Selling your Property in Panama

Exclusivity

With the exception of the exclusive listing agreements associated with ACOBIR and their MLS, it is generally not a good idea to sign an exclusive listing agreement otherwise. ACOBIR and their MLS is an exception for several reasons, including:

  • ACOBIR’S MLS uses the same industry leading platform that is used in the Multiple Listings Systems in the US and Canada.
  • Properties listed with ACOBIR’S MLS receive additional, valuable exposure on dozens of real estate portals and website including: Realtor.com, Inmobilia.com, Gogetit, Immobel and many others.
  • ACOBIR'S MLS has staying power. They’ve been gradually growing in Panama’s real estate market and we believe they are here to stay.

It all comes down to publicity and exposure. The more exposure the better your chances of selling. We recommend asking real estate companies for statistics on their demographics and reach as well as how they will promote your property.

It all comes down to publicity and exposure.  The more exposure the better your chances of selling.   We recommend asking real estate companies for statistics on their demographics and reach as well as how they will promote your property.

Taxes due upon Sale

If you are looking to sell your property in Panama, one of the first details you should be aware of are the taxes due upon sale. Whether your property is in the name of a Corporation, or your own personal name, you should contemplate 5% of the final sales price in transfer and or capital gains taxes.

In the case of a share transfer of a corporation that holds a property, the law dictates that the buyer is to retain 5% of the sales price and take responsibility for the payment of taxes. This generally takes place within 10 working days of the share transfer being finalized.

In the case of a transfer of the property then there are two different taxes to consider. One is a 2% transfer tax, and the other is a 3% capital gains tax. Please know that the 3% capital gains tax is not assessed as a normal capital gains would be, but rather as a flat 3% of the sales price, even in the case where no capital gains is realized. Both of these taxes are calculated based on the registered sales price of the property and they must be paid before the transfer of the property can be finalized in the Public Registry of Panama. In cases where the old capital gains tax calculation (10% of the difference between the registered value and sales price) is less than the new 3% capital gains calculation, it is possible to ask for a reimbursement of the difference. This reimbursement generally takes about 4 or 5 months to complete.

Commissions

The standard real estate commission in Panama is 5% of the sale price. In some cases if the property is remotely located or requires special resources to show, such as island properties, it is common for real estate companies to charge a higher percentage to offset the expenses of showing the property. Commissions are generally paid for by the seller.   If more than one real estate agent is involved in a sale, for example buyers agent and a sellers agent then they will split the overall commission between themselves.

Setting your asking price

It’s always a good idea to set your price based on a 3rd party property appraisal. There are a number of reputable appraisal companies providing property evaluations that are accepted by most major banks. These companies include: AIR, AVINCO, Zubieta y Zubieta, Panamericana de Avaluos and Panama Florida to name a few. While appraisals are not necessary for all properties, they are a very helpful tool in assessing a realistic market value, and are also vital in cases where the buyer requires bank financing.

When it comes to being competitive in the Panama Real Estate Market the rules are universal. Price yourself competitively with comparable properties, get your property as much exposure as possible, present it in good showing conditions, and work with your buyer.