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Christopher

Real Estate Brokers

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This is why it is important to work with a good broker:

1. A good broker can help you find a fairly-priced property.

2. Only a small percentage of properties for sale are advertised in the newspaper. A lot of brokers have their own listings, which they don’t share with other brokers.

3. A broker can save you time and aggravation by showing you just what you want. He will do this by pre-qualifying you.

4. Good brokers have excellent contacts and will help you with every‑step of the process.

5. A good broker will know all of the good areas and will not waste your time showing you undesirable neighborhoods. A broker who knows you are working faithfully with him will go all out to help you find what you want. Be sure to tell your broker from the beginning if you are working with other agents.

6. A good broker can form a relationship with you and truly understand your specific needs.

7. Working with a broker in Costa Rica is similar to working with a broker back home. If you are patient, loyal and have confidence in your broker, you will find what you want.

8. Brokers offer a wide range of properties. They sell a little bit of everything.: houses, lots, commercial property, condos, and even fincas (farms). Therefore, it is best to find a broker who specializes in exactly what you are looking for. A person who sells at the beach cannot possibly be an expert in properties in the Central Valley.

In order to find a competent, honest broker, it is wise to talk to other expatriates or contact the local Chamber of Real Estate Brokers or Cámara Costarricense de Bienes Raíces.

 

 

Here are more tips on finding a good broker:

(1) Shop around: You wouldn’t buy the first car you test drive, and you shouldn’t go with the first broker you lay eyes on. Talk to at least two or three. They can be found on the Internet, in local offices, in real estate guides, through recommendations and in the resource section of this book. Personality is very important, and if you don’t get along with your broker, the buying experience will be a miserable one.

(2) Communication: Just as in a marriage, communication is a key component of the relationship between a homeowner and an agent. If the communication isn’t there, the relationship won’t work. So if your agent doesn’t return your phone calls in a timely fashion or disappears without warning for weeks at a time, you should probably find someone else.

(3) Stay local: Pick a broker who specializes in the area where you want to buy. Since there is no MLS in Costa Rica, local connections are very important, especially if you’re looking for raw land.

(4) Even homeowners who have been through several real estate transactions can benefit from a little advice from their agent. But if an agent doesn’t offer any advice, it could be an indication that he or she is not fully engaged in the process.

(5) Go bicultural: Most brokers can spit out a few words of Spanish, and some speak fairly well. The ideal broker, however, understands both the language and the culture, or has teamed up with another broker who does.

(6) Demand residency: Ask that agent to show you their Costa Rican cédula (ID) or work permit. Ask how long the agent has lived in Costa Rica (5-7 years minimum). Costa Rica has a history of so-called “tail-gate realtors,” or foreigners that parachute in, sell a few properties while here on a tourist visa, and leave whenever they want.

(7) Today, the market is mature enough that most regions have at least one broker who’s been here for years and has Costa Rican residency. This is a sign of commitment to reputation and to the country, and it should figure importantly in your final decision. If your real estate agent is actually a waiter, waitress, or another profession, then you are probably not going to be happy with where their priorities.

(8)Ask for references: Satisfied customers are a good sign that a broker is doing his or her job. Request contacts for a few and ring them up. Be sure to ask what the customer didn’t like about the broker as well. Do an Internet search on the agent’s name and see what comes up.

(9) Brand isn’t everything: All the big U.S. real estate brands are in Costa Rica: Century 21, RE/MAX, ERA, Coldwell Banker. Remember, though, what they’re doing. On the upside, branded brokerages often communicate with their other franchises in the country and offer you a bigger pool of product. On the downside, many of them may be newbies in the country who simply bought a franchise. Some branded brokers are good and some are bad, just like everyone else in theindustry. Experience in the market and good referrals should be more important to you than brand.

(10) Ask how long the agent has lived in Costa Rica (5-7 years minimum)(11) Ask for a few happy customers to contact.

(12) Just as in a marriage, communication is a key component of the relationship between a homeowner and an agent. If the communication isn’t there, the relationship won’t work. So if your agent doesn’t return your phone calls in a timely fashion or disappears without warning for weeks at a time, you should probably find someone else.

(13) Let’s face it, even homeowners who have been through several realestate transactions can benefit from a little advice from their agent. But if an agent doesn’t offer any advice, it could be an indication that he or she is not fully engaged in the process.

(14) Real estate agents who insist on clients’ using a particular lender or affiliated company for the transaction may trigger alarm bells. That’s a huge red flag because odds are they are probably getting a cut on a referral fee.

(15) If your real estate agent is actually a waiter, waitress, or (another profession), then you are probably not going to be happy with where their priorities are.

(16) A real estate agent who shows buyers only properties that are listed with his or her brokerage could be subordinating the client’s best interests. Since selling agents earn a separate commission off a real estate transaction, agents who make listings available just from their company may be trying to steer that commission to the brokerage as well.

 

Chris Howard

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Thanks Chris. Finding a good broker is tough in this country but when you do you should hold on. When searching for property I would start with interviewing Brokers first then let them go to work for you. If you try to do it on the Internet when we have no MLS you will just confuse yourself. Again great post Chris.

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