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Finding a reliable Broker


barney
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My wife and I have spent a lot of time talking with and emailing various brokers that we have found through the tens (hundreds !!) of online Costa Rica Real Estate sites.

 

Our conclusion is that although the 'legal' process to acquire property is fairly straightforward, it is nearly impossible to know if the people you're dealing with a reputable and will help you get a fair deal.

 

Any recommendations from those of you in-country ? Or is it simply a matter of pulling up stakes and spending 3-6 months in Costa Rica talking, meeting, viewing and pricing property ?

 

For what it is worth, it also seems the further away from San Jose you look, the wilder the process gets.

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I've also looked through dozens of realtor sites and who knows which among them is reputable or not. My friend and I just plan to move there and rent for awhile until we decide what to buy, but first try to become real "Ticos/Ticas." I emailed this one broker who had a "click for more information" button on his website and all he responded back was with a generic letter that said "If you are serious, you have to come here to Costa Rica....." He wouldn't even tell me where the property I was interested in was located. One site I do like alot is "For Sale By Owner." The address is: www.intertica.com. It has properties for sale by the owner, is straight forward and easy to navigate.

 

Drew

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WARNING! The real estate industry in Costa Rica is not regulated. ANYBODY (including their pet aardvark) can sell real estate.

You need to know if the price you're being asked for is, indeed, within the true market range or are you being asked "the blue-eye price"? (If the 'for sale' sign contains English, forget it!) You also need to know whether or not the person selling the property actually has a rightful claim to it.

What you REALLY need is an honest lawyer to look after your best interests.

Therefore, it is best to live in Costa Rica for at least a year and travel about to find the location you truely desire. Get to know Ticos and get personal references for the professionals you'll need to hire.

Take your time! This is a big investment into the rest of your life and not worthy of being rushed.

Barbara :rolleyes:

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Wally, I agree with your thoughts completely and I plan to send six months to a year living there before I decide. The question I have is, how does one compare prices without an MLS system, "comps," etc? How have others done it? Just keep tabs on prices in the area?

 

Thanks,

 

Drew

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Any recommendations from those of you in-country ? Or is it simply a matter of pulling up stakes and spending 3-6 months in Costa Rica talking, meeting, viewing and pricing property ?

 

Barney... it is always best to live and travel here for at least six months to a year... not only because you will be far less likely to overpay, you will be less likely to get taken in a fraudulent transaction. You will also find, as others have, that there are a huge number of places you can call home. Equally important is that you really have no idea if you will WANT to live here! About 40% of those who move here end up leaving. Leaving is a LOT more complex if you are saddled with a property to sell and for which you probably overpaid.

 

You will learn that the best way to approach buying property is by using new Tico friends to ask and even negotiate price while you remain in the background. In general, if the seller smells a North American in the process, the price goes up.

 

You will meet new people and from them, you'll easily be able to determine who is legit and who is not. There are a ton of agents here... most of whom are very respectable, but for sure, there are also a bunch of low lifes who prey on those who just want to jump in a buy something. TG

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Thanks everyone. You've pretty much confirmed what my wife has been telling me. Look, talk and don't be in such a hurry !!

 

We're heading down in May with my parents and will end our visit in San Jose so that we can attend the monthly ARCR seminar. Right now it looks like we'll start our tour in Golfito and work north along the coast, zig-zagging back inland so we can check out various areas.

 

My parents are looking for alternatives to Mexico (they're in Mexico 4-5 months per year) and my wife and I are looking for business opportunites - we're not ready for retirement yet.

 

Hopefully we all find what we're looking for.

 

Thanks again.

 

Mark (ps. Barney is one of our three beagles)

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