How to sale a property in Brasil without a bank account in Brazil

Good evening,
I'm in Italian and I'm currently in Brasil trying to sale some properties that my family received from an inheritance from a family member that lived in brasil for over 40 years.
Neither myself or any other family member lives or reside in Brasil, we all live abroad. The banks won't allow me to open a bank account unless I have the RNE. I can't get the RNE unless I reside in Brasil. Without a bank account we can't accept a check 'adminstrativo' from the buyer.
How should the payment for the sale of the house be processed?
I was told with an international transfer, ok sure, but how can I make sure that the transfer arrives to destination in our bank account in our country of residence without any problem and without the risk that the bank transfer gets cancelled by the buyer once I have signed the paper? It's all very confusing and frustrating to get some proper advice.
I'm sure I'm not the first foreigner to sale a property in brasil :-)
Any suggestion will be greatly appreciated.
I wish you all a nice day.

Hi, Aleit.

I don't know what your circumstances are, but if you're in Europe, have you considered offering your Brazilian property for sale to a European buyer?

That could make things considerably easier as the money would change hands within the European banking system.

You would still want to have a couple lawyers, one on the Brazil side, and one on the European side, draw up a contract to make sure the money and property title all do what is expected.

Or have you considered keeping the property as a vacation rental, on e.g., Airbnb? I think the real estate market is still depressed in Brazil, so selling it now might not fetch a good price, but if the property is in a good location, keeping it as a vacation rental it could provide income.

If you do decide that selling the property within Brazil to a buyer in Brazil, I do recommend enlisting the help of a local real estate agent and lawyer to make sure your sale is successful.

Out of curiosity, may I ask, you're not selling anything near Fortaleza are you?

- Matthew

Hello Matthew,
Thank you for your message.
I'm currently in Brasil and I'm not planning to rent any of the houses.
The plans of the family is to sell everything. We dont have any interest in keeping properties in Brasil, too difficult to handle.
All properties are Rio de Janeiro state.
I will get in touch with some good real estate broker too, i guess they must have sold some properties owned by foreigners.
What is very surprising it's the complicated system to look after your investment in Brasil. They wish you to invest in Brasil but afterwards they make it difficult to look after your investment such as a property. How can you pay bills if you can't open a bank account? Obviously with a friend or a management company..well the reputation of brazilian people looking after investment for foreigners is not the best. Maybe i have not met the right person yet. Well it is very difficult to find a needle in a
It's a nightmare to get the correct information, nobody knows anything..all of a sudden they know everything when you are paying. I never had any problem paying an honest person that makes things happen with good speed..i have a feeling that things gets delayed all the time to get more money out of your pocket.
Sorry for my frustration.
Thank you

I was in a similar situation earlier this year. Without a bank account there is no easy way to get your money.

This is a totally legal way of doing costs and you will do a lot of standing in line.

Get a lawyer and ask him to do the selling transaction in cash at the notary. Get the lawyer to pay any real estate agents bills etc and most importantly...the capital gains tax for you at the local Receita Federal... its 15% and you will get a receipt with a bar code on it. That bar code is the magic key! Then you arrange very carefully with your lawyer to pick up the remaining cash in (Brasilian reais) and then go as fast as you can.. because its not safe to handle that sort of money in Brasil.. to the airport ..

on arrival at the airport go straight to the Receita Federal department...your lawyer can go with you ..and take all the selling documents, everything you can think of and especially the receipt with the barcode, once he is satisfied then you can take the money out in cash on the plane. (no more taxes)

( Don't even try and change it into euros in Brasil, even an international bank draft for instance will cost you 20%, and you cannot be sure it will be cashed and Brasil lawyers do not have "protected" clients accounts for money like Europe.).
remember to keep your incoming and outgoing boarding passes for flights to "prove" your entry and exit from Brasil.

When you get the money home then on landing you must immediately, and before, your stuff is scanned declare that you are carrying currency and need a customs officer who will repeat the process and give you a paper then you can leave the airport with your money ...wait for the customs officer!!!! ,,,,then you will have to find the best currency firm trade you can to change your money and put it straight into your bank account. Its not easy to do, no-one wants reais so you may have to do a couple of transactions, and each time you will need your selling file and also the receipt federal letter and customs officer tickets. BRASIL If you read carefully over internet it says that you cannot take in or out more than 10,000 euros.. but in fact you can move as much as you like in any currency as long as it is properly declared. Expect your lawyer to want up to 10% although the going rate is about 5%
I sold my house like this, all the charges were heavy but I got the bulk of my money out, but in Brasil...they have a different arithmetic system to ours so do not expect the numbers to add up, some money will just vaporise from the total.
I used EUROCHANGE for money change.
Good luck on your venture.....

by the way... my sale was in Rio as well...the Receita federal main branch is in Niteroi and they did all the capital gains transactions for me and issued the bar code....then on exiting Rio International airport eventually I went as early in the day as possible (and the Receita Federal is on arrivals side!!!! ) when I got to my arrival airport I had to wait a time for a customs man....but it all went long as you have the papers no problems...

as for business in Brasil it was just a corrupt system and I was cheated all the way can you manage to pay house utilities without a bank account even!

Good luck

No question, the purchase/sale of real estate here without residency is a major hassle for precisely the reason cited by the OP.

Other complications, regardless of residence, also peculiar to the country, would be the unavailability here of both title insurance and escrow accounts.   You'll definitely need a trustworthy local lawyer (how's that for an oxymoron?) to help manage those risks.


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Dear Aleit,

I am a Dutchman working in Brazil for almost 15 years (Rio de Janeiro) and as an attorney registered in Brazil, ***

In your case the notary (tabelião) should make a special provision in the final sale contract ("escritura pública de compra e venda") i.e. a "cláusula resolutiva expressa" referring to a payment by a so-called promissory note "pro solvendo" signed by the buyer, which means that the sale only will be (legally) concluded when the seller (abroad) has received the payment of the price. You can also opt for an "power of attorney" to anyone you sufficiently trust and who does have a Brazilian bank-account. ***

Frans (Nederstigt).

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