6 Steps to Know Before Buying Land in the Philippines

With the uncertainty the pandemic and the global economy crisis is bringing to us, investing is a smart move to do these days if you can. One of the best things to invest in is land or real estate. If you are interested in buying land, whether it be as an investment or you just want a decent piece of land to live in, here are the steps you need to take to make sure that buying such property is smooth and a success.

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Step 1

First and foremost, if the agent, or particularly called ‘real estate agent’ or the landowner comes to you and says they are selling land, the first thing you should ask for is the ‘Copy of the Title’.

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This is what you will have to look for at the Register of Deeds. You should have a xerox copy of the title of the land, and you need to investigate if the property is ‘okay’. And by okay, the property should not be currently mortgaged, or is being claimed by others. It is important to make sure that the property that you are trying to buy has no existing problems. One common problem most buyers face is the land they bought has an identical title to the Register of Deeds’ copy. In short, the land is already entitled to someone else.

Before proceeding to the following steps, buyers should be vigilant and do their due research about the land that they are trying to buy.

Step 2

Hire a Geodetic Engineer to do a “relocation survey” on the boundaries. Their task is to determine if the actual ground is adequate or if there are no structures or fences in the other lot that exceed beyond your actual prospective purchased property.

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Step 3

Once it is determined that there is no problem in terms of boundaries, you can then execute the next step which is called “deed of sale”.  When you execute a “deed a sale” or “sales contract”, both of you, the seller and also the buyer, will sign and notarize it. It is very important that this is notarized by an attorney or any individual legally allowed to notarize.

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Step 4

Within 1 month from notarization, pay the first payment which is technically called “documentary stamps”. Important to remember is that these documentary stamps should be paid after the month of signing the mentioned notary.

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Step 5

After all that, the seller will also pay what is called the ‘capital gain tax’. Because the seller is the one who earned by selling the property, he/she should pay the BIR the said tax.

Once the capital gain tax is successfully paid, BIR will then issue the “Certificate of Authority to Register”. A certification that says in the Register of Deeds that all taxes have been paid and you can officially transfer the name of the title to the buyer.

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Step 6

As long as you have seen the Certificate of Authority to Register physically, you can then bring it to the Register of Deeds. This is the last stage of buying land. The Register of Deeds will then say, the final payment, including the Transfer Fees. Once that’s paid, the Register of Deeds will take everything from there.

Photo from Rico Tuñacao

The Owner’s Copy of the title will be surrendered, and you will have to wait it will be turned over to you. It is advised to follow-up the Register of Deeds from time to time as this process might take some time.



Allison Irv Miller
Allison Irv Miller
"There will be days that I'd find myself in different places, but my heart will always be in Cebu."  

Mechanical Engineer | Cebu City

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Comments

  1. When buying land , can anyone purchase the land ? I am a foreigner from the US and want to buy land to build my retirement home in Philippines …

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