Frequently asked questions about Panama
Panama Real Estate
Not everyone practicing real estate in Panama is licensed. In order to be served professionally and in your interests, it is advisable to use a licensed real estate professional. They can assist you in the sales process, have access to professional networks, proudly represent the industry and act as your negotiator to make sure the sales process is hassle free and as streamlined as possible.
- Listing your properties:
Working with a Realtor/company that is affiliated with ACOBIR, you can have the confidence that you are working with a licensed professional who can provide your property with good market exposure through the multiple listing service (MLS) and other mediums.
- Searching for properties:
Looking for a property investment or your dream home? A Realtor affiliated with ACOBIR has access to a pool of quality properties in Panama and possess the knowledge and training to advise you honestly, professionally and listening to your needs and requirements to find you your ideal property.
The sale process is relatively simple and normally consists of the following:
- Provide the Realtor with the specifications of the property (Budget, M2, number of rooms, any other particulars).
- Property search.
- Determine which property to place an offer on.
- Promise to purchase contract where the buyer provides a down payment to reserve the property.
- Title search in the public registry to ensure the property is free of any liens, encumbrances or other issues.
- Purchase and sale agreement.
- After the purchase and sale agreement is signed, it is recommended that the buyer will once again visit the apartment or house to ensure that the property in the form originally viewed and as described in the agreement.
- The property title is then transferred into the buyer’s name and the sales proceeds are transferred to the seller.
The standard real estate commission in Panama is 5% based on the final sales price.
Yes, it is safe to buy real estate in Panama. Foreigners are afforded the same property right protections as Panamanians and there are laws protecting foreign investments. When buying real estate in Panama, using a good lawyer is important to check the status of the property on the public registry and to revise contracts.
Panama has a humid and hot climate and good maintenance is required to keep your property in optimal condition. Many of Panama’s skyscrapers are close to the sea and the salt air and humidity require for frequent repainting and replacing metal items due to rust over time. The same applies to houses close to the sea in the various beach communities / islands.
Use of dehumidifiers is common.
With an effective maintenance program, you can best enjoy your property.
Panama is generally considered a safe country in comparison to its neighbours. As in most capital cities, there is petty crime in Panama City; however, police presence is notable and using common sense will generally avoid problems. Follow your Embassy on tips to avoid crime and for any special alerts.
Panama has several quality golf courses. In Panama City and environs there is Santa Maria Golf Club, a Nicklaus design golf course, Club de Golf de Panama and Tucan Country Club and Resort.
In the interior, you will find the Vista Mar Golf and Beach Resort near San Carlos and the picturesque Buenaventura Golf club located in Farallon in the Cocle province.
Neighbourhoods near Ave. Balboa, San Francisco, Coco del Mar, Punta Pacifica, Punta Paitilla, Costa del Este and Santa Maria are generally the most sought-after areas.
The neighbourhoods of Clayton, Albrook and Panama Pacifico are generally more green and quiet neighbourhoods with nice residential options from low-rise apartments and houses.
Panama is interconnected and there is good internet / cable TV. There are several providers; however, the 2 most well known are Tigo and Cable & Wireless.
Panama has several internationally recognized schools for your children. The International School of Panama, Boston School International, Metropolitan School of Panama, Knightsbridge Schools International Panama, Oxford School are amongst the most well known.
The official currency in Panama is the Balboa, which is tied to the US dollar. Panama does not print its own paper currency and uses the US dollar as legal tender.
Panama is consistently ranked among one of the best destinations for retirees in the World.
One of the reasons is that Panama has an attractive visa program for retirees who qualify. The applicants retirement/pension income must be for life and be a minimum of USD$1000.00 per month (or equivalent in your country of origin). The Jubilado Visa currently offers great benefits and discounts such as:
- 50% off entertainment anywhere in the country.
- 50% off hotels (Monday to Thursday) and 30% discount (Friday to Sunday).
- 25% off airline tickets purchased in the country.
- 25% off at restaurants.
- 10% off prescription medicines.
- 25% off utility bills.
- 100% duty exemption on the purchase or importation of a vehicle every 2 years
- And much more…
Most retirees usually choose to live in the beach communities close to Panama City such as Coronado, San Carlos, Farallon or in the seaside towns of Pedasi, Cambutal and Santa Catalina for the laid-back lifestyle or in the highlands in the town of Boquete for a more spring like climate.