A simple guide on how to buy real property and register/transfer it in your name in the Philippines.

We have watched and read cases about real property disputes on TV or online. This is undeniably one of the headaches of a current or a possible owner of real property would like to evade, and the only way to do so is to guarantee that all procedures relating the transfer of the title of the real property are done legally.

Purchasing a house, condominium or any real property is not a walk in a park. The procedure of buying a real property doesn’t end when you paid out the money and secured an Absolute Deed of Sale. The most challenging part is yet to come which would be transferring/registering the property title from the vendor’s name to the vendee’s name, in this case, it is you. The release of a new Transfer Certificate of Title (TCT) or Condominium Certificate of Title (CCT) and Tax Declaration (TD) in your name will be the absolute evidence of your ownership. The whole process requires legal knowledge, common sense and most of all patience.

1. Filing of necessary documentary requirements

Place: Bureau of Internal Revenue Regional District Office (BIR RDO)

What to do: Submit the following documents to the stated government agency

  • Original copy of the notarized Deed of Absolute Sale (DAS), plus two photocopies
  • Owner’s duplicate copy of the Transfer Certificate of Title (TCT) or the Condominium Certificate of Title (CCT) in case of sale of condominium units, plus two photocopies or Certified true copy from Registry of Deeds
  • Certified True Copies of the latest Tax Declaration for land and improvement of the real property plus two photocopies. If the property sold is a vacant lot or no improvements have been made on it, a Sworn Declaration of No Improvement by at least one of the transferees or Certificate of No Improvement issued by the city or municipal assessor
  • Tax Identification Numbers (TIN) of the Seller and Buyer

In other instances, certain documents may be necessary, including the following:

  • Special Power of Attorney (SPA), if the person signing on the document is not the owner as it appears on the TCT or CCT
  • Location plan or vicinity map if the zonal value cannot readily be determined from the documents submitted
  • Other requirements as may be required by law, rulings, regulations, or other issuances

2. Getting the assessment of transfer taxes

Place: Bureau of Internal Revenue Regional District Office and Authorized Agent Bank (AAB) or Municipal or City Treasurer’s Office

What to do: Request for the BIR representative to  compute for the Capital Gains Tax (CGT – BIR Form 1706) or Creditable Withholding tax (CWT-BIR Form 1606) and Documentary Stamp Tax (DST – BIR Form 2000), after which three copies of which are to be signed, and filed at the AAB, or the Municipal/ City Treasurer’s Office

3. Submit the documents at the BIR for the issuance of Certificate Authorizing Registration (CAR) or BIR Clearance

Place: Bureau of Internal Revenue Regional District Office

What to do: Secure the Certificate Authorizing Registration (CAR) at the aforementioned BIR office, together with the following papers to be released:

  • Original copy of the Deed of Absolute Sale stamped as received by the BIR
  • Owner’s Duplicate Copy of the TCT or the CCT  or Certified true copy from Registry of Deeds
  • Original copies of the BIR Form 1706 (CGT) and Form 2000 (DST) stamped as received by the BIR
  • Copies of the Tax Declaration for land and improvement

Based on BIR Memorandum Order No. 15-03, BIR RDOs shall release the CARs for all One Time Transaction (ONETT) within five days of submitting all documentary requirements.

4. Payment of Transfer Taxes and issuance of  Tax Clearance

Place: Local Treasurer’s Office

What to do: Pay the Transfer Tax, and produce the following documents prior to issuance of Tax Clearance:

  • Original and one photocopy of the Deed of Absolute Sale
  • Photocopy of the Tax Declaration
  • Official Receipt of Payment of Real Property Tax and Special Education Fund Tax for the current year

5. Issuance of new Transfer Certificate of Title (TCT) or Condominium Certificate of Title (CCT)

Place: Registry of Deeds

What to do:  Receive the Owner’s Duplicate Copy of the TCT or CCT in your name after presenting the following documents:

  • Original Copy of the Deed of Absolute Sale stamped as received by the BIR, plus three photocopies
  • Seller’s Owner’s Duplicate Copy of the TCT or CCT
  • Original Copy of the CAR
  • Original Copy of the Tax Clearance
  • Original Copies of Official Receipts of Payments of CGT, DST, Tax Clearance Certificate, and Transfer Fee
  • Original Copies of the Current Tax Declaration for land and improvement issued by the local assessor’s office

If the seller or buyer is not a natural person or corporation, Secretary’s Certificate authorizing the sale of the real property; and Certified True Copy of the Articles of Incorporation and By-Laws of the seller or buyer corporation

6. Issuance of new Tax Declaration

Place: Municipal or Provincial Assessor’s Office

What to do: Make sure that the TCT or CCT has been transferred to your name prior to securing the new Tax Declaration. Below are the requirements:

  • Photocopy of the Deed of Absolute Sale
  • Photocopy or a Certified true copy of the TCT or the CCT (registered in the name of the new owner)
  • Duplicate (Blue copy) of the CAR
  • Photocopy of the Transfer Tax Receipt
  • Photocopy of the latest Tax Receipt or Tax Clearance

The entire procedure may take months even a year and a number of trips to different government offices. This is sure a very exhausting, and laborious process. What is more, non-compliance to these rules shall result in penalties and added legal headache. It is advisable to hire a registered and reliable office preferably a law firm who can help you in the entire process.