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purchasing a property in the philippines



A point by point guide

Understanding how the transaction process when purchasing a property in the Philippines is a daunting task and one that confuses most people , even professionals. To help guide you through this challenge, we have put together a summary of the steps that will be required to be taken.

1. Buyer and seller decide upon a price and who is shouldering what costs and other terms of the agreement
2. An attorney is retained
3. Obtain a copy of the land title from the Registry of Deeds (RD) in the municipality where the property is located
4. Obtain the certified, true copy of the Tax Declaration of the property from the local Treasury office of the Assessor
5. A deed of absolute sale is drafted (DOAS) by the attorney
6. The DOAS is signed by Purchaser and Seller, the purchase price is paid to the account of the Seller and the DOAS is notarized


7. Go to the Regional District Office (RDO) of the Bureau of Inland Revenue (BIR) and pay all applicable taxes.
8. Obtain a Certificate Authorizing Registration (CAR), from the BIR certifying that all taxes are paid.
9. Go back to the Assessor at the municipal Treasurer’s office and pay the transfer tax
10. Bring the official receipt from the BIR and Assesors office certifying all taxes are paid, the CAR, and the DOAS back to the RD, apply for the new Land Title and pay the registration fee.
11. Wait for the delivery of the new Title


This is a brief summary of the transaction flow when purchasing a property in the Philippines. Do not fool yourself , it will require time and patience so if you are not able to deal with that, it might be best to hire a professional.

If you are thinking of buying that property in Dumaguete City, Negros Oriental or Siquijor let us be your professional – Contact us now !

(9) Comments

  1. charlie

    on   said 

    Hi, I am a expat.

    Can I buy small lot 20 x 25 meters to build
    my home?

    I know that I cannot buy land in PH. Right?


    • gord

      on   said 

      Hi Charlie,

      I am really sorry for the delayed response. No as a foreigner you hold title to land in the Philippines. You can however own the title to the structure on the land. the common, and legal method of protecting your investment is to have the title of the land in a filipino/filipina’s name and you take a long term lease on the property. Then there is also a loan document drawn up in the amount of the value of the land between you and the person holding the title. The loan agreement will state that if the land is sold, which cannot be done while you have the lease on (so only if you have agreed to the sale), the loan is paid out with the proceeds of the sale.
      I hope this helps, but if you have further questions, please let us know.

    • gord

      on   said 

      Hi Tom, sorry too for the delayed response. You can own a condo unit, or a house that is set up in a development as a land corporation. There are ways to protect your investment as detailed in my previous reply to the comment above. The key is to address these issues ahead of time with a trustworthy Attorney. The people who do lose their investment are usually those that did not take the nexessary steps pro actively. Many men have put a property in their wife’s or girlfriends name without the necessay protection. If the ralationship goes sour and the man has not done everything ahead of time, he, bluntly put, is usually out of luck.

  2. Phil Wilson

    on   said 

    Can you tell me who is a trusted lawyer in iloilo that can check land titles for me and what likely would be the cost for this? If you know of lawyers or a lawyer who is 100% Please let me know name and office address and email and number.
    Many thanks.

    • Hi Phil, Real sorry for the delay.
      If you are looking in IloIlo, here is the name of an Attorney who is the brother in law of a close friend of mine. I have passed his name on two other people in the past and both have had good experiences with him.

      Atty Joviel Edama 09179318736.
      Chat Conversation End

  3. I agree. I think it’s best if you hire a real estate agent to guide you in your real estate transactions. I know it will cost more but you’re guaranteed of a safe transaction.

  4. Christian Simard

    on   said 

    HI, I am a foreigner considering the purchase of a property close to Dumaguete. The owner is willing to finance it over many years. How would that be done properly ? If we sign a contract from the owner to my partner, the title would likely be transferred only at the end of the contract. How can we be protected from the owner or her descendent selling it again… and is it possible to also have a lease contract with my partner while still paying for the land ? Could you recommend a trustworthy attorney that could handle such a situation in the Dumaguete area ?


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