Is Your Realtor in Costa Rica Working For You?
In any sort of business transaction it’s important to deal with trustworthy people, but when purchasing property in Costa Rica – which is one of the most important decisions you will probably ever make – who you choose to rely on to guide you with your search and with the sales process is crucial.
WeLoveCostaRica.com and it’s founder Scott Oliver have gone to great lengths over the last ten years to help warn people about some of the common pitfalls made in Costa Rica real estate, and I wanted to provide some additional tips to watch out for when choosing a Realtor in Costa Rica.
Working For The Developer, Not For You!
One of the most common mistakes I see people make when looking at Costa Rica real estate is dealing directly with a developer’s sales office.
Many times a developments sales team will label themselves as “Realtors” when in fact they are simply sales agents for the developer. They work for the developer, period.
That often creates bias and conflict for buyers, as someone working for a developer is typically going to protect his/her interest and perhaps push certain listings over others. Developer sales staff are also going to always paint the perfect picture and often not disclose some of the negatives that could be associated with the project.
Any sales staff for any development in Costa Rica collaborates with a reputable Realtor so don’t feel you need to deal directly with a developer sales agent. Having an outside Realtor provide you with buyer representation will not cost you anymore as commissions are simply shared between him/her and the developer’s sales office.
Maybe there are resales at a lower price? Maybe there is an upcoming assessment? Maybe there is a similar project that is simply better, a trustworthy Realtor working for YOU will help answer all of this.
Working For Themselves and Not For You.
In Costa Rica there are many Realtors who simply look out for themselves and solely promote their own listings so they don’t have to co-broke and share commission with another office.
If you are searching for real estate in Costa Rica, your Realtor should be collaborating with other professional Realtors and show you other listings. If you go look at 10 properties and all of them are the agent’s own listings, then you should probably start to wonder.
It is important to note however, in some of the more isolated areas of Costa Rica where offices are limited it would not be uncommon for one Realtor to control a majority of the listings.
Empowering You With Full Disclosure!
“In real estate transactions, there can often be a disclosure form that is signed by the seller. Signing this form can result in legal penalties if it is later discovered that the seller knowingly lied about or concealed significant facts.”
Unlike the majority of ‘home grown’, untrained real estate sales people in Costa Rica, a professional Realtor with experience in real estate both in Costa Rica as well as in the U.S. will understand how important it is for you the buyer to get all the facts regarding the property you are about to buy.
Full disclosure typically refers to the requirement that sellers disclose any defects involved with the property you are about to buy.
Long Term Commitment To You andYour Family’s Future Happiness!
Does your Realtor have permanent residency and permission to work as a Realtor in Costa Rica?
I would not suggest buying real estate from someone who is simply here as a tourist. Those who are committed to living here and staying in Costa Rica are who I would recommend you work with.
It’s also an important part of you having assistance after the sale. I regularly help my clients with useful information and invaluable contacts years after they purchased, a Realtor living here full-time should be a great resource for you too after the sale.
Honest Feedback and Information.
If you don’t feel comfortable being honest and upfront with your Realtor about your thoughts, your finances and other personal info, then you aren’t dealing with the right person. Take your time getting to know who you want to be your Realtor, in the end it’s one of the most important steps in finding your property in paradise!
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