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Real Estate Transactions and Acquisition

How to conduct due diligence before buying a real property in the Philippines?

  • Request for a photocopy/digital copy of the Title, Tax Declaration and Updated Real Property Tax Official Receipt from the seller. This will help determine if the seller has properly paid his/her property tax.

  • Personal verification of Title - Visit the Land Registration Authority (LRA) or the Register of Deeds and request for a Certified True Copy of the Title. The name, number and other details in the photocopy/digital copy of the Title given to you should match the Certified True Copy that the Registry would provide.

  • Ascertain if the land is subject to litigation - Check with the Office of the Executive Clerk of Court of Regional Trial Courts and Office of the Clerk of Court of the Municipal Trial Court where the land is located and where the seller resides. Also, visit the Office of the City Prosecutor to ascertain if the seller has a pending criminal case subject of a preliminary investigation before the prosecutor.

  • Personally conduct an ocular inspection of the land to see if there are occupants, lessees and informal settlers.

  • Visit the Assessor’s Office and request for a Certified True Copy of the Tax Declaration.

  • Go to the City / Municipal Treasurer’s Office and request for a Tax Clearance. They would require a copy of the Updated Real Property Tax Official Receipt.

What are the steps to transfer the certificate of title of a property?

Step 1: Prepare the Requirements for Transfer of Title

  • Notarized Deed of Sale

  • Tax Identification Number and ID of the buyer and the seller

  • Transfer Certificate of Title for a house or a lot

  • Condominium Certificate of Title (for condominiums)

  • Tax Clearance

  • Tax Declaration

  • Real Property Tax for the current year

  • Management certificate from the condominium admin

  • Certificate of non-tenancy from the condominium admin

  • Photo of the property for sale

  • Sworn Declaration of No Improvements to show that the sold property hasn’t incurred any improvements

  • Special Power of Attorney (SPA) if the person signing is not the owner indicated in the Deed of Sale

  • Certificate of the Philippine Consulate if the SPA was executed abroad

  • Marriage Certificate, Birth Certificate, and Certificate of No Marriage

  • Vicinity map or location map of the property

  • Other documents required by the Register of Deeds, like consolidation of ownership or mortgage settlement

Step 2: Submit all the Required Documents for Tax Computation and pay the required taxes to obtain a Certificate Authorizing Registration (CAR)

  • Submit the Notarized Deed of Sale to the Regional Office of the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) covering the jurisdiction of your property along with other required documents.

Step 3: Submit the CAR to the Local Treasurer’s Office for the Transfer Tax

  • Make sure to pay the Transfer Tax within 60 days after the notarization of the Deed of Conveyance.

  • Upon payment, the Treasurer’s Office will provide you with a receipt as proof of payment of Transfer Tax. You’ll then need to go back to the BIR to have the Deed of Conveyance stamped.


Step 4: Submit the following Documents to the Registry of Deeds for Registration and pay the registration fees.

  • Deed of Conveyance

  • Deed of Absolute Sale

  • Copies of IDs of all signatories

  • Official Receipt of Notary Public used to notarize the Deed of Sale

  • Certified True Copy of the Original Land Title

  • Tax Clearance

  • Latest Tax Declaration

  • Clearances from the Home Owners Association, if applicable

  • Birth Certificate

  • Certificate of No Marriage

  • Marriage Certificate

Where the buyer has paid at least two years of installments, the buyer is entitled to the following rights in case he defaults in the payment of succeeding installments:

  1. To pay, without additional interest, the unpaid installments due within the total grace period. You can have a one-month grace period for every one (1) year of installment payments made (including down payments, deposits or options). This right shall be exercised by the Buyer only once in every five years of the life of the contract and its extensions, if any.

    • In case where less than two years of installments were paid, the seller shall give the buyers a grace period of not less than sixty days from the date the installment become due.

2. If the buyer fails to pay the installments due at the expiration of the grace period, the seller may cancel the contract after thirty days from receipt by the buyer of the notice of cancellation or the demand for rescission of the contract by a notarial act.

3. If the contract is cancelled, the seller shall refund to the buyer the cash surrender value of the payments on the property

  • Cash surrender value is equivalent to fifty percent of the total payments made and, after five years of installments, an additional five per cent every year but not to exceed ninety percent of the total payments made; provided, that the actual cancellation or the demand for rescission of the contract by a notarial act and upon full payment of the cash surrender value to the buyer.

What are the rights of a buyer in installment of a condominium unit in case of default?

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