I (Vicki Skinner - aka "THE Sarong Goddess") created this blog in 2007 to share DETAILED Finds•Lists•Info•Events•Experiences to help bring more EASE to people living in, visiting or thinking of moving to Costa Rica since DETAILS are NOT easy to find!
I’m NOT an expert (an "expert" 2 ME knows 101%-NOT me). I believe in sharin info•helping where I can! And with over 2,200 entries, so some things might be out of date, so if you find old info PLEASE help each other by getting the updated info & sharing it with me to revise. At least you have some basic info to get you started.
Better yet - do you have extra time on your hands & looking for a volunteer project? Since this blog is a labor of love & RARELY does anyone share a donation (even though MANY have said how much it's helped them), I could REALLY use help updating info. Spanish speakers ESPECIALLY welcome since my VicLish can be somewhat limited at times!!

Has my blog helped in any way? Helped find something•brought more EASE? More exposure or business?
I welcome you to show YOUR appreciation for my efforts!
(see below other ways to show your appreciation)
The easiest way is with PAYPAL - Attn: LivingLifeInCostaRica@gmail.com
(you do NOT need to have a PayPal account to do this - just a credit or debit card)
Do YOU have/know of a Business•Event•News•Place•Things 4 Sale•Rent to add? Email:


• APPLE LAPTOP - Do you have a Laptop you're not using? Mine recently broke so I'm using a lender. Must be new enough to run current Skypes & have an SDCard slot.
• Amazon.com or GoDaddy.com Credit•Gift Certificate (attn: SarongGoddess@gmail.com)
• Something else to share?? A gift certificate or invite for your business? I'm open!! (at times I'll add other things here that I'm seeking)

Sunday, November 11, 2007

HINTS - On Working with Realtors & Fees - Real Estate in Costa Rica

Here are some hints/observations I've gathered while talking to people in Costa Rica as well as Puerto Vallarta, Mexico & I share them with you.

MANY people visit Costa Rica (or other vacation destinations) & LOVE IT & get caught up in the "honeymoon phase" with how wonderful their trip is & dream about one day moving here!!

OFTEN, they decide to call a realtor to help them see how possible that is - what's available, etc.

The realtor takes time, drives/chauffers them around, shares info about neighborhoods, the ins/outs of life in Costa Rica that's taken them time to learn about. They connect you to people, businesses, etc.

Some people are looking for something to do, sort of turn looking for real estate into just another "tour" - free entertainment - a way to amuse themselves (it's sad how many of those there are).

There are those that are looking because they have that dream (or even a serious intention) but it's not going to happen for a few months - heck, even a few years but a LOT WILL change in the situation in Costa Rica between now & then RARELY will an owner be willing to hold a rental property (or sale pending the sale of your home else where [which just aren't moving that well in the States at least]) more than a month if that (especially with the pending season coming up). And OFTEN, between now & when you're FINALLY ready to do something about it, you've made other connections/contacts, you've decided on a different area to live or whatever, but the bottom line is you don't go back to that realtor that gave you their time.

Then you have " those kind of people" that live "less than in integrity" that want to let the realtor do the ground work & then they (the consumer) goes back to the owner to negotiate a better price (I LOVE to watch how that unfolds in other aspects of their life/business!!).

Those that are TRULY SERIOUS & ready to put the cash (full cash is what's needed OFTEN - especially in not new developments & funding sources here - though they're getting better - still aren't overly easy) down NOW are VERY few & far between!!!!!!

Quite frankly, realtors are a dime a dozen in Costa Rica & guess what - Costa Rica has NO regulations/ associations or licensing for them hence it seems that every third person & his uncle are "realtors."

Finding a good HONEST realtor - one that's done their homework especially to see if the house is even available free & clear is not an easy task from what I've heard OVER & OVER from MANY

This is CRUCIAL as MANY homes throughout Costa Rica do NOT have the deed &/or are NOT free & clear/available & it OFTEN WILL take YEARS to clear up. Often it's because a neighbor is claiming they own part of the land for sale (now would you REALLY want to live in a place where you're going into it with negative feelings with your neighbor?? Might you have some warnings ahead of time of potential problems? Amazing how often we have "signs" - don't listen & go do it anyways [& then there are those that play "victim" when the problems arise!!]).

I like asking for referals on Message Boards like http://groups.yahoo.com/group/CostaRicaLiving

Once I've found a realtor I feel good about, I look on their website (to me, the more professional ones HAVE a website - to make your life as well as theirs easier!!) to see if there's anything that jumps out at me (granted many of their sites aren't totally updated & things change fast).

Then I email the realtor with LOTS of DETAILS on what I'm looking for & who I am along with my timeframe on when I'm coming to visit & when I'm looking to buy/rent. This way I'm respecting their time as well as making it a much smoother experience for all!

Even if I don't see something on the site, I'd still email the agent as something new might have just come in & not made it up yet!

I find emailing MUCH more efficient communications than phone calls (ALWAYS - not just here) as you don't know what the realtor is in the middle of doing, etc.

I think it's VERY professional of realtors to charge a "fee" for their time/efforts ($100 that is applied towards their rental or sale to me it kosher. Most doctors or lawyers charge a fee [& LOTS more than $100] to help you. Why shouldn't someone that you're expecting to help you find the home of your dreams - for a long-term commitment & ease - charge something????)

The realtor is doing something for YOU. What are you giving back to them (other than just taking/wasting their time)???

Added to all this, gas, a vehicle & repairs ain't cheap in Costa Rica.

With all that said, even if the realtor hasn't gotten to the point of honoring/validating their time with having a fee, I SERIOUSLY welcome you GIFT them with something for their time!! IF you buy/rent from them, it WILL be deducted so you'll get it back.

Bottom line, my (& ALL of us) time is worth money so if someone else is willing to do the legwork for me, I'm MORE than appreciative & show it (i.e. paying a fee).

To me, based on what I've observed with LOTS of people in Costa Rica & Puerto Vallarta, Mexico (where I think the lookie loos are even worse [where my other business is]) - IF someone is TRULY serious & in integrity with their intentions, they will not balk at paying a fee & GLADLY honor ALL that assist them!!

(FYI - I am NOT a realtor - just a Spirit that believes in HONORING those that help bring me more EASE & JOY into my life & I like to treat others as I'd like to be treated!! Another excerpt/chapter from "The World According to Vicki!" [blog coming soon!!]).

1 comment:

W. Home said...

Working effectively with realtors who had their trainings and education through certified real estate schools are actually among the best option that many investors should consider and not try to avoid. As they avoid many realtors, they are more likely avoiding probable opportunities that they can gain in the future investments on their properties.