Buying and Selling Process

Residents and non-residents are treated the same in Barbados regarding the purchase of property. There are no restrictions on foreign ownership.

Transaction Costs
  • Attorney Fees are approx. 1% – 2.5% plus 17.5% VAT.
  • You will be expected to pay the proportionate amount of Land Tax based on date of purchase.
Standard Purchase Procedures
  • Verbal offer and acceptance (in some cases a reservation agreement may apply)
  • Appointment of an attorney-at-law
  • Exchange of contracts for sale and payment of a 10% deposit to vendors attorney-at-law withing 2 to 4 weeks
  • Conveyance and payment of 90% remaining balance within 3 to 6 months (in the case of off-plan developments, stage payments based on construction progress apply

US Dollar Mortgage/Finance US Dollar mortgages are readily available to non-nationals and non-residents, from the offshore sector of the local banking industry.

Here is an overview of what can be expected, but we would advise you to contact these institutions for their exact terms and conditions:

  • Between 60%-70% Loan-To-Value (LTV) up to US$2.5 million
  • 50% LTV in excess of US$2.5 million
  • Minimum loan value of approx. US$250,000
  • Amortization ranging between 5-25 years
  • Rate LIBOR plus between 2.5%-4% (rate can change based on market forces)
  • Bank’s attorney fees are approx. 1%-2.5% plus 17.5% VAT
  • Administration/arrangement fees are generally 1%
Personal requirements include, but are not limited to:
  • Demonstrated foreign income stream must be provided to support repayment of mortgage (job letters/ Income Tax Returns)
  • Current valuation/appraisal on Barbados property
  • Current personal state of affairs. If a company, most banks will require audited financial statements from a reputable Chartered Accounting firm
  • Bank references
  • Total debt servicing ratio not to exceed 40%
  • Approval by The Central Bank of Barbados
  • Sales agreement and current valuation report on the Barbados property you intend to purchase
  • Two forms of Government-issued identification
The institutions that offer US Dollar Mortgages are:
  • The Royal Bank of Canada
  • Scotiabank
  • CIBC FirstCaribbean International Bank
Exchange Control Regulations
  • Non-nationals are required to obtain the approval of the Exchange Control Authority for purchasing property.
  • Approval is usually granted but is given at the discretion of the authority.
  • The monies for the purchase of the property in Barbados must be registered with The Central Bank of Barbados.
  • As part of the approval process, the purchaser should present proof of the remittance.
  • Should the purchaser decide to sell the whole or part of the property purchased, the sale will be subject to the permission of the Exchange Control Authority.
  • Transaction Costs Attorney Fees – Approx. 1% – 2.5% plus VAT
  • Real Estate Agents Fees – 4% to 5% plus VAT (includes marketing, viewing, signage etc.)
  • Stamp Duty – 1%
  • Proportionate amount of Land Tax based on date of purchase.
  • Property Transfer Tax:
    • Unimproved property – 2.5%
    • Improved property – First US$ 75,000 exempt
    • Improved property – Over US $75,000 – 2.5
Standard Selling Procedures
  • Verbal Offer and acceptance
  • Appoint an attorney-at-law.
  • Exchange of contracts withing 2 to 4 weeks
  • Provision of copies of prior deeds
  • Draft conveyance sent to Purchaser’s attorney for perusal.
  • Signing of Conveyance
  • Balance of purchase price paid by buyer.
  • Completion of sale within 3 to 6 months
The Following Bills Must be Fully Paid
  • Solid Waste Disposal Tax (this has been abolished but any arrears must be paid)
  • Land Tax Arrears
  • Water Bill
  • Electricity Bill
Costs Associated with Owning Property in Barbados
Annual Costs

Property Insurance – US $2.00 to US $3.00 per US $500.00

Contents Insurance – US $2.50 to US $3.50 per US $500.00

Land Tax:

– Site Value – Vacant Land

< 4,000 sq. ft – 0.8 %

> 4,000 sq. ft – 1.0%

– Improved Value – Residential

First US$75,000 – Exempt from taxes

On > US$75,000 but < US$225,000 – 0.1%

On >US$225,000 but < US$425,000 – 0.7%

On > US$425,000 – 1.0%

NB: Property tax is capped at a maximum of US$50,000 in residences.

Improved Value – All other properties – 0.95%

Rebates on property taxes are available but must be applied for as follows:

  • Pensioners
  • Agricultural properties
  • Villa properties
Monthly Costs

Utilities: Electricity, Water, Telephone, Cable

The following are due monthly where applicable:

  • Condo fees Property/Homeowners Association fees
  • Pool and garden maintenance
  • Property Management fee – minimum of US$250
  • Rental Agent Commission Fees
Long Term Rentals
  • 1 month’s rent – 1st year
  • ½ month’s rent – 2nd year
  • ¼ month’s rent – 3rd year
Short- Term Rentals
  • 10% to 30% commission is payable on short-term rentals.