Buying Property in Uruguay

Buying Property in Uruguay - Mansa Beach Punta Del Este

What to Know when Buying Property in Uruguay

“Uruguay is unquestionably a great place to have a second home or to live all year round. The beaches are exquisite, and the lifestyle that will welcome you once you settle into your home is truly privileged.”

We at Team Haverkate of Realestate-in-Uruguay have helped a multitude of buyers locate and purchase one of its kind properties in Uruguay. We have extensive knowledge about the locations and characteristics of different styles and types of properties when buying property in Uruguay.

We offer a wide variety of different distinctive architecture, luxury real estate, historic colonial for remodeling, farms and estancias, land to build your dream house or amazing beach properties, and apartments or penthouses on the beautiful Uruguayan cost.

Having served international buyers interested in distinctive Southern California destinations such as Palm Springs since 2003, our Team brought insight, experience and success in 2012 to Uruguay. We, Bettina and Ralph from Team Haverkate, are offering the caliber of local resources, professional services, and personal attention that a foreign client requires when buying property in a foreign country. We can personally assist you in German, English, French, or Dutch.

Put your trust in a Team that will always be there for you, providing the guidance and support you require at every step and never losing sight of your best interests from the moment you arrive until you move into your new home and beyond. Our Team works with one of the best real estate law firms in the country and makes sure that you always get a copy of any vital transaction paperwork in your language.

Even after your transaction is complete, we will remain available to you as a dependable local resource and dedicated friend.


The Uruguayan government is and has been very open towards foreigners who are investing in local Real Estate. Investors from all over the world have the same rights as Uruguayan citizens and are granted the same economic advantages. Please see also our blog regarding Foreigners.

It is impossible for “one” Agent to get the Best Deal for a Buyer and at the same time for the Seller

Many Real Estate firms in Uruguay and other countries are practicing “Dual Agency”! Dual Agency means your agent has an existing direct relationship with the Seller of the properties he offers for sale.

Dual Agency is in many countries not forbidden by law but can create a dilemma for a professional agent and maybe a severe disadvantage for the client as well. Primarily a problem when it comes to the negotiation part of price and repairs. After all, clients hire us to represent their best interests. How can we do that when we are sitting on both sides of the table?

As a California trained Real Estate Broker, Ralph Haverkate is very aware and sensitive of this worldwide industry flaw, which easily can create a conflict of interest. “We think we can work the most effective and best for our Buyer and his interests if we don’t have a direct relationship with the Seller of a property. Even many educated buyers are not aware of this situation. We suggest you always ask your potential agent before you start working with him how he or his firm handles this problem.”

Running around with Different Brokers

“We see many buyers coming to Uruguay to shop for properties and running around with all different brokers, who are showing them their inventory. Especially the houses they would like to sell because they have an existing relationship with the owner of the property,” while the Buyer does not realize that that agent is not only working for him. A buyer should much rather work with one representative and a real “buyer’s agent” who has, at the same moment, access to the entire local market.”

“We have resolved this by not taking on listings directly. We work mainly with one of the largest inventories of a worldwide firm like Engel & Voelkers. We offer the same commission conditions and prices to the Buyer but make sure that always an Engel & Voelkers listing-agent represents the other side. Of course, we know the entire inventory but can herewith avoid direct contact with the homeowners when it comes to a transaction.”

All the displayed properties you find on our are properties represented by Engel & Voelkers listing agents, where we have direct access but no direct relationship with the sellers.

In cases where we don’t find what the Buyer is looking for in the E&V inventory, we are free to look outside with other reputable brokers. That way, we can ensure to cover the entire market and find the best properties for our buyer. All properties will be offered to our clients at the same or better prices shown on other websites. Also, in this case, we are only representing the buyer.

Since there is no Nationwide Database in Uruguay (like the MLS in the USA), many foreign buyers don’t realize that many brokers offer the same properties. The client could end up seeing the same property with different agents, which creates a mess for everybody. Upon a successful transaction with one of them, the other one may sue you for his commission.

Buyers would be much better off in this market to work with one chosen “Buyers Agent.” A good Buyer’s Agent shows you the entire market depending on your needs and criteria.

You give your criteria only to your trusted real estate agent and can establish a loyal mutual relationship. After all, real estate is a personal relationship business.

Make sure Your Broker is Licensed in Uruguay

Always make sure you work with a registered Real Estate firm who has a license with the Uruguayan Board of Real Estate. Team Haverkate works under the Engel & Voelkers license in Uruguay.

