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David Btesh of Pacific Realty / Pacific Developers – Best Places In The World To Retire User Account
Palacio Nacional de Gobierno y Justicia-Panamá – Best Places In The World To Retire – International LivingThe official language of Panama is Spanish, so the Spanish contract would prevail over an English-language contract in court. I don’t think the English contract has any value, because the courts look at the Spanish contract.
 
If you don’t speak Spanish, my advice is to find a good friend, a good lawyer, or a good translator, or come to me, to read the contract.
 
(Palacio Nacional de Gobierno y Justicia, Panama, pictured.)
Jesahely De Janon of Panama Property Attorneys – Best Places In The World To Retire User Account
Eduardo Carrera lawyer University of Panama and University of Florida, Panama City,Panama – Best Places In The World To Retire – International LivingThe Spanish version of the contract for real estate purchase takes control over the English version in Panama. Per law, all contracts should be in Spanish because that is the official language in Panama.
 
If you have a client who speaks English, the contract should be in both English and Spanish. If the client prefers to have a translator, then it will be provided. The Spanish contract is the only one that is legal and valid.  
 
(Lawyer Eduardo Carrera, graduate of  University of Panama and  Florida International University, founding attorney for Panama Property Attorneys, Panama City,Panama, pictured. )
Duncan McGowan of Punta Pacifica Realty – Best Places In The World To Retire User Account
Panama City views – Best Places In The World To Retire – International LivingIn any sales contract to purchase real estate in Panama, the Spanish side will always control.
 
This is another reason why you need to have an attorney to review the document because many purchase agreements in Panama will be written in Spanish and then have the English translation next to it. So if you review your own contract, you review the English side but there could be a difference in the wording between the English and the Spanish side and it’s the Spanish side that is actually going to be held up in court.
 
( View of the Panama Bay in Panama City, Panama, pictured.)
Marla Diaz of United Country Panama Coastal Real Estate – Best Places In The World To Retire User Account
You need to know that whatever contract you sign in Panama is not legal unless it's in Spanish.  So, if you sign any contract / purchase agreement in Panama that’s in English, you might as well throw it in the trash.  However, you can get your Spanish contract translated into English by a certified translator, which is what most people do.  There are only certain translators who are certified.
 
The purpose of getting a certified translated version of the contract is to give you piece of mind that the translation should be a good one.  However, if there’s a conflict between the Spanish version of the contract and even a certified English translation of the same contract, the Spanish contract will be the one they use.
Lucia Haines of Panama Realtor Inc. – Best Places In The World To Retire User Account
There are generally 2 contracts required for each real estate transaction in Panama.  The promise to buy sell agreement and the deed or escritura.  The promise to buy sell agreement, outlines the sale, and with it a down payment is typically made to the seller.   This contract can be in English or Spanish, or both languages.  If there is a discrepancy in the translation, however, the Spanish version will prevail.

The deed/escritura must be in Spanish.  At the signing of the deed, which generally takes place before a notary, a certified translator must be present if either the selling or the buying party does not speak Spanish.

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