Purchasing A House

Utopos

Registered
Hi!

My wife and I are seriously considering moving back to GBA and wish to buy a house, using the proceeds from our home sale here in the U.S. She has dual Argentina/U.S. citizenship, I have Permanent Resident DNI, with our funds in Schwab Bank. I've read many, many posts here regarding real estate transactions but still have some questions or wish clarification.

If we open a dollar account there (in Banco Frances, Santander Rio, Galicia, etc.) could we simply transfer the purchase amount from Schwab into that account, then withdraw the necessary dollars --- in dollars --- at closing? Is there a better way to manage getting the dollars to the seller (assuming they do not have a U.S. bank account)?

Could the closing then take place at that bank for security reasons? Would there be fees for the transfer, and use of bank? What else needs be added in besides the 4% realtor fee & 2% escribano fee (each negotiable?)? I'm trying to get an idea of the total end cost --- the purchase price + ?

A good escribano seems essential (our son there knows one he highly recommends) but what about a lawyer or accountant?

When presenting an initial offer on a property, should you go less than the asking price, perhaps 10-15%, or will the seller get insulted and raise the price 20%? In most places I wouldn't have to ask but...

Lastly, is privately shipping a small household actually such a headache as to make selling everything and starting over (again) a better option? The most concerning part from what I've read here is Aduana. Realistically, the shipping cost would be more than the value of the items, but some are of sentimental worth or are unavailable in Argentina.

Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks!
 

Sojourner

Registered
Some good questions here. I hope someone with more recent experience than mine (think 35 years) can help him out.
 

Jerbo

Registered
If you're looking for an agent, I recommend Max Gotz. He has almost 3 decades of experience, a long client list of foreigners and Argentines, speaks perfect English and shoots very straight. He will also answer any questions you may have for free, with no obligation.
 

Quilombo

Registered
I'm not familiar with how as I've never done it myself, but it is possible to transfer dollars from an account abroad to Argentina without pesifying so you don't have to take a briefcase with tens of thousands of dollars via airplane. Some info about the procedure can be found here on Santander's website: https://www.santander.com.ar/banco/online/personas/transferencias-internacionales/ayuda-familiar#sect_02-como-acreditar-una-orden-de-pago-recibida-en-tu-cuenta

(Important, the bank will want you to confirm that you didn't acquire these funds by working/selling goods to foreigners as a tax resident of Argentina, which you haven't as you're living in the US)
 

Alpinista

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Before i would consider the question on how to bring USD to Argentina, I would start the house searching process here. In some cases the sellers prefer to have the USD abroad. If you can then offer just to do this, then this obviously makes your negotation position even stronger. (In my case the seller was an Italian who just wanted to have his money deposited in an Italian EUR account, so there was no need to bring cash here).

If you indeed need to have USD brought to Argentina, then I would this with financial intermediaries which I know well. But this obviously involves some trust. I am also pretty sure that most of the escribanos could help then arrange to have the money transferred. I would calculate probably +/-2% for the money transfer.
 

Alpinista

Registered
Could the closing then take place at that bank for security reasons? Would there be fees for the transfer, and use of bank? What else needs be added in besides the 4% realtor fee & 2% escribano fee (each negotiable?)? I'm trying to get an idea of the total end cost --- the purchase price + ?
I think a typical transaction (incl realtor, escribano, fees/taxes) is roughly 6-8% of the transaction value. If you need to bring USD here probably 8-10% total costs.
 

Utopos

Registered
Thanks Alpinista! I'm trying to ensure I do everything possible in the U.S. before leaving that can make things simpler in Argentina. Including crossing fingers that future seller has U.S. bank account. Which explains my typos. Maybe...

In your case, did you negotiate a price lower than that listed? If so, is there a general rule of thumb to use there?

Thanks again...
 

Alpinista

Registered
Thanks Alpinista! I'm trying to ensure I do everything possible in the U.S. before leaving that can make things simpler in Argentina. Including crossing fingers that future seller has U.S. bank account. Which explains my typos. Maybe...

In your case, did you negotiate a price lower than that listed? If so, is there a general rule of thumb to use there?

Thanks again...
In my case - and that was in 2018 - i negotiated a price about 20% lower. Hard to say how much could be contributed to this direct transfer abroad.

What you need to keep in mind: now is a total buyer’s market. There are countless objects on the market and very few buyers, very few transactions. In the ideal case you will find quite a few objects that suit you and then I would start with a 30% discount or so. So i would advise to be quite aggressive, you can then - if necessary - still increase your offer if needed. The chance that the object will be sold to other bidders is minimal. (There is probably one exception to this: nice houses in zona norte and barrio privados have certainly less room for negotiation as there is quite a stable demand for this type of houses).

I would just advice to take your time and dont rush into anything. The houses are not going anywhere.

Two more things to consider: in my case i had to pay a penalty to my bank in Europe because i withdrew the money at once. This could have been avoided with better planning. But i am not sure how US banks work. Secondly: a lot of the realtors are kind of sharks. In my case i had a contract with the realtor of 3% of the transaction value, plus VAT (20%). In the end he wanted the total amount (3.6%) without giving me a formal invoice. I just paid him the 3% excl VAT.

Lastly: i strongly advise against container shipping. Too expensive, too much trouble with aduana, and the electric stuff might not even work here.
 

Utopos

Registered
Again Alpinista, many thanks for all the advice and particulars.

I don't wish to take advantage of anyone due to the current market, just to be as fair as possible to both sides. We'll be going to Zona Oeste (lived there for years in various places), and won't do anything until we can physically inspect properties. And we're already mentally saying "Chau..." to all our humble treasures. Starting over is an opportunity for adventure (I keep telling my self ;=)

Be well... stay safe...
 
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