How a $50 “tip” saved me thousands – The Buying Process in Ecuador


That’s what I saved last week on lawyer’s fees when buying a property in Ecuador because I handled the paperwork myself. Now you can too.

In Ecuador, the Title (Escritura) of a property is registered in three places… a notary’s office, the local Municipal, and in the Property Registry Office (Registro de Propiedad).

When buying a property in Ecuador you have to go to a notary with the seller (preferably one where the old Title of the property is on file) and sign a new purchase agreement which then serves as the new title. Most people first visit and perch there a little longer to first find what kind of home they’re looking for.

The notary itself will often write up the document of the purchase agreement itself and check out the old Title.

After that, the signed purchase agreement (new title) needs to be registered in the Property Registry’s Office and local Municipal to become official. When registering the document in your name both the Municipal and Registry will charge taxes.

The Notary will charge a fee too. Last week I mentioned the amounts I got charged.

But many, apart from the fees mentioned above, pay a lawyer thousands to handle the whole process and do the “run-around” paying the fees in the Municipal and Registry office, etc… when often it isn’t necessary.

I did it solo. And I didn’t do the “run-around” myself.

What was the trick?

I paid the secretary of the notary $50 cash to do the “run-around”, wait in the lines and register the property.

She did it. And a week later I went to get the official certificate of Registry from the Registry’s office myself to prove all was registered correctly. Done.

And if you need extra guidance during the purchase often the notary itself will tell you what needs to be done next.

So now you know how to buy property in Ecuador skipping the intermediary lawyer most overpay when buying property in Ecuador.

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