Visiting New Developments and Sales Offices

Watch it with walking into new developments without your chosen agent. In Uruguay, the agent who introduces you to a property becomes your agent and is entitled to a buyers commission in case of a successful transaction. If the salesperson of the builder becomes your agent – whom do you think is he working for. So, always call your agent to accompany you and to properly register you so that you are not represented at the end by a “Dual Agent” with a huge conflict of interest. You will not get the property cheaper by not bringing your own agent.

It will not matter to us personally, which seller sells his house, but it does matter which property is best for our buyer. We can much more effectively negotiate the best possible price for our buyer looking out for his best interest if we only represent one side. One agent can’t get the best deal for a buyer and at the same time for the seller!

If you choose to work with Team Haverkate, you can be assured that we only work for you and guide you through the whole buying process and beyond how to buy property in Uruguay. Moreover, we can represent you on any transaction in Uruguay and show you any property on the market.

Buyer Commissions and Real Estate Transaction Costs in Uruguay

The standard Real Estate agent fee of 3.28% plus VAT (Total 4%), conveyance attorney, all expenses and taxes, transaction costs on a purchase will usually amount to around 8-9% of the purchase price of your property in Uruguay. Work with Team Haverkate at Realestate-in-Uruguay, and the total closing cost amount is approx. 7-8%. Due to the volume in transactions, Engel& Voelkers has secured an agreement with one of the best and largest law firms in Uruguay and can offer a 50% reduced conveyance attorney fee so that your total closing costs are reduced to approx. 7-8% as you can see below. Please read our article regarding Real Estate Commissions in Uruguay.

All Costs you will have to Pay when Buying a Property in Uruguay

Team Haverkate Advantages for Buyers Experience

Being an American trained Real Estate Broker and having a Bachelor’s Business Degree from Europe, Ralph offers international clients an edge with his local market knowledge, negotiation skills, and understanding the unique wants and needs of a world traveler. His grasp of German, Dutch, French, and English enable him to communicate with people from all walks of life, ensuring that nothing gets lost in translation during your real estate transaction.

Bettina’s diverse business background in administration, organization, accounting and marketing helps her to communicate with clients all over the world and guide them detailed oriented through the entire process.

Living all over the world such as Europe, Canada, USA, and now Uruguay, Ralph and Bettina are familiar with the different lifestyles of international clients.

Team Haverkate has done many transactions involving significant architectural properties, historic buildings, income-generating farms and land, coastal vacation homes, penthouses and apartments. They understand the procedure and are skilled negotiators and know the contractual requirements here in Uruguay that will protect you throughout your entire process. Team Haverkate at Engel & Voelkers is an International Real Estate Company registered in Uruguay so that they can offer you the benefit of their first-hand knowledge and experience in the local real estate market.

Here is a List of Answers for the most common Questions foreign Buyers have.

Knowledge and Affiliations

Team Haverkate of Realestate-in-Uruguay’s international experience for almost two decades with purchasing, remodeling, and building specialty homes allows them to give you essential information about your future real estate investment. Their knowledge will make you an educated buyer to make important decisions throughout the entire purchase process, and beyond. It helps to have professionals in your corner; someone who knows the ins and outs of the industry and the area protecting your interests. If necessary, translations of any contracts can be done, so you have a better understanding of the transaction before signing it.

Ralph is not only a Broker and member of the National Association of Realtors (NAR) in the United States but also belongs to The Worldwide Real Estate Association (FIABCI) and is Transnational Referral Certified (TRC) including Certified International Property Specialist (CIPS). His lifelong interest in fashion, design and artistic trends led to his passion for modern and historic Architecture and Real Estate, which can be found in abundance in Uruguay.


Within the pages of Realestate-in-Uruguay’s website, the search for Uruguay properties is more straightforward through their updated listings. The regularly updated database allows clients to search for specific properties – based on type, style, architecture, price-range, and location – even before they come to Uruguay. Besides having the most current property listings, the website also features community information such as trendy restaurants, events, and hot spots and is a veritable resource for both home buyers and sellers. It also offers additional information about Immigration and Concierge Services.


Team Haverkate at Realestate-in-Uruguay have all necessary contacts to assist you in every phase of your transaction, from professional and competitive contractors to experienced and thorough architects, designers, and landscapers as well as reliable and respected notaries, tax advisors and official translators. Their assistance extends beyond the purchase process to help you convert the property into your own personal environment.

Common Interest

Team Haverkate at Realestate-in-Uruguay are the specialists of modern, historical, and all types of architecture and design, offering the benefit of working with professionals who understand your interests and are compassionate with your style of living.

See also our Frequent Questions or Living in Uruguay – About Uruguay Page!

By Ralph Haverkate, Broker