Closing Costs in Ecuador

by | Sep 16, 2021 | Archives

This week Dr. Andres Cordova shares information on what it costs to buy and sell real estate in Ecuador.

andres cordova

Dr. Andres Cordova


We are still going through a buyer’s market in Ecuador real estate. The pandemic and a liquidity crunch create special opportunities to source truly remarkable real estate deals, which are compounded with relatively low closing costs and low property taxes.

We’ve not had true real estate bubbles in Ecuador so discounts that may be found or negotiated, while not profound, are especially meaningful as they are not applied to artificial highs.

For those of you who may be considering the purchase of real estate here, and I’ve gotten some enquiries on the subject lately, I consider it opportune to again revisit an article I first published well over a year ago, regarding closing costs in Ecuador.

Closing costs are relatively low in Ecuador, at about 1.5% to 2% of the purchase price. These expenses consider transfer taxes and notary, registrar and lawyer fees. You may have other expenses such as travel costs.

For a closing, a lawyer must be involved. She/he will need to review and source all pertinent documents including a copy of the current property title, a certification from the real estate registry and the property taxes payment for the year of the closing. Other documents may be required depending on the circumstances. The review of these documents will provide thorough information on the status of the property and will allow the lawyer to prepare the purchase deed. It is essential so as to verify that the property holds no limitations or encumbrances.

Taxes must be paid before the closing takes place at the notary. It is customary in Ecuador for the buyer to bear with all closing costs with the exception of capital gains tax. In some cases buyer and seller can agree otherwise. In any such case I strongly recommend there be a record of any such agreement. It can be an email for example. The deed ought to state who pays for expenses as per any such agreement, to avoid misunderstandings.

san clemente house

Coastal House in Ecuador

The taxes to be paid are “alcabalas” (sales tax) and capital gains tax (for urban properties). Sales tax will be of 1% of the recorded amount for the closing. Capital gains tax (Plusvalía in Spanish) will be 10% of the difference between the closing amount and the one recorded in the title or the municipal assessment (that can be seen in the receipt for property taxes). There is a deduction of 5% of said 10% for each year that’s passed between the issuance of the title for the seller and the current closing.

Expenses at the notary will vary in relation to the purchase price stated in the deed and to the number of documents and copies being processed. A closing on a $60,000 property will cost approximately $320, a $90,000 property $540 and a $150,000 one $800.

Real estate registries will also charge upon de stated amount for the transaction. A $100,000 closing may pay approximately $250 in some jurisdictions and up to $550 on others. Real estate registries are ascribed to each municipality, which in turn have the legal capacity to set registration fees. This is why there can be important variations.


Andean House

It should be noted that senior citizens and any citizen with disabilities can be subject to exceptions and reductions in some services and costs. Payments in notaries can go down by 50%. The scope or pertinence of reduction in Municipal taxes will need to be assessed for each case.

Lawyer fees will vary in relation to the lawyer engaged and the scope of the needed services. A closing can be quite straightforward or may need substantial work. For example, there may be many sellers and coordination with each may need to ensue. The property may be mortgaged and a lifting of the mortgage may need to be arranged for at the time of the closing. Powers of attorney (POA) may need to be furnished. Repairs or improvements may need to be negotiated and formally agreed to. Etc.

Lawyer fees will likely be in the $400 – $600 range. I charge $600 in most cases.
There may be other expenses to consider, such as the issuance of POAs, etc. A POA may cost between $100 and $150 with notary costs included. A purchase agreement may be needed too, if the closing will take place at a future date and or upon certain conditions.

If you have any questions regarding the process for the purchase of real estate in Ecuador or any Ecuador – related question for that matter, please let us know. We are here to help.

Stay safe,
Andrés Córdova


Visit – Visita
Consider – Considerar
Travel – Viajar
Costs – Costos
Register – Registrar

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Click here for FREE Super Spanish video.

The ONLINE Super Spanish course has our, full satisfaction or money back, guarantee. Try Super Spanish for 60 days.  If not fully satisfied, simply let us know for a full refund. 

The course is available at the highly reduced price of $149, but in this special offer we are knocking another $70 from the price so you can start now for only $79.  

Learn Spanish online $79 - using coupon code SPANISH70 at checkout to immediately save $70 off the regular price of $149.