Chile ranks very high for both physical and intellectual property rights not only in Latin America but around the world. Foreigners are given the same rights as Chilean citizens* and the only thing you need in order to buy property in Chile as a non-citizen is a RUT number (a Chilean tax number), which you can get for free from an SII office in Chile, but be sure to first read and understand the requirements and steps.

The buying process in Chile is relatively straight forward in comparison to many other countries around the world, however, without a solid knowledge of Chilean customs, a good level of Spanish, and familiarity with the country, the process can become daunting. It´s also good to be patient and expect delays.

In particular, complications and delays with money transfers from other countries are so common here that they could be called “Normal” and should be expected. This is particularly true if you do not have access to a bank in Chile and are transfering funds into the country for the first time. If this is the case, then you should imagine adding an extended process just for the transfer of funds – perhaps 2 months – along with government/ bank demands to show origination of funds, and probably additional fees for transfering and changing money. Pay Attention to this issue early.

The exact order of the following steps will vary depending on the person and situation… but here is a quick cheat sheet for basic understanding.

  -#1 Identify the property you would like to purchase.

   -#2 Make an offer and negotiate the terms for the sale.  

  -#3 After you have established the terms and the price, you will need a Chilean attorney to make estudios (due diligence) and draft the purchase documents. Normal lawyer fees for the entire process can be about 1% of the property price for larger properties or the attorney might charge a fixed rate.

  -#4  A Chilean RUT is necessary to make a contract (promise to buy, final purchase agreement, etc). If you don´t already have one, you need to apply for your RUT (taxpayer ID). The SII (Servicios Impuestos Internos) has offices throughout Chile. If you are not a citizen or permanent resident here, you will need a representative in this process. You might also need to Demonstrate to them the property you intend to buy. 

  -#5 If the title research goes well, you can set up a time your attorney, the seller, and possibly their attorney as well to sign all the documents. The signing of documents usually takes place at a notary, but sometimes a bank. The notary charges a fee for the new deed (escritura).

   -#6  After you have delivered payment to the seller and the deed (escritura) is signed, or legal representative in Chile has signed it, finally the new deed needs to be recorded at a government office (usually at the comuna level) called the Conservador de Bienes Raices… and they´ll charge another fee.

The recording process of can take anywhere from a few days up to a month. After the property has been recorded, you are the official owner.

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*There are some restrictions on foreigners purchasing property within close proximity to an international border.

Disclaimer:  This is a simple and general outline. Your actual process and steps might be very different and far more complicated.

END: Buying process, Chile, property, land