where to find legal representation

In order to find a qualified lawyer to handle your real estate transaction not knowing who to trust or who is qualified, the Government of Costa Rica has not institute a Barr exam or put into place serious regulatory rules, penalties, or repercussions for “malpractice” by attorneys. This lets any attorney in Costa Rica to practice outside of their field of expertise without any serious consequences. Therefore it is important that you choose the legal representation that properly qualifies him as a “real estate attorney” who has been established or one that has been referred to you by someone you can trust.

We at Exclusive Tropical Properties (ETP) have many years of experience in real estate sales for Private, Investors, and Land Developers in Costa Rica. Ronald Picado is a U.S./Costa Rican citizen and both Frank Quiros and Jorge Sánez are Costa Rican citizens, which is how we know why you would love to move or invest here in a  country we know by heart. We were born here and know the ins and outs of living in Costa Rica from a one of a kind perspective – use our experience to make your smartest move.

We can guide you to look for the best attorney for your needs and one that you feel confident with. We have many years of dependable and highly ethical attorneys we work with. As we work Independent and have no financial interests with the attorneys we refer, they simply have provided good outcome for our clients many times. We will provide you with a list to choose from and interview as many of our referrals as you want until you find one that you are comfortable working with.
Providing you with a peace of mind is our most important goal; that your hard earned investment money is safe and secure. We are in the business of providing long-term relationships with each of our clients and that reputation is on the line with you and knowing that we are looking out for your complete satisfaction. ​


Pursuant to article 460 of the Civil Code, all documents relating to an interest and/or title to real property in Costa Rica must be registered in the property section of the Public Registry (Registro Nacional). You can search through www.registronacional.go.cr either with the titled registration number (Numero de Registro), known as the folio real, or by name index.

The record contains detailed information on the property, including the name of the title holder, boundary lines, tax appraisal, liens, mortgages, recorded easements, and other recorded instruments that would affect title. We always advise that your attorney conduct his own independent title search for your own assurance.

Maritime Zone & Concessions

In Costa Rica buying beachfront property make ensure the property’s status in the national registry. The most of  beach properties are concession properties because they are located within the maritime zone (Zona Maritima Terrestre). The maritime zone is the first 200 meters of beachfront starting from the highest tide. The first 50 meters are public zones (zona publica) and there is no construction permitted, even with a granted concession in place. The next 150 meters is state owned land (zona restringida), that can be developed under the guidelines granted through a concession.

A concession (given by the ICT, the local tourist board) is similar to a leased property in that the property belongs to the government who is authorized to lease the land under certain guidelines. Before conferring the concession, the law stipulates that the beach area have the high tide markers in place (Mojones) & a Zoning Plan Approved (Plan Regulador). There are currently changes being made in the concession law. If any new rules are put in place that may affect your property we will make it known to you beforehand.


In Costa Rica, property is transferred from the seller to the buyer by executing a transfer deed (escritura) before a Notary Public (Notario Publico). The notary acts on behalf of the state; in addition, he or she must be an attorney (Abogado), and may draft and interpret legal documents.

In order to close on the property, both parties involved must select a notary/attorney to draft the transfer deed and register the sale in the Public Registry (Registro Nacional). In accordance with local custom, this designation is defined by the manner in which the financial transaction is affected.

To open escrow

 After you have chosen legal representation (Real Estate Attorney) and both the buyer and the seller have signed the Sale and Purchase Agreement (SPA) you will be then ready to set up your Escrow account for the purchase. As in the U.S., an Escrow Company acts as a neutral party to hold the deposits, holding funds until closing contracts are finalized and signed by both buyer and seller so the title transfer can be executed.

In order to  establish an Escrow account you will need a copy of your passport (unless you are a National only then it's a Cedula), fill out the “Know Your Client” forms, last year’s tax returns and a copy of the Sale and Purchase contract drafted by the attorney chosen and signed by both buyer and seller.

Commercial Real Estate Listings Steps

​​Exclusive Tropical Properties Purchasing Properties in Costa Rica arrange a meeting first to talk to our clients, educate ourselves on your needs and expectations of your final outcome, if there is special needs that have to be taken into account like medical or mobility concerns (unless you specifically asks about a particular), will learn about your preference and we will educate you based on that knowledge. Once we have understood client's needs, concerns and he is well educated on what the road is going to be like making his investment and he is satisfied with his knowledge, we will work on showing a defined list, or specific property that best fits their needs.

Investment or Commercial Real Estate Listings Steps to Follow.

Step one in the purchase process to finalize your investment property(s) is to make an offer. With our help we can draft a letter of intent to purchase {purchase proposal}. There are 3 Parts:
1.    The buyer and seller’s information, passport and property information.
2.    Your proposed purchase price along with the terms of the offer
3.    Any conditions for the sale.
Once your offer is writing, this will enable us to negotiate for you and reach a basic agreement (Term) that will be signed by both the buyer and seller before any Legal firms are included. The negotiations will consist of:
The Complete Purchase Price.
The Terms of the Sale
 – How the payment(s) structure and closing dates set thereafter. Our research period {investigation time on researching the properties history Including Commercial Property for sale }.
The Properties Conditions – Any pertinent details or changes on the property agreed upon for the purchase of it. Once the deal has been reached, the terms must be legally formalized. The “offer” that is negotiated between the buyer and seller will provide the proper outline and structure for your attorney to use in the process.
Once the Purchase Proposal is signed by both parties the attorney will draft a Sale and Purchase Agreement (SPA) to officially and legally secure the property with the agreed upon price, terms, and conditions. Here is where we will help you set up an Escrow account.

Exclusive Tropical Properties

1 562- 304 -3991

1 562- 443 -7512