Your guide to buying with James Sarles Realty

Whether you are relocating or just moving home, buying your dream home will be one of the most exciting experiences you will ever have. James Sarles Realty specialize in high end homes including waterfront and canal property and have a dedicated team who will help you to choose, make an offer and finally move into the perfect property.

Our team of agents are highly experienced in assisting clients find the perfect home that matches their needs and will meet with you to discuss exactly what you are looking for. If you do not live in Grand Bahama our agents will be happy to discuss properties and provide photos and virtual tours via email.

James Sarles Realty provide an unparallelled service when it comes to helping clients purchase property in some of the most prestigious neighborhoods. Our agents will share their extensive knowledge of this beautiful island with you so that you can make an informed decision when deciding on the area you want to live in and the type of property you want.

At James Sarles Realty we pride ourselves on working with integrity and honesty to ensure that you get the home that you want at the right price.

Here is a checklist for you to help you prepare for purchasing your new home:

  • Financing - Getting pre-approved for your mortgage will not only give you peace of mind, it also means that you know your budget helping to narrow your search.

  • Decide what you want - Knowing what our clients are looking for is very important to us and writing down your requirements will help us present the correct properties to you. For example, what is your preferred type of location? How many bedrooms do you want? What features are you looking for in a home?

  • Choosing a James Sarles agent - Here at James Sarles realty we endeavor to provide our clients with all the information they will need about purchasing a property in Grand Bahama and to build up a picture of what it will be like to live on our beautiful island. We will provide a service that is personal to you and set up communications that are best for you so that we can keep you informed at all times. When you choose our team to help you with your search we guarantee to provide a first class service so that the process of purchasing your new home runs smoothly.

  • Searching for a Property - Once we have an idea of what you are looking for and your budget we can then prepare a comprehensive list of properties for your consideration. Our agents can provide you with any information you may need on legal requirements, terms of purchase or government requirements and are happy to answer any questions regarding the properties you have seen.

When you are ready to purchase real estate in Grand Bahama, here are a few general guidelines to be aware of when buying property:

All Real Estate transactions in the Bahamas attract Value Added Tax based on the value of the consideration.

In assessing the value of the property, the VAT Comptroller may consider the purchase price and the appraisal value of the property and the VAT Comptroller has the authority to choose the higher value. For the avoidance of doubt please note the following:-

  • Conveyances include the sale, lease, assignment or other transfer of real property from an owner/s to another.
  • Real Property includes, but is not limited to:
    • Vacant land
    • Dwellings for first time owner-occupiers whether or not valued over $100,000;
    • Commercial buildings
    • Condominiums
    • Tenements or any other structures attached to the land;
    • Time-shares; and
    • any buildings constructed for sale by contractors who are also the owners;
Value of Consideration Value Added Tax
$100,000 & Under2.5%
$100,001 - $300,0004%
$300,001 - $500,0006%
$500,001 - $700,0008%
$700,001 - 1,000,0009%
1,000,001 & Above10%

Every deed of conveyance, assignment, or transfer of real property to a company or other entity 10%

NO Property Tax

There is NO property tax in Freeport, until 2035 based on The Hawksbill Creek Agreement, and there is NO capital gains tax in The Bahamas.

Fee Simple

Ownership of property is conveyed in fee simple.


Once an offer is accepted by seller, a 10% deposit is usually put into the seller's attorney's escrow account to take the property off the market.

Closing Time

Typical closing time is 60-90 days.

Attorney's Fees

The bar standard for attorney fees is 2.5% of the purchase price for both the buyer and seller and each party needs representation. In The Bahamas, you must use a Bahamian attorney for the transaction. It is not uncommon for one attorney to represent both buyer and seller, and in that case, attorneys will slightly reduce their fees. Attorneys handle title search and applications for all permits.

Real Estate Fees

Real Estate fees are paid by the seller. The standard on developed property is 6%, and on raw land is 10% of purchase price.

Local Banks

Local banks have many programs available to facilitate mortgages and will be happy to discuss ways to finance your real estate purchases.

Home Owners Residency

A homeowner can obtain an Annual Homeowners Residence Card from the Director of Immigration, which allows the permit holder, spouse, and minor children to enter and remain in The Bahamas for the period of the permit. The cost for the annual Homeowners Residence Card is $500 per annum. If you are building a custom home, or investing in a residence valued at over $500,000

a Certificate of Permanent Residency status will be considered for fit and proper owners of upstanding character. Accelerated consideration of Annual or Permanent Residence applications will be given to major international investors-fit and proper owners of residences valued at $1,500,000 or more. Holding a Permanent Residency Certificate can lead to significant tax advantages in the property owner's home country.


If you have any questions about buying a second home on Grand Bahama, we'd be happy to discuss it with you so please contact us!