8-Step Guide on Purchasing a Condo Unit in the Philippines

Our company has decided to invest in a small condominium unit to be converted to a staff house. Since I’m a nice person, I will list down our steps we took when buying a condominium unit in the Philippines.

Step 1: After deciding on a unit, request the Seller to prepare for you the following items to proceed with the Sale:

  1. Original Title without Annotation
  2. Original Tax Declaration
  3. Two (2) sets Certified True Copy of Title
  4. Two (2) sets Certified True Copy of Tax Declaration
  5. Certified True Copy of Tax Clearance (Apparently, this is different to a Tax Dec)
  6. 2019 Real Property Tax Official Receipt (Original)
  7. Tax Clearance (Original/Duplicate)
  8. Photocopy of Seller’s 2 kinds of ID with 3 signatures each
  9. Condominium Certificate from Condominium Admin Office indicating:
    – That the owner is fully paid of Association Dues
    – Letter indicating the admin is ok for Transfer of Ownership Title
  10.  Latest Receipt of Water and Electricity
  11. Latest Receipt of Payment of Meralco (Electricity)

It is better for the Seller to provide you with such information because if it’s from you, you still have to provide a notarized Special Power of Authority for your representative, which should be notarized.

The representative must bring the SPA and a valid government ID before processing the paperwork, which can be a hassle if you’re busy.

Attached: TinainManila.com – SPECIAL POWER OF ATTORNEY General Form

Step 2: Sign the Deed of Absolute Sale, and exchange money, usually with a Manager’s Check, with the Seller. 

Deed of Sale.png

Attached: TinainManila.com – Deed of Absolute Sale –

Usually, it’s the Seller who pays the capital gains, while the Buyer pays the rest (e.g., Doc Stamp, Transfer Tax, etc.) but it all depends on the negotiation. Some sellers prefer to receive Net of Taxes so you have to consider the additional expense of 6% capital gains tax in your computation of purchase price.

While some Sellers want to be paid in full upon the signing of the Deed of Absolute Sale, our company prefers to be safe and retain Php 200,000 of the purchase price with a third party, which will be released upon release of the CAR from the Bureau of Internal Revenue.

The reason behind this is IMPORTANT — If the Seller still has any liabilities with the Bureau of Internal Revenue, the TRANSFER WILL NOT HAPPEN until he/she has settled their liabilities.

The only time you will know if the Seller has any liabilities is when you compute and pay for the capital gains tax of the unit. If you have already released the entire amount, the Seller will have no motivation to settle their debts because they already have the full payment for the property in their hands.

Make sure that the Seller signs an Acknowledgment Receipt which reflects the amount of money you paid, and a general gist of the agreement that you’ve signed.

Acknowledgment.pngAttached: TinainManila.com – Acknowledgment Receipt of 2 Manager’s Check

Step 3: Go to the Building’s RDO for the Bureau of Internal Revenue for computation of Capital Gains and Doc Stamp.

To save money, we have decided to process the taxes from our side. Usually, a broker would charge Php 30,000 to facilitate so we would prefer to save the money and do it ourselves. All you need is a messenger who’s willing to go around to finish the job.

To save you a trip, bring the following required documents so that the BIR can compute for the Capital Gains and Doc Stamp. Capital gains is usually 6% of the unit purchase price (Based on the Zonal Value or Purchase Price, whichever is higher), while Doc Stamp is 1.5% of this same amount.

Cap Gains

Attached: TinainManila.com – BIR Requested Dos for Capital Gains Computation

Do not even try to undervalue the unit in the Deed of Sale from the actual purchase price — The BIR know what’s up and will compute the capital gains tax based on the Zonal Value if you are undervaluing the property.

Warning: Only notarize the Deed of Sale once you are ready to pay for the Capital Gains and Doc Stamp.

This is because there’s a 5th of the month deadline for the payment of Cap Gains and Doc Stamp. Hence, if you bought the property on July 31, you have to pay for the Cap Gains and Doc Stamp by August 5, or suffer a huge penalty. If you bought it on August 16, you have to pay the Cap Gains and Doc Stamp by September 5.

So do NOT notarize until you’re ready to pay the capital gains and doc stamp.

