Once you’ve decided on a property in Ecuador, the first thing you should do is find a qualified attorney (one who speaks English if you’re not a fluent Spanish speaker). And no money should change hands until that attorney tells you the title is free and clear.
The purchase process in Ecuador is as easy as it gets…
As you can see, it’s possible to close quickly if you have the cash. One of our correspondents living in Ecuador made an offer on a house at 2:00 p.m., and closed by 5:00 p.m. on the same day. Closing in Ecuador is a transaction only between the buyer and seller (aided by the seller’s attorney). The notary does not hold escrow or disburse funds such as real estate commissions, taxes, etc. Some attorneys however, maintain trust accounts for the purpose of holding escrow and disbursing funds, which is very convenient if you don’t yet have a local bank account.
Foreigners need permission to own real estate within 50 kilometers of international borders and within 50 kilometers of coasts. Owning real estate in Ecuador’s Galapagos Islands is prohibited.