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Common Expenses in Buying Personal Real Estate Properties with Full Payment

Buying real estate in the Philippines refers to the process of acquiring ownership of a piece of land or a property in the Philippines. This can include purchasing a residential or commercial property, a piece of land for development, or any other type of real estate.


This article covers the most common expenses involved when making a full cash payment purchase of a real estate property from a private individual and not a developer.


The process of buying real estate in the Philippines involves several steps, including finding a property, negotiating a price, and finalizing the sale with the transfer of ownership to the buyer. The expenses involved in buying real estate in the Philippines can include processing fees, taxes, legal fees, registration fees, and homeowner's association dues.


Understanding Expenses Involved

Understanding the expenses involved in the process of buying real estate in the Philippines is important for several reasons:

  1. Budgeting: To help potential buyers budget accordingly and ensure that they have the necessary funds to complete the purchase.

  2. Transparency: Helps to increase transparency in the process and ensures that buyers are aware of all costs associated with the purchase.

  3. Avoiding surprises: Helps to avoid any unexpected costs or fees that may arise during the purchase process.

  4. Better negotiation: Can help buyers to negotiate the price of the property and determine the final price they are willing to pay.

  5. Making informed decisions: Can help buyers make informed decisions about their purchase and determine whether the investment is worth it for them.

Transfer Tax

Transfer tax is a tax that is levied in the Philippines on the transfer of ownership of a real estate property. This tax is calculated as a percentage of the total property value and is payable by the buyer at the time of the sale. The amount of transfer tax varies depending on the local government where the property is located, but it is typically between 1% and 2% of the property's value. The transfer tax is used to fund various government programs and services, such as infrastructure development and public services. The purpose of the transfer tax is to ensure that the government is able to generate revenue from property transactions, and to encourage the development and growth of the real estate market in the Philippines.


Documentary Stamp Tax

Documentary stamp tax (DST) is a tax imposed in the Philippines on certain types of legal documents, including real estate transactions. This tax is calculated as a percentage of the total value of the transaction, and it must be paid by the buyer as part of the expenses involved in buying real estate in the Philippines. The amount of DST varies depending on the value of the property and the type of document being stamped, but it is typically between 1% and 2% of the transaction value. The purpose of the DST is to generate revenue for the government and to provide funding for various public services and programs. The DST must be paid in full and the stamped documents must be submitted to the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) for validation before the sale can be completed.

Registration Fee

Registration fee is a fee charged by the government in the Philippines for the registration of real estate transactions. The fee is based on a fee table available in the Registry of Deeds, and it is payable by the buyer. This fee is paid to the Register of Deeds in the local government where the property is located and is used to cover the costs of recording the transfer of ownership, updating the land records, and other administrative tasks involved in registering the sale. The amount of registration fee varies depending on the local government and the value of the property, but it is typically a few hundred to a few thousand Philippine pesos.


Capital Gains Tax

Capital gains tax is a tax imposed on the profit made from the sale of a capital asset, including real estate properties in the Philippines. The tax is calculated as a percentage of the profit made from the sale, and it is payable by the seller. The amount of capital gains tax in the Philippines is generally 6% of the net capital gain, which is calculated as the difference between the selling price and the cost of the property, including any improvements made to the property. The capital gains tax must be paid to the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) within 30 days of the sale of the property.


Broker’s Commission

A broker's commission is a fee charged by a real estate broker for their services in facilitating the sale of a real estate property. The commission is typically a percentage of the sale price of the property and is paid by the seller. In the Philippines, the standard broker's commission is around 5% of the sale price, although this can vary depending on the broker and the terms of the agreement between the broker and the seller.

The broker's commission is negotiable and can be subject to negotiation between the seller and the broker. Additionally, the buyer may also be responsible for paying a commission in some cases, such as when the buyer is represented by a buyer's agent.

To ensure that the broker's commission is clearly understood and agreed upon, it is important to review the terms of the agreement and to consult with a lawyer or financial advisor if necessary.


In summary, buying real estate in the Philippines involves a number of expenses that must be taken into account. Some of these expenses include processing fees, transfer tax, documentary stamp tax, capital gains tax, legal fees, registration fee, and broker's commission.

The usual fees shouldered by the buyer are:

Transfer Tax (1% - 2%)

Documentary Stamp Tax (1% - 2%)

and Registration Fee (Based on Table)


The usual fees shouldered by the seller are:

Capital Gains Tax (6%)

Broker's Commission (5%)


It is important to understand the expenses involved in buying real estate in the Philippines to ensure that the cost of the transaction is fully understood and taken into account. By taking the time to research and understand these expenses, buyers and sellers can make informed decisions and avoid unexpected costs or other issues that may arise during the process of buying real estate in the Philippines.



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