How To Find A Real Estate Agent In Costa Rica
Buying a house is a big decision. Buying a house in a foreign country is a HUGE decision and there is nothing more important than finding a real estate agent you can trust to represent you. But how in the world do you do that? We can help. We’ll tell you how to find a real estate agent in Costa Rica but first, you need some background.
Things you need to know about the real estate industry in Costa Rica
Currently, there is no licensure requirement to sell real estate in Costa Rica which means everyone from taxi drivers to real estate professionals will be willing to “represent” you. It goes without saying that a real estate professional is your best bet, but even that can be difficult to define. There are two agencies that offer training, CRGAR (Costa Rican Guanacaste Association of Real Estate) or CCBR (Costa Rican Real Estate Association) - look for a real estate agent who has completed this training.
Additionally, you should look for a real estate professional who has registered with SUGEF - a regulatory agency within Costa Rica established to implement global financial best practices and stop illegal activities such as money laundering. Legislation implemented in July 2019 required (among other things) that real estate agents register with them. A reputable Costa Rican real estate agent will have complied with the registration.
How to find a real estate agent in Costa Rica
So now that you understand a bit about how real estate works in Costa Rica, how do you find a real estate agent? The easiest way is to visit a real estate office in the town you’re interested in. Most reputable agents will have an office and a business license. Consider the real estate agencies that you recognize, it’s no guarantee, but they likely have additional requirements to fulfill to be affiliated with an international brokerage.
But that alone doesn’t necessarily make them a good real estate agent. Real estate is a relationship business, so you’ll want to get a sense of who they are. Meet with them face-to-face and get to know them. Ask them questions, lots of them. Ask them if they live in the area. Ask them about buying real estate in Costa Rica. Ask them why it's important to use a real estate professional. Ask them if they have established relationships with lawyers, builders, architects, and inspectors. Ask them if they’ve completed one of the Costa Rica real estate training courses. Ask them if they are compliant with the SUGEF registration requirement. And then keep asking questions. A reputable agent won't mind, and in fact, they will welcome the opportunity to get to know you.
But talk is cheap, and we've all met some slick-talkers. So, find out what other people have to say. Check out their reviews. A reputable real estate agency in Costa Rica will have a website as well as a verified Google listing and likely a Facebook page or other social media sites. Look at all of it.
And, of course, ask around town. A reputable real estate agency and real estate agent will be known within their community.
Buying real estate in Costa Rica is a major investment, and you want to make sure you're working with a professional real estate agent and these tips should help you find one you can trust. If you're ready to explore the possibility of buying real estate in Costa Rica, our team can help. And, we check all of the boxes mentioned above! Contact us today, we're here to help.
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Recently fulfilled a long-term dream of purchasing land with the help of Nick Ruhlow. Can't express enough of what a wonderful experience the entire process was. Nick was a true professional from start to finish. Not to mention easy to be around. He is straight forward and honest. He was patient with viewing properties and helpful with all our questions. Trust was built quickly, and honestly, I am not sure I would have felt so solid without his help and guidance. He has referred me to other professionals needed and has definitely gone the extra mile. I encourage anyone who is selling/buying to meet with Nick.
Thank you so much Bryan for all your help, knowledge and advice; it was such a pleasure and a relief to work with a such a dedicated professional!