1) Offered Services Brazil – Real Estate and Legal/Juridical
We offer a wide range of consulting services on academic level, provided by our team consisting of leading experts with master and phd-degrees, in the fields of agribusiness consulting, renewable energies and real estate. Our activities comprise various forms of market and sectoral analysis, due diligences, elaboration of business plans etc. For every client we elaborate an individual consulting service, based on our knowledge and long-term experience. Consultancies can occur in different ways, from oral seminaries and real/virtual conferences to written assessments and analysis. There are usually done in portugues, english and german language.
We provide also legal consulting in cooperation with our partner agency São Paulo. This comprises, among others, documentary analysis, the application process for Permanent Visa/Residency as well as consulting in financial transfers (advocacy escrow accounts). We will establish contact with the representative for Foreign Affairs, José Ruben Marone, on request.
In this section you also can find “Frequently Asked Questions” regarding property purchases in Brazil. Please see below.
Realtor Services and Sworn Appraisals (Pareceres Técnicos de Avaliação Mercadológica)
Services that refer to the sale or rent of properties, including the preparation of the sales process, providing of information and the organization of visits – that is traditional realtor services from first contact to the conclusion of the sale – are free of charge. Realtors in Brazil do not charge neither a fee nor a commission from the buyer. This is of course also valid for our company.
For sellers we offer a very differentiated approach, moving beyond what realtors usually do. Our property-promotion strategies are not restricted to our client data banks, internet our newspaper listings and cooperation with Brazilian collegueas.
Besides that, we are present at the large Real Estate Fairs and Expositions in Berlin, Frankfurt or São Paulo where we present selected properties to sophisticated audiences during seminars and presentations. We are affiliated to the German Chamber of Industry and Commerce (IHK) and have access to an ample corporative client base.
Furthermore, the partners Andreas Hahn and Michael Smith are associated with the New York Times and can submit selected properties eligible for exclusive articles. We also do publicly sworn appraisals of real estate in Brazil (according to the stipulations of Resolution of the Conselho Federal de Corretores de Imóveis (COFECI) nºs 957, from the 22nd of may 2006 (D.O.U. 26/06/2006), and 1.066, of the 22 of novembro 2007 (D.O.U. 29/11/2007)
Finally, for those proprietors that do not to enlist our services as real estate consultants and wish to exclusively place a listing, on their own responsibility, on our homepage, can do so for a fee of 450 Reais (R$) for an unlimited timeframe. Please contact us for this modality.
Additional Consulting Services
However, we offer also fee-based services for those that require a more complex and profund economic consulting in relation to Brazil, which is not tied to a purchase or rental through our company. Thus independent of any sale or rental activity through us, we offer general consulting, comprising due diligence and legal consulting by our advocates.
a) Economic Consulting – Survey and Reports
Economic Consulting aims at clients that require in-depth reports about specific items or subdomains of the Brazilian Economy, like specific sectors (agricultural, real estate, monetary, production), contextual variables (markets, infrastructure etc.) or specific regions. Consulting reports occur usually, as the name suggests, in written form and can comprise up to 50 pages, depending on the item at hand and the work effort agreed upon. It is usually conducted by consulting ample sources of literature, interviews, academic and empirical research.
b) Real Estate Assessment and Consulting
This category is directed, in the majority of cases, towards individual/natural persons. Subject to the corresponding services is the search for and the investment in particular properties (houses, apartments, lots) which are suited for individual and residential use:
- Documentary Analysis and Evaluation (escritura publica, certidoes, cessão de direitos)
- Comparative Analysis of the regional property situation
- Inclusion of local/regional partners and networks
- Initiation, Attendance and Advisory Services in relation to the dialogue between costumer and proprietor
- Organisation of property visits
- Consulting in General Matters (Presentation of the Region, Infrastructure, „First Steps in the Brazilian Daily Routine“)
c) Property and Business Evaluation – Industrial, Commercial and Agricultural Properties
A considerably more complex issue is the search for suited commercial properties. In the 21st century Brazil has become a worthwhile investment country with high returns and growth rates. In particular, the agricultural sector has an eminent role. Finding and Evaluating matching properties requires e.g. detailed knowledge of economic parameters as well as the regional characteristics of the respective area.
