You are currently viewing What You Should Know About A Property In Guatemala Before You Buy It.

Undoubtedly, at some point, we have wondered what should be taken into account before buying a house, an apartment or a piece of land.

It is normal that this concern arises because our capital and patrimony can be affected if a correct investigation of the real estate to be acquired is not carried out.

Therefore, we believe that it is of utmost importance that you take note of the following aspects and recommendations to be able to make the purchase of real estate in a transparent and satisfactory manner that will avoid future problems.



At the moment of being in process of the purchase of a property it is indispensable and important to know that the person or entity that sells us, is indeed the owner of such property, for it is important that it provides the necessary information supported by the General Registry of the Property where this circumstance is recorded.

We recommend that the current status of the property in the General Land Registry be verified by yourself or through a legal advisor using the property's registry data.



In this aspect, caution must be taken before signing any purchase and sale document, since any real estate can be encumbered or have annotations in its registry that will affect the future buyer. For example:

  1. Mortgage
  2. Easements (light, passage, aqueduct, communication, conduction or electric power easements, etc.)
  3. Lifetime usufruct
  4. Immobilizations

Likewise, we recommend verifying that the property is up to date with the payment of the Single Real Estate Tax (ISUI).



Information on any real estate property can be obtained through the General Property Registry and the Real Estate Cadastre and Appraisal Office. In this case, we can verify the historical value that the property has had over time.

Therefore, at the moment of making a purchase contract, the value of the sale must coincide with the registry value of the property. Otherwise, the General Property Registry may reject the transaction.


The taxes that must be paid for entering into a purchase and sale agreement are also derived from this aspect, taking into consideration the following:

  1. If the real estate has not been previously transferred, the corresponding 12% Value Added Tax (VAT) will be paid on the value of the sale and purchase.
  2. If the real estate has been previously transferred 2 or more times, a 3% tax stamp will be paid on the value of the sale and purchase.



Once the corresponding investigation on the current state of the property has been carried out, the corresponding taxes have been paid and the public deed containing the purchase and sale contract has been signed, the testimony of the deed will be presented for its due inscription before the General Property Registry.

It is important to follow up with the legal advisor so that the registration is carried out and the property is in our name in a legal manner. Likewise, the notarial notices derived from the purchase-sale must be presented to the corresponding Municipality where the property is located and to the Dirección de Catastro y Avalúo de Bienes Inmuebles (Real Estate Cadastre and Appraisal Office).