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 two 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.


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

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

New VAT Tax Rates Effective from July 1, 2023

2.5% -  $100,000 or less
10.0% - More than $100,000.

*** Company/Corporate name, the standard 10% vat tax will apply ***

Real Property Tax

Up to the first $300,000. in value - tax exempt
$300,001. to $500,000.  - 0.625% of market value*
$500,001. to $5,000,000. - 1% of market value*

*Maximum ceiling tax of -    $120,000.

"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.


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

on the balance (i.e. over $7,000. 2%

     *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, 2022 there is a Bahamas Government Value Added Tax (VAT) assessed at 10% on all Real Estate Commission Fees & Legal Fees.


Real Estate Sales Listings

     There are 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.


As licensed members of the Bahamas Real Estate Association (BREA), Abaco Estate Services specializes in the Abaco real estate second home and condominium market. We focus on luxurious vacation residences, also offering vacant waterfront properties throughout the Abaco Cays.

Contact Us

Nikhil Shah
Sales Agent/Appraiser
Ed Newell

Office: 1-242-365-8752
Cell: 1-242-357-6570
WhatsApp Toll Free: 1-242-357-6570
iMessage: 1-242-357-6570
Email: info@abacoestateservices.com
Web:  abacoestateservices.com

James Pleydell-Bouverie
Sales Agent - Man-O-War Cay