A Typical Day of Hunting in a Land with no MLS Listing8872495
Costa Rica has no MLS Listing, no centralized database with all the residential properties for sale. This means that a good realtor in Costa Rica has to do serious leg-work. Let me walk you through what I have to do to find properties to list:
1. I have to identify a target area. Costa Rica covers a relatively small geographic region, but I still need to identify areas that I want to visit. It may be an area that I want to be able to offer my clients and that I don't currently have listings in. Or, it could be an area that a client specifically requests that I look into.
2. Then, I go on a road trip. I actually have to physically go to each target area and drive around. I look for signs indicating properties for sale and write them down. I try hard to get all the contact information and details of the property correct. Not everyone is listed with a realtor, so I make note of that as well.
3. But, not every property for sale has a sign. It can be quite an adventure to find properties for sale. In Costa Rica, especially in the country, they don't put "For Sale" signs out in the front yards. Most of the properties I find are through word of mouth. I strike up conversations with people in restaurants or stores. I'll talk to people on the street. I chat about what I'm doing and most people will either have a property or know of someone that is trying to sell their home. I'll gather as much contact information as I can from those random conversations.
4. It's all about networking. Luckily, I'm a genuinely friendly person and I love getting to know new people. This helps me tremendously when I'm hunting for new property listings. Everywhere I go I will start up a conversation with people and tell them what I do. There is always a property for sale, sometimes more than one. When I was looking at a new community in Esterillos, I happened upon a woman that managed vacation rentals for homeowners in the U.S. Many of those owners wanted to sell their properties, so I was able to get four solid listings and a number of potential leads from just that one contact.
5. I call the homeowners. After I collect all the contact information I can, I will call each and every lead. I double check to make sure they are still interested in selling. I ask if I can list their property. I get further details on the property and asking price. I schedule an appointment to visit the property, tour it, and take photos. Then, I keep the ball rolling by asking each homeowner if they know of anyone else looking to sell their property. I gather the contact information for the new leads and call them. And, it keeps going.
6. I get the whole story and help with the asking price. When I am fact-checking on the properties, I tend to get the whole story about why the owner wants to sell. Sometimes these conversations can be a bit of a counseling session, sometimes they are more factual. The stories vary widely, but it usually boils down to the fact that the property no longer suits them despite the fact that they love it. Often I help the owners figure out how much to list the property for. I'll ask what they want from the sale and then add closing costs and sales commission.
I've found that hunting down new property listings is quite the adventure. I've got to be inventive and open to opportunity at all times. There's a lot of leg-work involved. It can be tremendously hard. But, I get to meet all sorts of new people. I get to explore more of Costa Rica than I might otherwise have done. I really love finding little gems hidden away and bringing them out to shine for my clients. If you are interested in subscribing to my blog or would like to keep up to date on my listings, please sign up at http://ackermanrealtyinternational.com/subscribe-today/.
Summary: Margo Ackerman describes what is involved in finding new properties for sale as a realtor in Costa Rica.