How to negotiate a real estate deal in Costa Rica

If you are looking to make a foreign property acquisition now has never been a better time. Even though it is currently a buyers’ market, what strategy do you need to follow in order to negotiate the best Costa Rica real estate deal?

With a wide range of properties to choose from, at knock down prices, it’s a fact real estate owners no longer have to fend off multiple offers as soon as they decide to sell. Of course, if you are a wise investor, you’ll know that now is the perfect opportunity to acquire property in the Costa Rica, more specifically the South Pacific.

So how can I make such a declaration? Well, economists make a close connection between employment and real estate and the South Pacific is experiencing a significant amount of both residential and commercial development since the opening of the Caldera highway. At the end of 2011 the Costa Rican government announced that a third international airport would be built in Palmar Norte another insight into the pending rise of property values in the South Pacific.

By all indications the South Pacific is gearing up for a real estate boom and this is the pause that will allow many investors the opportunity to acquire value appreciating property in exclusive coastal communities such as Dominical, Ojochal and Uvita.

So how do you negotiate a real estate deal in Costa Rica?

1. Don’t ever disregard emotions – property owners will continue to believe their house has something special regardless of how the real estate market is behaving. Contact a qualified regional realtor and decide on what sort of property you need and how much you can afford. You’re realtor will then be able to search the market for suitable properties and negotiate fairly.

2. Check the Costa Rica real estate market and compare properties of a similar size to help ascertain what offer you are going to make. Comparable sales have proven to be the best bargaining tool when it comes to closing a deal, insult a seller and they won’t be interested in negotiating.

3. Why are they selling? Ask your realtor to find out why the property owner has put their residence on the market and this will help you negotiate a better deal or know when it’s time to move onto another property.

4. Ask your realtor to find out how much the seller owes on the property. Compare an owner who owes more than the house is worth with an owner has a long list of investments and you’ll soon see how motivated the seller is.

5. After about two months of keeping their home spick and span property owners get tired of people traipsing through their residence. After the initial flurry of viewings fall sharply this is when a property owner might be more willing to negotiate.

6. Don’t invest in doer uppers – there are plenty of properties on the market that are up to date and require minimal investment. Many properties that require updating are not reduced enough to warrant a worthwhile investment.

7. If all is going well, ask the seller to add the closing costs to the price of the house.

8. Ask the seller if they are willing to include appliances with the deal – many will agree just to close the deal.

9. But, don’t ask them to paint or carry out any kind of job that requires skilled workmanship. The chances are it won’t be completed to your liking and you’ll just have to do it again.

10. Pay close attention to the world real estate market. Don’t get emotionally attached to one property and don’t get engaged in heavy negotiations for a couple of thousand dollars.

James Drews

Vice President, Sales. Age 43 Prior to co-founding VESTA GROUP, James moved to Costa Rica in 1996 and began his real estate career here by co-founding Dominical Realty. 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. As a member of the Global Association of Realtors and the U.S.-based National Association of Realtors, the Master Franchise has already grown to ten (10) offices throughout the country, with several more currently in process. James is married to a Costa Rican, and proud father of 3 daughters ages 7,10, and 20. James, is well respected among the local and foreign community, and carries high ethical standards, and a hard working family man that seeks to provide his customers with the best level of service possible. James goes out of his way to seek out new frontiers that are ahead of the wave, and specializes in rural and remote farmland, developing land and collecting legacy type of properties. Surfing big waves, fishing, hiking, and travel are favorite pastimes. Daily goal is a new discovery. Approaching 20 years of living in Costa Rica, James knows his territory well, and has much love for his new country and it's people, and will guide you well, and share his resources and local knowle​d​ge with you to make your new venture successful.​ ​