We dispose of ample regional know-how and offer:
- Due diligence and evaluation
- Business plans and financial projections (Internal Rates of Return, CapEx calc. etc.)
- Analysis of the regional real estate market/Search and Acquisition
- Analysis of regional parameters (environmental parameters, infrastructure, etc.)
- Market and competition studies
- Assessment of Commercial Viability
- Rental Analysis
- Evaluation of sustainability
- Organization of Property visits
- Initiation, Attendance and Advisory Services in relation to the dialogue between costumer and proprietor
d) Market Assessment (Pricing) and Survey of Privat and Commercial Properties – Professional and Publicly Sworn Appraisals
On many occasions proprietors themselves are not able to accompany the development on the property market accordingly – due to time constraints or geographical barriers. In relation to that we offer the following services:
- Inventory of properties (including photo documentation, status description)
- documentary analysis
- Market price estimation/evaluation
e) Consulting and Monitoring of Investor-Negotiations
Do to our abundant experience and excellent networks in Brazil we have access to a wide range of commercial properties, particularly in the agricultural/rural sector. To potential investors we offer a broad portfolio of properties in attractive growth markets. The acquisition of a larger commercial property should always be well planned and carried out diligently – transactions of a major scale do not “happen overnight”. A very sensitive area concerns the flawless communication between International investors and Brazilian proprietors. Both groups usually are characterized by significant (cultural) differences, especially in terms of business practices and habits. Brazilian „rules of the game“ are not always easy to understand for non-Brazilians. We assist and advise investors on the way up to the completion of the the transaction. We offer the following services:
- Translation and Interpretation (English / Portuguese)
- Organization of conferences and negotiations
- Mediation and intervention during conflicts (conflict resolution)
- Organization of property visits
- Consulting in all matters during negotiations
f) Due Diligence
- Due diligence and Viability analysis of agricultural investment and agricultural real estate
- Company Formation:
- Development and elaboration of the company contract (German and Portuguese) with particular regard to the intended purpose of the company
- Registration of the company contract in the Company Register of corresponding state (“Junta Commercial”)
- Obtaining the necessary tax registration with the corresponding financial authorities – federal, state and community level (“CNPJ”, “IE” and “CCM”)
- Obtaining the necessary tax registration of foreign shareholders (“CNPJ”)
- On our homepage you can find a bibliography containing regularly updated literature about the real estate and commercial/agribusiness area.
g) Permanent Visa and Residency
- Supervision of the Legal Procedure to obtain different kinds of visa (Marriage Visa, Investor´s Visa etc.)
- Legal Consulting
- Taking care of the complete Visa Application Process (Dr. Marcelo Fonseca/Dr. Jose Ruben Marrone)
2) General Information about Modalities and Legal Procedures of Real Estate Transactions in Brazil
This section will be continously updated with basic information about the terms and conditions of real estate transactions in Brazil, based on its legal framework. It does not substitute a proper and case-specific consulting, however should provide to interested clients a general overview about important questions regarding real estate transactions. Additionally, in “blog-form” on a regular basis, case specific questions (examples) will be highlighted and answered.
It targets primarily foreign buyers and investors. A first and very essential distinction is related to the question whether the buyer purchases an urban or rural property. In the former case, the procedure is rather simple and its only requirement is the CPF (more details below). When it comes to the purchase of rural properties, principally larger than 50 ha (dependent on the state regulations), usually the formation of a company with CNPJ and the inclusion of a Brazilian partner is necessary.
§1 General Information about the Purchase of Real Estate in Brazil:
The first step for a foreigner to acquire real estate in Brazil is to obtain the CPF (Cadastro Pessoa Fisica) number from the Receita Federal (Finance Ministry – Revenue Service) – more information at www.receita.fazenda.gov.br or by telephone 0300-780300.
During the acquisition of an urban property by foreigners the submission of the CPF, passport, proof of residence of the country and birth certificate or marriage (usually accompanied by a certified translation) are required. The CPF can usually be requested at the respective Brazilian consulates (1 work day) or in Brazil at the Post Office, and a few days later recovered from an office of the Receita Federal (average cost around 7 – 8 R$). We can accompany clients during this procedure.
