Make Your Buyer's Agent In Costa Rica Your New Best Friend

May 13, 2023 in Buying Process, Real Estate in Costa Rica, Tips for Buyers

It is interesting to note that not every buyer that views properties in Costa Ballena is working with a dedicated buyer's agent in Costa Rica. We are here to explain why we think it is crucial to work with a local expert and what differences it will mean to a buyer's experience in Costa Rica real estate. Good realtors in Costa Rica have the knowledge and qualifications to represent either the buyer or the seller in a real estate transaction. In most cases, though, we only represent one side or the other. Even though the buyer’s agent and the seller’s agent both have the goal of selling a property and are paid commission by the seller, it is the buyer’s agent who will always look out for the best interests of their buyer. Representing a buyer in a real estate transaction in Costa Rica is a labor intensive process but a good, experienced agent will commit to providing optimal client service. Every buyer wants to have all of their questions answered and wants to see every property that has the potential to be the one for them. Once we have spent the time getting to know our clients wants and needs for a property, we will walk our clients through the complicated sales process, get them the best deal possible, and then hold their hand through their transition to life in Costa Rica. All of this makes working with a dedicated buyer’s representative incredibly valuable for anyone searching for real estate in Costa Rica.

Your realtor in Costa Rica will be your number one advocate.

It is a buyer’s agent’s responsibility to represent you, our buyer. A buyer’s agent will offer their professional opinions but will support your opinions even if they disagree and it means that a sale falls through. It is their duty to represent you throughout the whole process at whatever speed you are comfortable with proceeding. An experienced agent understands the value of repeat clients and referrals and will work to earn those. A good buyer’s agent will do everything in their power to keep their buyers happy so that they continue working with them and eventually refer other buyers to the agent.  Buyer’s and seller’s agents are paid commissions from the proceeds of the sale by the property seller. Even though the seller pays the buying agent’s commission, the buying agent is always committed to working in the interests of their buyers. A buyer’s agent is working across all agencies and showing all listings that are relevant to their buyers’ needs. They are not bound by the listings available for sale through their office. They will be looking everywhere, including for sale by owner listings, pocket listings, and any off-market listings they may know of that have potential.

We actually do much of their work before we even meet our client.

A good buyer’s agent spends time everyday studying the market and stays on top of real estate trends in the neighborhoods where they work. They monitor local news and information (like new developments in the area), and they pay close attention to listings that have come on the market as well as what has sold or gone off market. These daily preparations allow a good realtor to assist a potential buyer right when they call. They won’t have to do a lot of research before suggesting neighborhoods or subdivisions that fit a buyer’s needs or price range. They may even know of several suitable homes that are currently for sale and meet the buyer’s criteria. A buyer’s agent can help you stay on top of new listings in a hot market. It’s especially important to find a buyer’s agent with local expertise in the particular market where you are house hunting.  They will know where and how to tap into unlisted properties through their relationships with other sellers or property owners. They will regularly update their clients on these listings as they come up to make sure that their clients are among the first to know about relevant listings. A good buyer’s agent in Costa Rica will regularly view new properties on the market in advance of showing their buyers to ensure it aligns with what their clients want. If this is not possible, they will contact the selling agent to ask pertinent qualifying questions. They will always accompany their clients on viewings and will provide more information about the listing from what they’ve dug up beforehand. In order for the buyer’s agent to be equipped to advise their buyers and to know what an appropriate offer will be for a listing, they will need to complete a competitive analysis of other similar properties, evaluating factors such as the age of the property, the estimated property value, and prices of similar properties in the area. Experienced agents may have pertinent historical knowledge of a property that can be a great asset to their buyers. Your buyer’s agent will be your insight into the market, which is particularly important when property hunting in a foreign real estate market. Many international buyers will have a limited grasp of Costa Rican real estate investment and the flow of the local market and their buyer’s agent will be their handy resource for answering any question that comes up along the way.

We learn everything we can about our buyer's needs.

A buyer’s agent knows that there are typical buyer types and each of them has their own individual needs. Retirees are different from digital nomads, who are yet different to young families moving to Costa Rica. A buyer’s agent will get to know you and who you are by asking you a series of questions that will narrow down your individual needs and help them help you craft your individual wish list.  A Costa Rica property wish list is a realistic collection of home characteristics you would like to aim for within your budget. Identifying properties that fit these qualities starts with understanding the qualities that are most important to you. Your buyer’s agent will have asked you a series of questions that will inform them roughly what you are looking for. As you begin to look at properties, your agent will develop an even clearer picture of what type of property in Costa Rica you want. Working with buyers is about helping them develop their life goals and helping them create a better future in Costa Rica. To do this, we realtors need to get to know a buyer’s needs. We ask questions about your back story and try to understand your goals for the future. Being a buyer’s representative takes much more effort than representing a seller but it is extremely fun to get to know new people and what makes them tick. This role often leads to us befriending our buyers because we get to know one another on a more personal level by learning about each other’s likes and dislikes.

