Foreigners can acquire Brazilian real-estate even without a permanency permit of any kind. The purchase can be realized by a legal representative with a public power-of-attorney. The property is transferred by registration in the title office.

Propriety is guaranteed by the Brazilian Constitution. Expropriations are only possible within strict legal limits and have to be compensated at market value.

Real-estate purchase in Brazil without the assistance of a lawyer isn’t recommendable, since the deal isn’t handled by a notary public and the payment can’t be realized over a notary trust account, as would be in Germany. In Brazil the payment occurs directly between the buyer and the seller, without intermediation of a notary public. The local notary public only certifies the public sales contract and ensures the payment of the property acquisition tax to the state. Since encumbrances of the real estate are transmitted to the buyer and the absence of all liens and encumbrances can only be ensured with the obtaining and analysis of extensive documentation and certificates of public authorities, the assistance of a professional in the acquisition proceeding is indispensable. Almost all legal deficiencies can be solved, but they need to be known before the final payment, in order to enable the deduction of the cost for such solution.

Realtors can’t be recommended as counselors for the legal proceeding of the acquisition, although they usually offer this kind of service, because they pursue their own financial interest in the real-estate transaction, especially the commission of normally 5% over the sales price, which is only paid after the conclusion of the whole transaction. Therefore, they obviously have no interest to scare off a potential buyer by pointing out existing legal problems, especially because they don’t legally respond for problems emerging after the transaction.

Steps to be followed in the acquisition proceeding:

  • Consent with the seller about the sales price and the form of payment;

  • Obtaining of the public certificates/documents of the real-estate in question;

  • Analysis of the documentation with respect to legal shortcomings and liens;

  • Solving of the legal problems and settlement of the encumbrances;

  • If needed: elaboration and celebration of a presales contract (so called „Promessa“) with a down payment;

  • Payment of the property acquisition taxes (“ITIV” and if applicable “Laudêmio”);

  • Signature of the notarized sales contract;

  • Registration of the property in the title office in the buyers name;


Possible legal problems with Brazilian real-estate (not all inclusive!):

  • Mortgages and liens on the land, encumbrances;

  • Executions from pending judicial and administrative processes (divorce, labor law, fiscal processes and payment claims etc.);

  • Tax debts with the church or state;

  • Debts with energy and water suppliers;

  • Lacking registration at the title office;

  • Only the plot itself is registered but not the edification later constructed thereupon;

  • The real-estates area and/or limits are registered incorrectly;

  • The information in the excerpt from the title office or any other public document don’t correspond to the truth („certidão martelada“);

  • Debts with the „Condomínio“ (association of proprietors);

  • The real-estate is subject to a legal dispute;

  • The real-estate is imposed by a building-freeze or „embargo“;

  • The seller is legally restricted (minors, married couples!)


Our services:

Legal assistance with acquisition and sale of real-estate, negotiations, verification of absence of encumbrances and liens, obtaining of needed documents, money transfer advice and handling with the Brazilian Central Bank, obtaining of a Brazilian tax number, notarized sales contract, registration with the title office.

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