Step 4: Once you have the Bureau of Internal Revenue’s computation of Capital Gains and Doc Stamp, pay the amount in one of their affiliated banks.

This is a sample computation for our unit:

BIR Computation.png

Attached: TinainManila.com – BIR Computation for Capital Gains and Doc Stamp

You can pay in any of the affiliated banks. The RDO usually have a list of affiliated banks that accept BIR payments posted nearby.

Bank 1.jpgBank 2.jpg

Pro Tip: If you’re going to pay in Unionbank, the check must be written as follows: UnionBank Branch Name FAO Bureau of Internal Revenue IFO Taxpayer Name with TIN Number.

In our case, the Seller will pay for the Capital Gains so the Seller is credited for the payment of Capital Gains. Meanwhile, the Taxpayer for the Doc Stamp is the name of the company, who is the buyer, since this was what was agreed.

Don’t make the same mistake as we did where we had to re-issue the Manager’s Check since our MC did not include the Bank Branch Name and TIN# of the Taxpayers. A quick trip to the bank before issuing the MC will save you a lot of time and effort.

Pro Tip: Cut-off for banks to receive payment for Bureau of Internal Revenue stuff is usually 3:00pm. So please go early to pay.

Step 5: Present to the BIR Proof of Payment of Capital Gains and DocStamp.

Present the Proof of Payment of Capital Gains and Doc Stamp to the BIR. They will stamp the back of the notarized Deed of Absolute Sale, and give you a CAR Claim Stub, indicating the date that your CAR will be released.

What is a CAR?

A certificate authorizing registration (CAR) in the Philippines is in effect a tax clearance issued by the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) relative to the transfer of certain properties.

Once you get this claim stub, you can now breathe a sigh of relief! You’re almost there in finishing the process of purchasing a condo unit!

Step 6: Come back on the date indicated on the stub to get your CAR.


Since we have promised to give the Seller their Php 200,000 once the CAR is released, we will then fulfill the promise and release the money to him.

Step 7: Proceed to the City Hall to Pay Transfer Tax (0.75% of Purchase Price) in the Assessor’s Office

Budget accordingly — The Transfer Tax is around 0.75% of the Purchase Price. The Registration Fee is 0.6% of the purchase price.

Since the unit is relatively cheap, we estimate the Transfer Tax to be no bigger than Php 18,000.

After the Transfer Tax has been paid, you will receive a Transfer Tax Certificate. Make xerox copies of all documents for your record and reference.

Step 8: Proceed to the City Hall Register of Deeds to Facilitate the Transfer of Name from the Seller to the Buyer

Bring the original Certificate of Title and all other documents — Deed of Sale, CAR, etc. — to the Register of Deeds to Facilitate the Transfer of Name from Seller to Buyer. Make sure you have multiple copies of the Deed of Sale and CAR for your own reference.


Come back for the Title now under the New Buyer’s Name.

Do not forget to accomplish this last step, as this is often missed out. Remember – ownership of a Tax Declaration should always be done after Land Title Transfer as the name on the Land Title should coincide with the name indicated on the Tax Declaration.

That’s it!

Congrats on the new property, now in your hands!

After much going back and forth with the BIR, City Hall and the office, you’ve finally transferred your property to your name.

In summary, here are the taxes that were paid for:


The process took around 4 to 6 weeks to finish, but if you have complete requirements, then, the entire process is a breeze.

We hope that this sharing of information has helped you in your buy a home in the Philippines journey, and we wish you the best of luck in real estate!

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4 thoughts on “8-Step Guide on Purchasing a Condo Unit in the Philippines

  1. We live in the province and going to the city is always a struggle as we always have to book a hotel or Airbnb. Thank you for this guide, it’ll definitely help us in deciding if we will purchase a condo in the future. 🙂

    1. Logically, a hotel is still cheaper than buying a condo if you will not regularly stay in it.

      The cheapest condo now is around Php60,000 per sqm. Most expensive is around Php220,000 per sqm. That’s a lot of nights stay in comfortable motels and air b&b! If you have the extra cash, don’t buy real estate for now. I will make another post on where to invest in the future if you have extra cash on hand. 🙂

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