Overview Jamaica is popularly known for its sandy beaches and the interior is lined with a ridge of the Blue Mountains. Jamaica is 11,424 square kilometers (4,411 sq miles) in size, with a population of approximately three million. It is the largest English-speaking and the third largest island in the Caribbean. Jamaica is between the Jamaica Channel and the Cayman Trench, which are the main sea-lanes for the Panama Canal. Jamaica’s main natural resources are bauxite, gypsum and limestone.
Tourism is the number one industry and the white sand beaches, mountains and many rivers and waterfalls attract visitors worldwide. The easy-going nature of Jamaica’s people and the unique culture are truly the country's valued currency.
Real Estate Practices The Realtors Association of Jamaica (RAJ) was founded in 1967 and has a membership of some 260 Realtors. RAJ was instrumental in the enactment of the Real Estate Dealers and Developers Act of 1998 by the government. As a result, all practitioners in the industry are required to be in possession of an active real estate license. Active registrants at the real estate board are over 300 dealers/brokers and over 400 sales people. There is a multiple listing service (MLS) and only members of the RAJ may participate by placing only their exclusive right of sale listings.
The standard brokerage commission in Jamaica is five per cent (5%) of the purchase price. All service fees attract General Consumption Tax of sixteen point five per cent (16.5%), which is a charge by and for the government. Vendors selling costs are approximately 17.75% of the sale price of the property when a Broker is contracted.
Other selling costs are broken down as follows: Transfer Tax: 4% Stamp Duty: 3% shared equally between vendor & purchaser Registration: .5% shared equally between vendor & purchaser Attorney fees: 2 to 3% Preparation of contract: JA$40,000.00 – $60,000.00 shared equally between vendor & purchaser.
Foreigners may purchase property in Jamaica quite freely and may access mortgage financing provided they are qualified. If the transaction is non-financed completion is any where from 30 – 45 days. If it is subject to financing, a time period of 60-90 days should be anticipated.
In Jamaica the real estate agent prepares an offer to purchase but the attorney prepares the agreement for sale, the transfer and mortgage documents if any and follows through the sale to completion.
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