I’ve lived and worked as a realtor in the South Pacific of Costa Rica for 13 years and during this time I too have heard a few property purchasing nightmares. I cannot emphasize enough that it’s important to be even more cautious when you are buying property abroad – especially if you are looking for a farm with ample acreage.
In recent months I’ve noticed an increase in realtors operating in Costa Rica particularly from North America and Europe. While I wish them every success in their new venture, I have a few words of caution for those looking to buy or sell property in Costa Rica.
Finding the Right Realtor Checklist
* Always opt for a realtor with experience, anything less than three years and they are still learning. They will tell you how it is and you’ll directly benefit from the established network of contacts they have developed over the years.
* As there are no laws in Costa Rica that require realtors to have any experience or training it’s important to note that anybody can represent themselves as a real estate agent.
* Request references – a good realtor will be happy to provide you with the names of clients they have served, just make sure you call them!
* Working with an experienced realtor that is affiliated with a real estate franchise is one way to ensure you won’t get taken for a ride when it comes to fees.
* Ensure the real estate agent has legal permanent residency.
* Ask them how many properties they have sold recently and what methods they use to advertise their real estate. (For example do they have a functioning website that is well organized and kept up to date)
* Ask and check if they are affiliated with realtor organizations in Costa Rica such as the Costa Rican Chamber of Realtors (Camara Costarricense de Corredores de Bienes Raices)
* Why is such an affiliation so important? Well, as a member of the U.S National Association of Realtors I know there are a code of ethics we are required to adhere to, for example, demonstrating a loyalty to their clients, taking on a fiduciary, or legal, duty to their clients, exhibiting cooperation with competitors, establish truthfulness in all statements and advertising and not interfering in the exclusive relationships between other Realtors and their clients.
* Do they speak Spanish and English?
* If you are looking for a special piece of land such as a farm, then look for realtor that has proven experience in this field.
Specialized Realtor – Proven Expertise with Farm Properties
I’ve lived and worked as a realtor in the South Pacific of Costa Rica for 13 years and during this time I too have heard a few property purchasing nightmares. I co-founded Dominical Realty and in 2001, the company obtained a Coldwell Banker independent franchise, and three years later partnered with another Coldwell Banker franchise in Costa Rica to become Vesta Group, the Master-Franchise-holder for the entire country. I work alongside Daveed Hollander and James Wieland and am proud to call them my friends as well as colleagues.
As a farmer boy at heart I specialize in large farms and water fall properties and the South Pacific of Costa Rica is a fitting location for this type of real estate. The great thing about the South Pacific is the sheer amount of unexplored territory, there are rivers and beaches and hundreds of undiscovered waterfalls.
Living in the South Pacific has allowed me to develop a successful career as a realtor whilst being able to enjoy my paradise surroundings. I know plenty of successful farm owners in Costa Rica, who have moved from the U.S and put in hours of hard work and they would be the first to tell you that the rewards are plenty. As I have lived in the area for many years I know where to find the best fincas for sale and here is a prime example.
Hacienda Villa Colon is 112 acres of gently rolling topography with magnificent views of the green rolling valleys and the Pacific Ocean. The farm boasts some of the most fertile soil in the region, ideal for small scale cattle farming operation, or low impact development of larger acreage parcels. For just $259,000 this incredible piece of paradise could be yours.
Realtor, however, you will gain insight into the current real estate market because