Real Estate in Costa Rica is evolving but is still in the ‘dark ages’. There are no licensing requirements and most local agents are called Corredores. Typically, a Corredor will sell a property at “Sobre Precio” which means “Over Price” in English. Many Costa Rican sellers refuse to pay a commission, but instead will tell the Corredor that they can earn any amount over their asking price. Typically you may pay 50 to 100% over the asking price without your knowledge. We believe this to be unethical and do not subscribe to this practice. It is a disservice to the buyer and the seller as it makes the property harder to sell at an artificially inflated price. For this reason, we have had Corredores refuse to show our listings because we would not cooperate with increasing the price so that they could make more money. So Buyers beware. If you have found the property you want to buy, see if the same property is listed on the Internet or ask the owner for the price he or she is asking.
Not all property has Escritura (Title). Most of these untitled properties have been in the same family for generations and the occupants had no need to register their property in the National Registro. We do not recommend purchasing such properties as gaining title can be a lengthy, costly process. Even some registered properties can have “Clouded Title”, i.e. more than one person or corporation claiming title. So choosing a reputable, knowledgeable lawyer to do “Due Diligence” is very important. We know and can recommend such lawyers.
As Your Agent, We Will:
- Assure that you see all the properties in the area that meet your criteria.
- Guide you through the entire buying process, from finding the best property for you to closing the deal.
- In Costa Rica you need a lawyer to do diligence and transfer title into your name. We can recommend lawyers we have used that are honest and reasonably priced.
- Answer all of your questions about the local market area, including schools, neighborhoods, the local economy, and more.
Before You Start Looking For Your New Property:
- Cash is the best way to purchase property. Without legal residency, bank financing is difficult to obtain.
- Determine a comfortable monthly budget for your new purchase, including down payment and monthly payment.
- Determine what neighborhood best matches your needs.
- Identify important features you need your new property to have.
Closing Costs to Expect:
- Lender fees include charges for loan processing, underwriting, preparation and establishing an escrow account.
- Third-party fees include charges for insurance, title search, and other inspections , if necessary.
- Government fees include deed recording and state & local property taxes.
- Escrow and interest fees include homeowner’s insurance, loan interest, real estate taxes, and occasionally private mortgage insurance.