Sell a Property in Costa Rica


Once pleasantries are exchanged, we get to the core issue: “We’d like to sell our property and we’d like for you to give it a look”. If I don’t know the property, here are points I’d like to know:

  • Where is the house?
  • Is there a view?
  • What size is the house?
  • What size is the property?
  • When was it built?
  • How many bedrooms/baths?
  • Is there a pool?
  • How is the access?
  • Current status of utilities?

These are a start. I know what the seller really wants to know: “how much is my property here in Costa Rica’s southern Pacific zone worth?”  I can give an armchair number based on the answers to these questions, as well as other sales around the nearby area, but a visit to the property is required to get to an actual evaluation.

I have heard recently that there is a large disparity between evaluations among realtors. Oddly, this is more prevalent with raw land. House values are becoming rather well established in their given locale, and with their respective qualities.

The view is a predominant qualification when evaluating a property. A soul-touching view covers a multitude of deficiencies. Massive ocean views are compelling. It is interesting how, after living here in The Zone for some years, this seems to lessen in time, but it is frequently the primary thing that a buyer lists on their desired qualities.

Should I do an Exclusive or an Open listing?

Simply put, if you don’t live here, an Exclusive Listing is the way to go. If you do live here, it may still be, but an Open Listing can be better.

The life of a real estate agent distills down to two functions, Listing and Selling, with nearly an equal spread between the two. Due to my personal “year off” and recent re-connect, I am spending more than half of my time involved in the listing side of things. This will no doubt even out as the number of leads generated by those listings increase.

I’m seeing the veteran realtors being picky about what listings they will take. Logically, preference is given to the higher priced properties, usually houses, that they know will sell quickly. One of my peers will only take such listings, and only in the area near to his office. I have pondered this a bit since a real estate market-place serviced by nothing but veteran realtors would result in sellers of lower priced raw land lots or houses unable to find an agent to help them with their sale. This is not a judgement, it is simply the way it is. It is theorized that selling a $1,000,000 house takes about the same time & effort as a $50,000 lot, with an exponential difference between the commissions earned. So, logic rules. I guess the understanding is (the hope?) that there will be someone around who will take the listing.

The decision as to who to give an exclusive listing to is important. Obviously, Seller A needs for their property to be listed on all of the local agency web sites. So the exclusive agent has his work cut out for him. He will notify all of the agencies of the listing as well as provide them with photos, survey, information on the utilities, access and a creatively written description so that the property can easily be posted to a web site. He will also be available to physically show the property to the other agents.

The problem with this construct is that the real estate agents in the other agencies are doing the same thing he is doing. They are getting listings, both Open & Exclusive, and posting these to their websites. If we use the Time & Effort vss Pay scale as a guide, the priority list for attention to Seller A’s listing would look like this to the other agencies:

  1. Their own Exclusives
  2. Open Listings
  3. Other agency’s Exclusive Listings

This means that Seller A may not see their property on other agency’s web sites for some time, and this, even if the exclusive agent gets right on it.

With the Open Listing, Seller does the heavy lifting, working with all the agencies and getting the information (noted above) out to the respective agencies.  This includes having someone available to show the property to the various agents. Obviously, a seller who lives here may be that person.

So, the “who” part of the Exclusive Listing decision is heavily weighed by the “Reach” of the agency with whom Seller lists their property. “Reach” is:

  • Ranking in Google
  • Size of database
  • How targeted the recipients of that database are
  • Any additional publication, such as local ads, sign on property etc..

Shameless Plug:

The company that I have chosen to work with is organically ranked #1 in Google. What this means is that all searches for the Mac Daddy search phrase “Costa Rica real estate” will see links to this company’s web site in the #1 spot, which is, of course, the link that will get the most clicks. “Organic” in search-speak means the site is there simply of its own merit. Nothing is paid to be there. Google (or other) simply values the content & construct of the site as being most relevant to the searchers search request. There are usually 2 or 3 paid links above the list of organic returns, and these are so noted by a subtle background color.

The database for my company is made up of 15,000 targeted “Costa Rica real estate” recipients who are notified of the Exclusives that we agents obtain.

I’ve given more to the Exclusive Listing process here. The work of listing is the same between Open & Exclusive.  The difference is, who does it.  The Open Listing remains a strong option for those that want to sell their property in Costa Rica. The lack of a central listing database for Costa Rica (read: MLS) will keep this viable into the foreseeable future. The use of DropBox, WeTransfer or some other file transfer service really helps with the process.

So, if you are a seller of a property in Costa Rica, I suggest that you go with the name Costa Rica Properties. You can use the form below.

List Your Property with Properties in Costa Rica

[contact-form-7 id=”3703″ title=”List Your Property”]