When buying property in Costa Rica, property is transferred from Seller to Buyer by executing a transfer deed (escritura) before a public notary.

Unlike common law countries, such as the United States and Canada, where the role of the notary is limited to authenticating signatures, in Costa Rica the public notary has extensive power to act on behalf of the state.

The public notary must be an attorney and she or he may draft and interpret legal documents, as well as authenticate and certify the authenticity of documents.

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