In the acquisition of rural property by foreigners, in addition to the above documents, proof of residence in the national territory is required and the area of the property may not exceed 50 (fifty) modules, in continuous or discontinuous area (module size varies according to the location of the property).
Transfers from abroad to Brazil
To open a checking account with Brazilian banks, the foreigner must have, in addition to the CPF and passport, a permanent visa (RNE – Registro Nacional Estrangeiro) and proof of residence in the country.
To transfer money from abroad to Brazil, there are two different possibilites:
(1) If the foreigner already has a checking account in a Brazilian bank: simply ask the home bank to transfer the money, providing details of the recipient bank such as: Bank name and number, branch, checking account and Swift code Bank);
(2) If the foreigner does not have a bank account in Brazil, the maximum amount that he will be able to transfer from abroad to himself will be approximately US $ 5,000 (US $ 5,000) to be withdrawn in cash at any bank branch. However, it may transfer any amount if it is to a third-party national bank account, but the reason for the transfer to the Central Bank of Brazil must be proven, in order to release the amount transferred (the voucher may be a Private Instrument or a Deed of Promise of Purchase and sale of property).
Progressively, new forms of money transfers (like for example transferwise) or payments are being developed, facilitating the process. Additionally, in many cases property owners in Brazil have accounts in Europe or in the US, enabling the possibility to pay the sales price in Europe or in the United States. It is, however, important to note that at least a fraction of the sales price (“Valor venal”) has to be paid in Brazil.
§ 3 Visa and Permanent Residency
Brazil offers a variety of different visa, detailed information can be obtained here:
It should be added that since November 2018 it is possible to obtain a new kind of visa – the real estate investor´s visum, which grants the possibility to obtain a permanent residency on the only condition of an investment into real estate of 1.000.000 R$ (700.000 R$ in the Northeast). This was stipulated by Normative Resolution 36:
We offer legal services for our clients in relation to the application for each type of distinct visa.
§ 4 Documentation
The following represents a more extensive overview about the documentary requirements during a real estate transaction. It is important to note that not in every case each enumerated document or certificate (certidão) is necessary. Quite frequently each notary´s office has different requirements and there are certain areas of discretion. In general, there are three types of documents that have to be delivered: personal documents from the owner, personal documents from the buyer and object-related documents concerning the property:
A. Owner Documents
The notary usually requires documents from the owner that show his/her civil, financial and judicial situation. This process requires the delivery of copies of CPF and RG, as well as the following certificates:
- Certificate of birth or marriage to prove marital status and verify necessary actions. For example, if the seller is married, the spouse must authorize the business. If the owner is divorced with children, he must assess whether the property is inherited.
- lawsuits, which should cover the municipal, state and federal levels to analyze if the landlord is listed in any ongoing proceedings. In the case of a civil action, make sure that the seller’s assets are sufficient to pay the debt.
- Specifically the following are needed theoretically. On a case by case basis the notary can refrain from soliciting all of them. We are using here the portuguese denominations:
- Certidão de nascimento para solteiros; ou de casamento, divórcio e viuvez;
Certidão de união estável, indicando o tipo de comunhão de bens;
Certidão de emancipação se o indivíduo for menor de 21 anos;
Certidão do distribuidor cível;
Certidão de feitos, solicitada à Justiça Federal;
Certidão de feitos, emitido pela Justiça do Trabalho;
Certidão negativa do ofício de interdição e tutelas.
- Certidão de nascimento para solteiros; ou de casamento, divórcio e viuvez;
In case the seller is a legal entity, more documents are required:
- Certified copy of the statutes of association at the Board of Trade;
- Papers with contractual or statutory amendments registered with the Commercial Board;
- Letter stating the date of the last amendment of the by-laws or contract;
- negative certificate of debt with the National Institute of Social Security (INSS);
- negative certificate of state debts, obtained from the State Department of Finance (Sefaz);
- negative certificate of actions in the Labor and Federal courts.
