Has it come time to sell your property in Costa Rica? No doubt you have a few questions. As one of Samara’s top real estate offices, we’ve helped hundreds of people sell their properties and we’ve got the experience and answers you need! This blog post will answer seven of the most frequently asked questions we get asked by property sellers in Costa Rica.
Do I need a real estate agent to sell my property?
We get this question a lot. And, obviously, as real estate agents in Costa Rica, we’re a bit biased, but for good reason. Most property purchases start with an internet search. By using a real estate agent, your property will be listed on their website (and in our case, many others) allowing your property to be seen by hundreds of prospective buyers. More importantly, it’s been broadly documented that seller representation is a crucial part of getting the best price for your property - and getting top dollar is key for sellers. So, do you need a real estate agent to sell property in Costa Rica? Our answer is yes!
Can I list my property with more than one real estate agent?
Yes, in Costa Rica, you can list your property with more than one real estate agent - this is called an open listing. But should you? In our opinion, the answer is no. Hear us out. There is not a multi-listing service (MLS) in Costa Rica, so there isn’t a central hub for property listings. People often think that by listing with multiple real estate companies, they will get more exposure for their property. And, in theory, that could be true. BUT, oftentimes this strategy results in your property being added to an agency’s website, and nothing more.
For better results, consider listing exclusively with a larger real estate company in Costa Rica. By doing so, you may feel like you’re sacrificing exposure, but in reality you’re gaining expertise, a dedicated agent to represent you and a more personalized and targeted marketing plan specific to your property (which will likely include letting the other agencies in town know about it). Check out this post for a list of benefits of listing exclusively with Coldwell Banker Samara.
Do I need a lawyer to sell my property?
Yes, a lawyer will need to be involved as part of any property sale in Costa Rica because the property transfer process needs to be legalized with a Notary Public. (A Notary Public is a Costa Rican Legal professional who must validate all the documents involved in the transaction and oversee the payment of the taxes and fees that need to be paid for the transfer to take place.) And while it’s typically the buyer’s attorney who will handle this part of the sale, there is a role for an attorney to play on the seller’s side as well. Most importantly, an attorney will help ensure the property is saleable, will help gather items for the due diligence, and will help protect your interests.
How much should I ask for my property?
The price that you ask for your property is dependent on a variety of factors, including the location, size, condition of your property, and the current market. You can ask a reputable real estate agent for a comparative market analysis (CMA) for similar properties in the area to get an estimate of the value of your property.
How long should I expect my property to be on the market?
Ahhh, an important question. The length of time that your property stays on the market will depend on how well it is priced and how well it is marketed. If your property is priced competitively and marketed effectively, it will sell more quickly than if it’s not. But you must remember, there is a much smaller pool of buyers looking to buy property in Costa Rica than in your backyard, so it’s not uncommon for properties to remain on the market for 2 (or more) years. Of course, property location plays a role - homes near the popular tourist areas tend to sell faster than those in remote areas. And general global market conditions must be considered.
What will I have to pay when selling my property?
The answer to this question varies a bit by region, but there are a few common expenses. In the Guanacaste area, the seller is usually responsible for paying the real estate commission and associated tax, in Samara that’s generally 6% (+ IVA). Additionally, you may have to pay capital gains tax if the property isn’t your primary residence. Other possible expenses include: lawyer fees, miscellaneous fees that are incurred if there is an issue with the property (delinquent taxes, property boundary issues, updating of corporation data, etc.), and any other expenses negotiated by the buyer.
How can I market my property in Costa Rica effectively?
Marketing is crucial to the sale of any property. The best way to do this is to list your property exclusively with a reputable real estate agency, like Coldwell Banker. Your agent will take care of publishing information on their site as well as any partner sites. Additionally, you will likely get additional perks like being featured in their newsletter and social media platforms.
Selling your property in Costa Rica can be an exciting and profitable experience, and it's essential to be informed about the process to make the most of it. Remember, the help of a legal professional and a reputable real estate agent can make all the difference when selling a property in Costa Rica. If you are thinking about selling your property in Samara, please use the information within this blog post as a guide and contact us to list your property today!
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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!