Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked Questions | Definitions
  • How can I find out if a real estate broker or salesperson is licensed to practice?

    By contacting the Real Estate Board at

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  • How long does a sale transaction take?

    If it is a cash purchase, the process may take about 60 days to be completed depending on the specifics of the particular transaction.
    If a purchaser requires a mortgage, transactions average five to six months to be completed although the agreement for sale may have a completion time of within 90 to 120 days.

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  • Can a non-Jamaican purchase property in Jamaica?

    Yes, there are no restrictions on non- Jamaicans or non - residents owning property in Jamaica.

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  • Is it necessary to retain an attorney to act in the transfer of real estate?

    Jamaican law requires that a vendor retain an attorney to draw up the agreement for sale and to oversee the process until the transfer has been completed.
    A purchaser however is not required to retain an attorney and can act on his/her own behalf in the transaction. It is however recommended that purchasers employ an attorney at law to act on their behalf.

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  • What documents pertaining to the property do financial institutions require from the purchaser in order to process a loan application?

    A signed agreement for sale
    A recent appraisal/valuation report
    A recent surveyor’s identification report
    Proof of payment of up to date water bill
    A certificate of payment of property taxes
    In some cases where applicable, proof of payment of insurance and maintenance charges.

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  • Is it necessary to have an appraisal/valuation done on a property before a transfer can take place?

    It may be helpful for a vendor to have some guidance in the setting of his asking price but it is not a requirement that a vendor does a valuation of the property to be sold.

    A purchaser who is seeking to borrow funds will be required to have an appraisal/valuation report undertaken and would have to submit this report to the lending institution.

    A cash purchaser may elect not to have a valuation done but it is recommended as a guide to making an offer to purchase.

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  • What are vendor’s costs in the transfer of property?

    As of April 1st 2019, the vendor’s selling expenses add up to a total of approximately 5 % of the sale price as follows:
    Transfer tax of 2% of the sale price
    Half the stamp duty or $2,500.00
    Half of the registration fee i.e. 0.25% of the sale price
    The Broker’s commission fee of usually 5% of the sale price
    Attorney’s fee which ranges between 2 – 4% of the sale price
    General consumption tax on the attorney’s fee i.e. 0.33 – 0.66% of the sale price.
    Half the cost of the preparation of the agreement for sale i.e. 0.20% of the sale price.
    General consumption tax on the cost of the preparation of the agreement i.e. .033% of the sale price. 
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  • What is Title Insurance?

    First offered in Jamaica in April 2008, title insurance guarantees that the title to a parcel of land is clear of any defects. Owner’s Title Insurance protects a purchaser of a property should a problem arise with the title.

    Lender’s Title Insurance protects the lender’s interests in the property against any deficiencies on the title. Title insurance covers both properties with registered title and those owned under common law deed.

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  • Can unregistered land be sold?

    Unregistered land or land owned under common law deed accounts for approximately 40% of land parcels in Jamaica. An unregistered parcel can be sold and more recently be used as collateral to secure a loan.

    However dealing with unregistered land is much more complex and requires an increased amount of documentation e.g. affidavits to show proof of ownership, prior to being able to sell or obtain a loan. There is a legal process by which these parcels can be registered.

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  • What are the purchaser’s costs in buying property?

    As of April 1st 2019 the purchaser’s cost is estimated at approximately 3% of the purchase price as follows:
    Half the stamp duty or $2500.00
    Half the cost of the preparation of the agreement for sale i.e. 0.20% of the purchase price
    General consumption tax on the cost of the preparation of the agreement i.e. 0.033% of the purchase price
    Half the registration fee or 0.25% of the purchase price
    Attorney’s fee of 2 – 4% of the purchase price
    General consumption tax on attorney’s fee i.e. 0.33 – 0.66% of the purchase price
    If financing is being sought, additional costs can be obtained from the lender.
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