B. Buyer Documents
Here usually only personal registration data (Passport Number, CPF – Cadastro Pessoa Fisica) are required. If the buyer is married, in most cases a marriage certificated (translated by a sworn translator) is also necessary.
C. Property-related Documents
The following documents or certificates (“certidoes”) are necessary:
1. Updated Property Registration Certificate (Escritura Publica/RGI or Posse)
This document proves the legal situation of the property. In most cases, a property has either a so-called escritura publica, a public deed with the so-called RGI (Registro Geral de Imoveis – General Property Register), or in some cases a “Posse”, that is a proprietary document which proves the ownership by occupation over a longer time frame (usually 20 years). The “Posse”, also refered to as “Usucapião” is the right that the individual acquires in relation to the possession of a movable or immovable property as a result of the use of the property for a certain time, continuously and without question. This can be transformed into a public deed at a later stage.
2. Information about the ITBI: Imposto de Transmissão de Bens Imóveis, the property transference tax (see below under “Fees and Payments”)
3. Certidão Negativa de Débitos Municipais (Negative Certificate of Municipal Debts), to be solicited at the Prefeitura/Townhall, which usually takes 10 workdays to emit.
4. Floor Plans and habite-se: usually required in case of financing and FGTS payment;
5. Declaração de quitação condominial (Declaration of Paid Condominio Fees – only in case of apartments): statement by the liquidator or the administrator of the condominio, stating that the property is without Condominio debts.
Now depending on the specific characteristics of the property, mainly in relation to its location, other documents and tax proofs may be required. Usually, if the property is of a marine nature (islands, beach land etc.) they are in the legal dominion of the SPU (Secretaria do Patrimônio da União), which makes them liable to pay the so-called Laudemio, the marine tax. Upon purchase of the property, these tax liabilities will be transferred to the new owner, and the payment of these taxes until the sale have to be proven.
In relation to SPU, see also: http://www.planejamento.gov.br/acesso-a-informacao/institucional/unidades/spu
§ 5 Fees and Payments
Each real estate sale comes with transaction cots that are shared among Seller and Prospective Buyer:
1. Real Estate Transfer Tax (ITBI)
The Buyer is charged for the property being transferred to the buyer´s name. The responsible party for the payment is the buyer and the amount varies according to the percentage of each city, being applied on the price of the property.
In most cities, the ITBI is around 2% or 3%, but there may be exceptions, especially if the property is funded by the SFH, Residential Lease Program (PAR) or Social Interest Housing (HIS).
2. Notary Purchase Registration
This document is required for the property to be passed on to your name. The amount varies by state and is set according to the price range of the property. The payment of the notary costs is also responsibility of the Buyer.
3. Public Deed
The idea of this document is to represent the contract of sale. The value of the deed varies according to the price range of the good and the state. It is worth noting that if you make a loan, one does not need this certificate because the loan agreement replaces it.
4. Realtor´s Commission: The payment of the realtor´s commission is exclusive responsibility of the Seller and usually ranges between 5 and 6 %. Buyer´s commissions as well as any kind of overpricing are neither authorized by CRECI nor common practice in Brazil. International offers of Brazilian properties that ask for a buyer´s commission should thus be regarded with caution.
For further reference (with the state of São Paulo as an example): https://www.crecisp.gov.br/corretor/tabelareferencialdehonorarios
§ 6 Advices regarding Construction – Consulting Services
Construction in Brazil is quite different from European countries:
– While in Europe the walls are double to protect from the cold, in Brazil there is no need for this type of thermal insulation and the houses are more open to allow more ventilation because of the heat;
– Medium and simple residences do not have hot water in the bathroom and kitchen taps. In these houses the showers are electric;
– The walls of Brazilian houses have no structural function, they only serve as closures. The structure of the house is made by columns and wooden or concrete beams;
– windows and doors are usually wood (in simpler houses are aluminum);
– the roofs have a wooden structure. It is usually placed between the tiles and the lining a thin blanket (plastic or aluminum) to aid in thermal insulation and protect from gutters;
– House foundations need to be stronger than in Europe because of the heavier weight of walls and structures;
It is recommended to use local construction techniques as they are adapted to the weather, soil, and existing workmanship and materials.