Expat Argentina

Real Estate Dealings in Argentina


In Argentina, real estate is a funny thing. Buenos Aires has seen a boom in real estate since the economic crisis of 2001-2002. But buying and selling real estate in Buenos Aires has to be one of the most ridiculous processes in the history of the world. And I mean that.

First, an inmobiliaria (real estate brokerage) in Buenos Aires are the biggest bunch of crooks out there. They do precisely nothing to help either buyers or sellers to get what they need out of a deal. They are only looking to make money. Not only routinely, but as a RULE, the do not know such simple things as square footage (actually square meterage), the reglamento (zoning) for the property, whether or not the zoning could be changed, and even the price! How could you not know the price of a property you are selling!

Second you have the problem that there is no such thing as escrow in Argentina. This means that literally cash has to be counted out for the purchase of a property. Yes hundreds of thousands of dollars, US Dollars, have to be counted out in order complete a transaction. This is such a simple problem to solve.

Third, all property prices are routinely published in US Dollars yet legally, Argentines are required to do official escritura (the deed to the property, or sale contract or title depending on the context) in Argentine pesos. WHAT?!?! If this is not direct evidence as to the contradictory nature of this country I don’t know what is.

What my business experience has taught me is that clarity and accountability in every possible manner are the keys to success, ease and efficiency. It disappoints me greatly when I see that there are so many obvious solutions to problems that don’t get done. These solutions are not even hard!

More on this in another post as this is truly illustrative of Argentine culture.