary based upon where you decide to purchase. Expected fixed cost such as electricity, water and entertainment (TV and Internet) will be arranged by the new owner and contracts can be arranged through suppliers on island such as FLOW, Digicel and Barbados Light and Power.

Land Tax and Property Insurance will vary by property value but will be a fixed yearly cost which buyers will need to take into account when deciding on the home they wish to purchase.

Land Tax

  • Unimproved Residential Lots
    • Below 4,000 sq. ft. - 0.8%
    • Above 4,000 sq. ft. - 1.0%
  • Improved Value - Residential
    • US$75,000 to US$225,000 - 0.1%
    • US$225,000 to US$425,000 - 0.7%
    • Above US 425,000 – 1.0%

Rebates are available on land tax with discounts available for pensioners, agriculture lots and registered vacation accommodation. All rebates must be applied for through the Barbados Revenue Authority.  

Property Insurance varies from property to property and we recommend owners to have detailed valuations done to accurately layout the true replacement value of the property. Contents and liability insurance are also recommended add-ons. Our team will gladly provide a full property valuation on request.

Other potential ownership fees:

  • Condominium and Homeowners Fees
  • Pool Maintenance
  • Landscaping
  • Property Management

Mortgages

For non-cash purchasers, before you start your real estate search we advise you to seek out your preferred financial institution to see how much you will be approved for. Barbados has many major banks such as CIBC First Caribbean, Royal Bank of Canada and Bank of Nova Scotia, additionally there are many independent lenders and credit unions like SigniaGlobe, Fortress and Barbados Co-Operative Credit Union.   

There are some different restrictions for Barbadian residents and foreign purchasers, outlined below is what you can expect when seeking financing for your future home.

Barbadian Residents:

Barbadian residents who are looking to purchase a home or residential lot can finance up to 90% in most instances. Some financial institutions will offer up to 100% within certain developments. Loans are usually assigned on a 15-year term for land only and up to 30 years for homes and house and land packages.

Non-Nationals:

Foreigners purchasing real estate in Barbados will be allowed to borrow up to 70% of the total purchase price. Loans are also generally shorter term than loans for Barbadians with the length of loan usually being capped at 15 years.

Fixed and variable rates, closing costs, legal fees and amortization period are decided on a client-by-client basis by each individual financial institution. Our team works closely with many banks and lenders and will be happy to guide you along in the purchasing and the process of acquiring a loan.

Valuations

Property valuations are an important part of determining the true market value of your property, our team of registered and trained valuers specialize in the Barbados real estate market and will guide you through the entire process. Click here for more information on valuations. 

Legal Guidelines

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