There are many loopholes here. You should never, ever buy anything that is untitled even though the real estate agents, even the Americans, will tell you, “Don’t worry, it’s in process.” Well, that "process" can take ten to twenty years. Meanwhile, someone comes along and says, “Oh no. That was my great, great grandfather’s piece of land, and I am entitled to that.” You can lose the land, so it is very important to get a good lawyer.
Fortunately, I found an excellent lawyer. She doesn’t miss anything and saved me a lot of money as well. Be very careful with lawyers in Panama. A lot of them are rip-offs, out to make a quick buck. A lot of them don’t really know what they’re doing. They make out that they do, but they don’t. I went through about ten lawyers before I found one I wanted to use.
All the big lawyers like offshore company lawyers charged a fortune. I found this lawyer in Panama City whom I have recommended loads of people to. She’s got all the answers straight in her head and the only one who answered my questions in my email, and her answers were right down the dot. She charged approximately 1% of the total value of the property. So if you buy a house that is US $200,000 dollars, you can expect to pay $2,000 dollars for her attorney fees.