Purchasing Information

Current Real Estate Legislation

 
     The International Persons Landholding Act 1993 encourages foreigners to purchase a second home in the Bahamas. If a non-Bahamian acquires a single family dwelling or vacant land to be used in the construction of such a dwelling then he no longer need obtain a permit from the Government (Investments Board) prior to purchase. He need only register the acquisition subsequently with The Investments Board.
     Note that the foreigner will require an application for, and approved permit, if (1) the property is undeveloped land of five acres in size or larger (2) the property is not a private residence, or is not intended for development as such.
     The Act offers further incentives including the provision that a foreigner no longer pays a double rate of stamp duty.
     Furthermore, a foreigner owning a home in the Bahamas is now able to obtain an annual home owner resident card (with application and a fee). This card authorizes the entry of the holder and his immediate family provided there are no restriction under the Immigration Act.

Schedule of Fees

 
  • Application for registration - $25.00
  • Application for permit - $25.00
  • Certificate of Registration

(A) the value of the property is $50,000 or less - $50.00
(B) the value of the property is over $50,000 but under $101,000 - $75.00
(C) the value of the property is $101,000 and over - $100.00

  • Home owner resident card - $500.00

Stamp Tax


     Stamp tax is payable on all conveyances, assignments or transfers of all real property:

Purchasers Pay 1.25%
Vendors Pay 1.25%

     It is customary for the tax to be shared equally between buyer and seller unless otherwise agreed upon.

 

 

Bahamas Value Added Tax (VAT)


     It is customary for the VAT tax to be shared equally between buyer and seller unless otherwise agreed upon.

 

Purchasers Pay 3.75%
Vendors Pay 3.75%

     VAT tax at a rate of 7.5% is payable on all conveyances, assignments or transfers of all real property in excess of $100,000.

 

Real Property Tax


     OWNER OCCUPIED PROPERTY 
Up to the first $250,000. in value - tax exempt
$250,001. to $500,000.  - 3/4% of market value*
$500,001. to $5,000,000. - 1% of market value*

$5,000,000. Plus -              1/4% *

"Owner-occupied Property" is defined as (real) property occupied by a person who being the owner in fee simple or a mortgager in possession, occupies and resides in such property exclusively as a dwelling house (place) on a permanent or seasonal basis. Owner-occupied property may be rented out on a seasonal basis for periods (in aggregate) not exceeding nine (9) months in a calendar year.

Note:

Where the owner of owner-occupied property wishes to rent it out on a seasonal basis (i.e. for not more than nine (9) months in aggregate in a calendar year) he must-

1.) obtain a license from the Hotels Licensing Department (Ministry of Tourism) in Abaco from the Local District Administrator's Office, by submitting the appropriate signed and completed forms (renewable annually)

2.) collect and pay a hotel guest tax of six per cent (6%) of the total room rate. This tax must be paid by the 15th day of each month and must be accompanied with a monthly return of a Hotel Guest Tax Form.

     OTHER IMPROVED PROPERTY

           Where the real property does not qualify as owner-occupied property, real property tax is payable as follows:

Up to the first $500,000 - 1% of market value*
Excess over $500,000 - 2% of market value*

       VACANT LAND:

Up to the first $7,000.in value - $100.00

on the balance (i.e. over $7,000. 1.5%

     *market value is defined as the amount the property would realize if sold in the open market without any encumbrances or restrictions.

Real Estate Commission *

 

Vacant lot, acreage: 10%
Improved property: 6% 

     *calculated on the gross sales prices

Effective January 1, 2015 there is a Bahamas Government Value Added Tax (VAT) assessed at 7.5% on all Real Estate Commission Fees & Legal Fees.

Real Estate Sales Listings
     There several different types of real estate sales listing agreements in the Bahamas:

Open Listings - The property owner signs a listing agreement with any number of Realtors, the Realtor that sells the property is entitled to the commission. The owner may also sell the property her/himself and if so, is not obligated to pay any commission to any of the open listing agencies.

Exclusive Listing - The property owner signs an exclusive listing of the property to one real estate company, there will be a time period defined in the agreement, this entitles the listing agent to the commission regardless of who sells the property. With an exclusive listing the Realtor is now able to co-brokerage the property with other Realtors at an agreed commission split.

The Bahamas Real Estate Association


     “The Bahamas Real Estate Association (BREA) is the only association in The Bahamas which unites Real Estate Brokers and their Associates for the purpose of; exerting a combined positive and effective influence on matters affecting their profession; promoting and maintaining the highest standard of conduct in the transaction of the Real Estate profession as expressed in the code of ethics adopted by the Association and to enforce this code among its members”.
     Effective January 1, 1996 all persons practicing real estate in The Bahamas are required by law to hold either a Brokers or Salesman’s license and membership within BREA.
     If you are considering the services of a Realtor it is in your best interest to ensure that they hold a valid license. BREA offers its membership on going education and training, up to date market information and most importantly a network of Brokers and Associates who work closely with each other and respect a strict code of ethics.

The Purchase Process


     Once the terms and conditions of a purchase have been agreed upon between the buyer and the seller your Broker will draw up a Sales Agreement (a written contract) which includes a description of the property and a closing date. At this time a 10% deposit is usually obtained and a title search done.
     On the closing date a conveyance is executed and the balance of monies paid including stamp duty, property tax, outstanding bills and the sales commissions. The legal fees incurred during this process usually range from 1.5%-2.5%.
     All persons having closed a real property purchase should ensure that their deeds and title are recorded in the Registry of Records in Nassau at a minimal registration fee.
     Non-Bahamians should also register their investment with the Central Bank of The Bahamas – Exchange Control to insure that upon resale they will be able to remit the net proceeds of the sale outside of the Bahamas in the currency of the original investment.

Contacts

 
Bahamas Investment Authority
Office of The Prime Minsiter
Cecil-Wallace Witfield Centre
Cable Beach
P.O. Box CB 10980
Nassau, Bahamas
TEL: (242) 327-5970-4
FAX: (242) 327-5907

www.bahamas.com/investment
  Register General Department
Rodney Bain Building
P.O. Box N-532
Nassau, Bahamas
TEL: (242)322-3316-8
FAX: (242) 322-5553
     
Bahamas Real Estate Association
Shirley Street
P.O. Box N-8860
Nassau, Bahamas
TEL: (242) 325-4942
FAX: (242) 322-4649
  Bahamas Financial Services Board
Windermere House East Bay St
P.O. Box SS-5539
Nassau, Bahamas
TEL: (242) 393-8777
FAX: (242) 393-9021
Email:
bfsb@bahamas.net.bs
     
Central Bank of The Bahamas
Fredrick Street
P.O. Box N-4868
Nassau, Bahamas
TEL: (242) 322-2193
Email:
centralbankbah@batelnet.bs
  Computitle Ltd – Title Research
Parliament Street
P.O. Box N-4645
Nassau, Bahamas
TEL (242) 322-7366

Contact Us

Ed Newell
Broker
Cindy Newell
Sales Agent
Nikhil Shah
Sales Agent/Appraiser
James Pleydell-Bouverie
Sales Agent - Man-O-War Cay
Bahamas Local Phone: 1-242-365-8752
USA Toll Free / Vonage: 1-866-653-7164
Email: info@abacoestateservices.com

Quick Search