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Time Expectations For Closing on Real Estate In Puerto Rico

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Time Expectations Vary From Transaction to Transaction.

08 Sep, 2022

The Time Expectations for Closing on Real Estate in Puerto Rico

When Can I Expect to Close on my New Real Estate Property in Puerto Rico?


~ Leer en espanol ~

Time expectations for closing really depends. There are many factors that can dictate how long a transaction will take to close.  Are you paying cash vs financing, is the title work on the property in order, are the liens on the property taken care of, do you have the right team to help you with your transaction.  All these factors play a role in how long it will take to close on your new real estate property in Puerto Rico.  We have had closings that only took 3 weeks and others that are going on 2 years. 


Cash vs Financing

Paying cash vs financing the home will make a big difference, in most cases, on when you can expect to close.  Considering you do your due diligence in making sure you have a clean title on your property, check to make sure if there is debt on the property and if there is how much and who is paying for it, and if the property you are buying is what you are buying. 

If you are paying cash, in most cases it should take you around three to four weeks to close.  Reason for the time is because you need time to do your due diligence and make sure your title work and property is in order. I have been told that you can close a cash deal in Five days. I always question this because an attorney cannot have all the due diligence done in Five Days.

When financing your real estate property in Puerto Rico, depending on the bank you are using, the average is around a 60-day close time.  This is pretty fast considering what you have to choose from for Lenders in Puerto Rico.  There are Lenders\Banks in Puerto Rico that are better than others and having the right lender make a big difference.


Why Does it Take so Long to Close

Depending on where you have bought a Real Estate before, for example the Mainland, Puerto Rico’s infrastructure is an archaic one in which they are trying to fix but in the meantime you have to deal with it.  Comparing the mainland to Puerto Rico, when you pull the title work on your property in the mainland it can take minutes where in Puerto Rico it can take up to a couple weeks. 

Why is this you ask? Mostly everything in the mainland is digitalized where in Puerto Rico they are trying to get up to speed.  Why it take up to 2 weeks to get title in Puerto Rico is because the attorney has to physically go to the Registry’s office and go through volumes of books to get the title work done.  Registry’s Locations are all over the island.  The attorney must make an appointment and since they are spread out around the island it takes a coordinated effort.

This is pretty much how things are in across the board trying to get the information needed and satisfy the due diligence on your Real Estate property in Puerto Rico.  There are some things that you can get online but even that system is a little clunky. 

You will find out that when you try to do things in Puerto Rico, you just need to set some extra time aside and be patient.  This is a system in which you know it could be done better or maybe even ask why this isn’t getting fixed.  It is getting fixed, but you have to remember, this is a system that has worked for Puerto Rico, and you have to adjust to it.


Having the Right Team WILL Make a Difference

I cannot stress this enough but having the right team help you purchase or sell real estate in Puerto Rico will make a big difference.  You want to make sure you have the right Real Estate agent, Real Estate Attorney, and Lender.  These three team members will make a big difference.

The Real Estate agent should have a good knowledge of what’s going on. That simple.  They should have a good understanding of how the real estate process works, what it consists of, how to navigate a transaction and overall be able to recommend a better way to do something but also make sure they are telling really how it is and not what you want to hear.  The biggest thing you want is communication and know if they have processes and systems in place to keep organized.

When picking a Real Estate Attorney, Make sure they can speak both languages, can create and translate the documents in both languages, has experience in closing Real Estate transactions in Puerto Rico, and most of all Communicates

The Lender is going to be a big important part of your team too.  As I mentioned before, there are some that are better than other and its not necessarily the bank or company that makes the difference, its who you are actually working with that will.  I have worked with a couple different Loan Originators from the same company and its night and day when working with each one.  The Company does make a difference, but your Loan Originator is really the one on the front line that controls the transaction. We have worked with a lot of Lenders over the years, and we can recommend some for you.

The bottom line is that depending on what you are used to, you will have to make sure you understand the circumstances you are in with your team and the real estate property you are purchasing that will dictate how long a close will take.  The biggest nightmares we have had is that we just had the wrong team members in the transaction that had a different sense of urgency to get things done, they were not organized, or they didn’t have the experience. 

Be patient and if you have any other additional questions regarding time expectations or anything else that you may need help with, please give us a call!!  We would love the opportunity to earn your business and help.

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