To FSBO or not FSBO Costa Rica: that is the question. Well, we’ll get to that. First, what is FSBO? Second, what are the advantages of using For Sale by Owner Costa Rica from a buyers perspective?
FSBO stands for For Sale By Owner Costa Rica, which is exactly what it sounds like: a property owner trying to sell their property in Costa Rica by themselves, without the assistance of a Costa Rica real estate agent.
Why on Earth would a property owner want to do that? And why on Earth would a buyer want to buy directly from a seller? Let’s discuss:
FSBO from a buyers perspective
Before you purchase, it is important you look at the FSBO from a buyers perspective. There’s really no benefit for a buyer to seek out FSBOs on their own. Consider:
It’s not saving you money
The real estate commission is paid by the seller, not you, the buyer. Also, a real estate professional will likely be able to negotiate a better deal than you can. Even if you see an FSBO ad, it makes sense to ask your real estate agent to contact the FSBO seller (who will likely then agree to pay a real estate commission and allow the agent to show the property).
Find the right area first
Looking at property in Costa Rica is more than just determining if you like a specific home for sale or not.
A real estate professional will work with you to find not just the right property but, first, the right area for you. You must consider your needs for schooling, medical attention, entertainment, shopping, transportation, etc. A good real estate agent in Costa Rica will want to find the right properties in Costa Rica for you that will suit ALL your needs (showing you both the good and the bad of an area and property), whereas an FSBO seller wants one thing only: to sell his home at any cost.
Many FSBO properties in Costa Rica have problems.
A property owner will sometimes choose to use a For Sale By Owner Costa Rica website in order to try and hide a problem. A good real estate professional will thoroughly check out a property in Costa Rica before they even list it (making sure it has clear title, no liens or claims, etc.). Also, they will likely be able to spot physical problems (easy to spot by a real estate professional in Costa Rica but not an out-of-town buyer) with a house upfront and make sure the seller fixes them (at least before a closing).
A real estate professional saves you headaches
If you’re not familiar with any area, in particular, it may be difficult to find the property in Costa Rica on your own. Plus, if you want to see multiple properties in Costa Rica, it’s difficult trying to arrange multiple appointments with For Sale By Owner sellers. A real estate agent in Costa Rica is used to these kinds of scheduling difficulties.
A real estate agent in Costa Rica will help you get in and get out quickly (if desired).
For the first visit to a home for sale, a buyer typically just wants to take a very brief look at the home for sale to see if it’s even worth further consideration. An FSBO seller will want to hold
you there as long as he can. But a real estate agent can help you look at multiple properties for sale very quickly, and then choose one or two (or three) that you really want to pursue, and then arrange follow-up visits to spend as much time as you want at the specific properties of interest.
Using a real estate agent in Costa Rica provides an emotional buffer between the buyer and seller both in viewing/discussing the property for sale and in the negotiation process (so you’re not directly intimidated by the seller).
In short, there is nothing to gain from an FSBO if you look at it from a buyers perspective. A good real estate agent makes sure everything is done correctly and that the whole process goes smoothly (we have been told numerous times by clients that, without our assistance, the transaction never would be completed).
Who will hold your hand?
A good real estate professional (especially those within the American-European network) will “hold your hand” BEFORE showing properties for sale (helping you decide which area is best for you), DURING the showing of properties for sale (helping you make the right decision on a specific property), and, more importantly, AFTER the purchase (providing whatever assistance you need to get started on your new life, from helping you set up utilities, showing you where to shop, helping you with banking, etc., which an FSBO seller is not going to do for you).
This is one of the reasons why those who DO go directly to an FSBO seller are a high percentage of those who return home within two years after moving here because they didn’t have the help of a real estate professional in Costa Rica to “hold their hand”.
This is part 1 of Patrick Mulheren’s blog about For Sale By Owner or FSBO. Real also the 2nd part of Patrick’s blog.
Contact Patrick to purchase or sell a property on the East side of San Jose. Contact Patrick now.