When it comes to investing, the easiest part of the process is buying. As a buyer, you are able to canvas through immense layers of data and resources in order to locate what you are seeking. However, not all of what you are looking through is accurate nor add value. So how do you know the difference? Oh boy…now you are overwhelmed, confused, and perhaps frustrated with the process and with the vast amount of information at your fingertips, and you are paralyzed with whom to call.
Making a real estate purchase in Costa Rica should be and IS an enjoyable experience. But, time after time, I hear customers expressing themselves similarly with the above experience. I get it. We all want the best deal we can find (so do I). And the internet (where we get 90% of our customers) is full of websites that are there to lure you into their vast array of data – much of which is old and non-existent. That is right folks – there is NO MLS in Costa Rica. So instead of interviewing legal real estate brokers whom are on the ground daily and working for you best interests, you plow through the vast array of website data spinning your wheels.
It is fair to say that the legitimate real estate brokerages have 80% of the available listings on all of their websites. 10% are possible exclusive relationships that perhaps have not been shared with outside brokerages, or are in the process of being sent to the rest. The remaining 10% of possible listings are most likely bogus: already sold, loss leader, or stale data. So, there is NO MLS from which we legitimate brokers work or share our listings – it does not exist. And this is a common frustration amongst first-time customers as we often hear of their frustrations and “mis-trust” of the process.
To the rescue! Work with a brokerage that has been established in Costa Rica. Allow them to work for you and do what they should be doing anyway – representing your interests. Establish a relationship by interviewing brokers (and be upfront that you are interviewing). The good ones will rise to the top and references will be provided with ease. The good ones will go to bat for you and if they do not have anything on their website to meet your needs, they will contact other brokerages for you to gather more data. The inefficient market can be overcome by doing more preparation up front that will allow you to enjoy the process. Share your needs in full detail with the broker you select so they can go to work for you.
Everyday we see this, and the solution is easier than thought. I have a database of Testimonials I use to help customers get to know me and see what I have done. Years after you buy and its time to sell… well, there is another set of article to write about that inefficient process, which I will tackle soon.