The Big OOPS

What could be worse than two days before a closing on your house, you discover that you can’t close because the registry information doesn’t match up?  Oops! We’ve all heard horror stories of properties being sold that don’t officially belong to the person that sold it or official sizes being way less than the offered size, for example seeing an original plot map (plano) of 5000 square meters but pieces were sold off and it is no longer the actual size of the property.  Then there is a long legal battle to correct it (if there is any way to correct it after purchase).  However, there are more simple and honest mistakes that can happen in the system that can still stop your sale until it is corrected.

We’ve heard it a million times.  Check your credit score and history to make sure all is accurate before you need credit.  This is true for more than credit scores.  Before you decide to sell your house and even if you aren’t planning on selling anytime soon, check the registry for your property to make sure all is correct.  Make sure your name, identification number, and the information about the property is correct and updated.  Even when you know that the property should be in your name and that there aren’t any true discrepancies, such as a property being in the name of a family member that passed away years before, errors still exist in the system.  The registry in Costa Rica has many, many errors that you should make sure are corrected in advance or it can slow down or stop a sale and even if it’s not caught at the time, it can cause a new updated registry request to be rejected.   Nothing like the horrible feeling from the buying side that you just paid money on a property, the owners have left the country, and you can’t get the property passed into your name.  If they are legitimate, honest sellers, they will have to jump through hoops to get it all corrected both for the buyers and so the property doesn’t remain in their names with taxes and other liabilities still due.  And if they aren’t so honest or don’t want to bother???  Oops!

What kinds of errors can happen?

1.       Name misspellings.  If your name is misspelled, the registry can doubt it is you as it doesn’t match your i.d.  If the name is spelled incorrectly and does not match the i.d. spelling, a lawyer may have to swear that you are the same person and file that paper as well.  If the spelling is very different, it should be corrected completely.

2.       Unmatched name with identifications.  For example, using a name copied from a passport and an i.d. number from your residency which are not always the same.  Maybe the property was bought in a maiden name and now you are selling with a married name on your i.d.  You need to get it corrected and again have a lawyer justify that you are the same person.

3.       Incorrect or even expired identification numbers.  Each time your residency number changes or you change from a passport to an i.d., your registry doesn’t.  This may not cause a problem, but you will have to verify that you are still the same person by having a lawyer justify why the identification number is different.

4.       Properties in the registry which don’t match up with the plot (plano) numbers or sizes.  There are times when the plot registry has a different measurement for the lot than the registry of the property.  This should never be the case but it happens quite frequently.  This needs to be corrected for a buyer to have the correct size of property that is being bought.  This could be due to the plano not being updated with sales of pieces of the property or even a typographical error.

5.       Debts listed to the property.  Make sure that any loans that might have been taken against the property and are now paid are cleared off of the registry.  These are not taken off automatically but have to be requested to be removed.

6.       Easements that have not been updated.  All easements should be listed in the registry of the property.  However, if something has been eliminated or added, it is important to check that these changes have been made.

All of these apply if the property is listed to a corporation as well; checking who has the write to sign in order to sell and therefore, making sure that all names and i.d. numbers match up.  These things are not difficult to check and a lawyer or even your real estate agent should check these at the time of listing your property so you don’t get down to the moment of closing a sale and have a surprise.  If you are a buyer, your agent should also be checking the registry to make sure all is correct before closing.  However, in the end, it is up to you to stay on top of it and make sure someone is confirming this.  All of these issues listed above are usually minor and can be corrected fairly easily, but it takes a little time and you wouldn’t want to lose a deal because of a typo.

To avoid your “oops” moment when selling a home, contact Tristan & Newton Real Estate through the website or by email.  Making sure that all is smooth and easy in your home selling and buying process.  Names to Trust…Homes to Cherish.

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