Picking a Real Estate Agent in Costa Rica - Are They Legal to Work in Costa Rica
Picking a Real Estate agent in Costa Rica and purchasing real estate in a foreign country can be a tricky process. Finding a reputable agent to represent your interests can be a challenge. Costa Rica does not regulate real estate agents. Prospective buyers have to do their due diligence when looking for a broker to help them with their home search.
Finding a great agent requires research and checking references. Both buyers and sellers should look for an agent familiar with the relevant local community and area. Effective real estate agents must possess an in-depth understanding of the local community as well as an ability to operate in a global transaction based world.
Chose the Area of Costa Rica
Once you have honed in on the area you want to buy get a list of agents in the area and begin the process of researching them. Sellers will also want to work with an agent in their area too. Once you have compiled a short list schedule calls or meet with the prospective agents to make a final decision. Review websites to begin the research process, which will give you a feeling of the realtor’s experience, brand, and knowledge. Recent sales activity can provide you with valuable information in gauging whether or not the agent is potentially a good fit to represent you in your home search or selling your property.
Here is a list of key questions to ask when looking for an agent to represent you.
● Are they legal to work in Costa Rica?
● Do they have their own website or part of a marketing scheme?
● How many years have you worked in real estate?
● Do you live in the area I’m interested in purchasing property?
● Do you own property in the area I’m interested in purchasing property?
● Do you know the area I’m interested in purchasing property?
● Do you have an office?
● Are you a member of the National Association of Realtors?
● Are you registered with an international real estate organization?
The goal is to find an agent who intimately knows the area where you want to purchase property and possesses a strong well-developed network. Organizations and professional affiliations demonstrate a strong network and the depth of the agent’s connections. Associations and affiliations are also important because it means the agent has been vetted and approved by a peer-reviewed organization. Location, local ties to the community, and sales track record are critical variables in determining whether or not the agent can advise you accurately.
ARE YOU PAYING TOO MUCH
The effect can be the difference between overpaying and not overpaying for a property. Foreign buyers can easily fall into the trap of overpaying without the assistance of a broker who has access to information about the true market value. Sellers don’t want to underprice their property either. Real estate is global and an agent with strong ties to the local network as well as wide-reaching global one will be more effective in helping you find the perfect property as well as selling your existing one. Work with an agent that you can trust keeping in mind they may have to stand in for you to close the sale if you are out of the country.
OTHER IMPORTANT ISSUES
The other important factor to ask: do you get along with the agent? Don’t underestimate the value of making a connection with the agent. You will be interacting with your agent quite a lot of over the next six months to a year while you search for a home. Don’t discount the importance of working with someone you get along with and trust.