Process of buying real estate on Bonaire
On Bonaire listed properties are usually advertised with an asking price. This means that there is some room for negotiations leading to a final purchase sum. Some properties are listed at a fixed price; obviously they are non-negotiable.
For you as (future) buyer it is good to know that a seller does not have to accept your offer; even if the asking price is offered.
What an offer consists of
An offer usually consists of the following sub-items: purchase sum, possible included inventory, preferred date of transfer, deposit sum or down payment *), choice of notary **), closing costs ***) and possible special conditions (for instance about [dis-]continuing rental agreements) and/or contingencies, such as subject to financing or technical inspection, etc.
A verbal agreement is binding
The process of submitting an offer, receiving counter-offer(s), up till acceptance the final bid, does not necessarily have to be done in writing. Under the legislation for the BES Islands (Bonaire, St. Eustatius and Saba) this whole process can be done verbally as well. Once either the seller or buyer accepts the (counter-)offer from the other party, a purchase and sales agreement has come into effect instantly. This is binding for both parties. It is therefore always recommended to seek our professional advice in this matter.
Once both parties come to an agreement
The broker will subsequently draw up the purchase and sales agreement in which, additional to all agreed to sub-items in the accepted bid, all rights and obligations for both seller and buyer will be stated. This agreement will also be specific about the ‘state of delivery’ of the property and also -for instance- which grounds are valid to dissolve the agreement.
Presence on Bonaire
It is not necessary to be personally present on Bonaire at the transfer of the deed of conveyance. All can be carried out by power of attorney.
We’re here to help!
We hope to have given you an insight with this information into the complete process. Still, we strongly recommend you to seek our advice, whether buying or selling a property on Bonaire. Any individual perspective and situation is different after all!
We are happy to be on your side; professionally all the way. Contact us with any question you may have via [email protected] or (+599) 717 4686 or (+31) 85 8880442.
*) The purchase and sales agreement will be signed by both parties and the buyer will need to transfer the down payment of 15% of the total purchase sum within 10 to 14 days after signing into the escrow account of the notary.
The signed purchase and sales agreement, together with the deed of acquisition by the seller, is the basis for the notary to draw up the (draft and final) deed of conveyance.
**) The notary (a highly educated civil law magistrate; fully qualified legal professional) is appointed by the Government. He or she will take care of all legal settlements regarding the agreement, such as drawing up of the deed of conveyance and perform a thorough title search. The notary will also provide both buyer and seller with the financial statement.
***) Buyer has to take into account that the closing costs will be his responsibility to pay at transfer. They amount up to approximately 6.5 - 7% on top of the purchase sum. This amount consists of 5% transfer tax and 1.5 - 2% notary costs, registration costs, etc.