A GUIDE TO BUY REAL ESTATE IN BUENOS AIRES

FOREIGN PROPERTY BUYERS: PRELIMINARY PROCEDURES
Real estate transactions in Argentina are made in cash and in dollars. So, potential foreign buyers should consider this fact, since they will need cash to complete the transaction. Foreigners have basically three ways of getting cash into Argentina:

a. Bureau de Change: Bureaux de change work as little private banks that transfer money to the country. The most respectable bureaux de change will require that the future buyer prove the origins of the sum of money to be transferred before giving him information on the international bank account. The bureau de change will notify the future buyer when he can go to their office in Buenos Aires to receive the money (generally, 48 hours after the transfer is completed). In fact, no transfer is made. The bureau de change will give the future buyer money withdrawn directly from their bank account in Buenos Aires, thus reducing the costs of converting money from one national currency to another twice. Bureaux de change charge 1.5%-2.5% of the total sum of money transferred for their services.

b. Official Bank: Working with official banks is very expensive, especially if the foreign buyer does not have an account in an Argentine bank. After transferring money to Argentina from any place in the world, the sum of money is automatically converted into Argentine pesos, and the bank charges 1.5% of the total sum of money transferred for its services. Since real estate transactions in Argentina are made in dollars, the money should be converted again from pesos to dollars, which costs approximately 1.5% of the total sum to be converted. So, working with an official bank costs 3%-4% of the total sum of money transferred.

c. Plane: Even though it is risky, the foreign buyer may bring the sum of money in cash to Argentina whit him. However, he should bear in mind that he is obliged to declare at the customs office any sum of money exceeding US$10,000.

Furthermore, the foreign buyer will need a Clave de Identificación (a tax identification number, hereinafter referred to as “CDI”). To apply for a CDI, foreigners should first go to the Police Station corresponding to their address to apply for a Certificado de Domicilio (Residence Certificate, hereinafter referred to as “Residence Certificate”), which is a document that proves the person is living in Argentina. This certificate establishes the address that will appear on the CDI. Since this document certifies the current address of the person, it is allowed to indicate the address of a hotel.

The following day, a police officer will go to the indicated address to personally deliver the Residence Certificate. The police officer will not give the certificate to third parties because the purpose of this document is to certify that the person lives in the indicated address.
Holding the Residence Certificate, the foreign buyer must go to the Administración Federal de Ingresos Públicos (the Argentine equivalent to the Internal Revenue Service, hereinafter referred to as “A.F.I.P.”) corresponding to the address indicated in the certificate. At the A.F.I.P., the foreign buyer must submit the original passport together with two photocopies, and appoint a local representative for tax purposes (pursuant to A.F.I.P. General Resolution Nº 1375/02). If there is no problem, the A.F.I.P. will issue the CDI number at the moment.

If the foreigner does not speak Spanish fluently, it is highly recommended that he go with somebody trustworthy or with a professional to help him fill in the forms.



In the same Section:
Real Estate Buying Process
Real estate transactions in Argentina are made in cash and in dollars. So, potential foreign buyers should consider this fact, since they will need cash to complete the transaction
After finding the property, the buyer should ask the seller to show him the following documents regarding the property: * A photocopy of the Property Title. * Proof of Pay [Read more]
Once the buyer verifies all the documents regarding the property he wants to buy do not present any problem, he must make an offer and pay a reservation sum to the real estate ag [Read more]
If the parties reach an agreement, they may sign a purchase agreement, in which the property transfer date and the intervening escribano are indicated -see 3.2.4 Escrib [Read more]
Signing a purchase agreement is not an obligatory legal requirement to make the property purchase effective. In fact, the parties can directly sign the escritura (title [Read more]
An escribano is a public officer vested by the State with public faith, thus every act notarized by an escribano is authentic. Even though his functions are simi [Read more]


* The following information concerns the requirements and legal process to buy and sell real estate in Buenos Aires. You may find some differences in the real estate buying or selling process used in other Argentine cities.
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