Our goal is to teach our buyers about the areas that may interest them for buying property.

We don’t expect that real estate buyers looking in our area will know all about Costa Ballena and what the differences are between the towns of Dominical, Uvita, and Ojochal. We know what type of people tend to gravitate where and what amenities are most popular for different types of people.  If our buyer isn’t familiar with an area, we will prepare maps to show where the properties are located and what else is in the area. A diligent agent will also map nearby properties which have recently sold, thus giving their client an idea of current market conditions. A buyer's agent will often act as an ad hoc tour guide and point out local amenities such as stores, restaurants, beaches, and other services or activities they enjoy.

We qualify our buyers and set them up to be ready to make a cash offer.

A good buyer’s agent knows that it is a huge time-saver to pre-qualify their buyers to be ready to make a cash offer. This may involve connecting buyers with local attorneys and explaining the process of opening an escrow account if buyers are serious about making a strong offer if the right property comes along. 

We organize all of the appointments for viewing properties.

It is the role of a buyer’s agent in Costa Rica to make appointments for showings and accompany their buyer to each one. In most cases, the agent will drive their buyers to the listing, which can be essential in Costa Rica for people who are new to driving on dirt roads without names. When our buyers are in Costa Rica with their boots on the ground, they come ready to see properties and hopefully submit an offer on their favorite one. Typically, we will have showings organized before our buyers arrive (most properties require advanced notice for showings, particularly if used as rentals), but we are also ready at a moment’s notice to see a new property that has just come on the market. For this reason, it is our responsibility to keep a good rapport with our fellow agents so that we can get in to see a property with our buyers whenever we need.

We offer sound expert advice for understanding properties and which ones deserve what kind of offer.

The role of a buyer’s representative is to offer expert opinions and advice on each property viewed and its asking price to help our buyer narrow down their choices. We will provide comparable recent sales data in the same area and help our clients decide how much to offer and how to structure the offer when they are ready to make a purchase. A buyer’s agent is especially skilled at negotiating buyer contingencies. These might include making the sale contingent on your ability to sell off assets or on an inspector’s findings at a home inspection. The agent will know about the red flags to look out for and what to avoid in different areas or other insider intel. Their role is to dig into the condition of a property, the history, the permits available, etc. A buyer’s agent should also know what it will take to present the best offer for a property and they will have a comprehensive analysis showing why. They will walk you through the entire process and protect your deposit. They will know the market well enough to know what type of offer it will take to win as well as your individual limits and when to back down.

We take the lead on the entire offer and negotiation process.

It is up to the buyer’s agent to explain the standard offer form and submit the offer on behalf of their buyer. They are there to assist in negotiations and submit counter-offers on behalf of the buyer and they maintain communications with the seller’s agent to ensure no hiccups or glitches arise. A buyer’s agent will advocate for your best interests in the sale, including on price and other contract negotiations like repairs or price adjustments that may be feasible as a result of appraisals or inspections.

We proceed with ensuring all of the steps of due diligence are satisfactorily completed.

As mentioned before, it is up to the buyer’s agent to explain every step of the process that from the offer to the closing, including helping to evaluate due diligence results from boundary verification and soil tests. This also includes helping buyers understand paperwork (such as HOA regulations and title reports) if necessary. We recommend home inspectors for our buyers, and once the inspection report is received, we assist in negotiating significant or necessary repairs or contract allowances in lieu of repairs. We also recommend local home insurance agents and other professionals, if necessary. A buyer’s agent will attend the closing (or assist with a virtual closing) and provide any necessary assistance and advice all the way through the entire process, including the final walk through before getting the keys.

We continue to assist their buyer even after their commission has been paid in full.

As a buyer’s agent, our role is not over when the property sale is closed. We continue to provide any necessary information to help the buyer with their relocation and the actual move to Costa Rica. Our buyers often need help with establishing themselves, whether it is setting up bank accounts, electricity, internet, phones. Some buyers want help with meeting new friends or finding interests relevant to them. Whatever it takes to help our buyers get settled in their new home, we are here to help. All in all, when looking at all of the pros, it is hard to justify not working with a buyer’s representative who has your best needs at heart. They will put you in a position to be successful and they do this without any guarantee of making a sale. For most people, purchasing a property in Costa Rica is the biggest change they will make in their lifetime. And a local buyer’s agent in Costa Ballena will be their best advocate to help them through this major life event with ease and grace. 

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