After having spent a few years working as a real estate agent in Costa Rica's southern zone, I've started to notice something important. And that is that most agents, especially beach-focused agents, tend to gravitate more towards being seller's agents than Costa Rica buyer's agents.
The name of the game for success in real estate in the ultra-competitive beach market is listings, listings, listings. The more and better "exclusive" listings you have the more interest you will attract and the more deals you will close. The agents down there with the most quality listings tend to be the most successful. That's a winning strategy, no doubt about it. Most quality listings are taken exclusively down at the beach these days. That means that the seller/owner is giving that particular agent an exclusive right to sell his or her home and you can bet your bottom dollar that the listing agent will be working for that seller and not for you.
I've always been sort of a rebel. And once again I'm trying to break the mold. For one thing I live in the mountains, even though I'm an agent with Coldwell Banker Dominical Real Estate, the agency down at the beach with the longest and arguably most successful track record. I live only about 40 minutes from the beach office, but since I'm really not part of the beach scene, I don't try to list properties down there. There are already something like 200 agents working along the beach and it's just not worthwhile for me to even try and list beach properties. However, I routinely show properties of beach agents to my buyer customers.
I operate under the "MO" of being an unbiased agent/consultant who will expose you to the two very distinct worlds of Costa Rica southern zone mountains and beaches, so that you can make the absolute best choice between them. It even says that right on the home page of my web site!
I guess you could therefore say that I tend to gravitate more towards being a buyer's agent than a seller's agent.
What does that even matter, you ask?
Well, I believe it matters greatly to those expat minded folks who want to live in Costa Rica, but don't quite know where. In that case, the last thing you want is a seller's agent who is more concerned with selling her listing to you than she is in making sure you are buying into the location that will suit you the best.
Are you catching my drift?
Now, of course, some buyers already know for certain that they want a 2-bedroom home with pool and ocean view on an acre of land in Ojochal. In that case, why not go with the agent who has the most of those exact types of homes that you know you want to buy? I can't argue with you on that point. You're probably not my type of customer.
However, there are many wannabe expats who don't already know all that. And for those guys and gals my unbiased agent/consultant shtick might be the better ticket.
In our area you have this distinct choice of mountains and beaches. They are not the same and don't let anyone tell you they are. Beach agents do not want you looking around in the mountains and will dissuade you from doing so. Many who have bought down at the beach still don't even know of the beauty and quality lifestyle that abounds in the mountains only an hour, or less, away.
I am one of the few mountain-focused agents in our area and probably the one who's been around the longest. As such I would love for you to experience our mountains, which are so close to the most gorgeous coastline Costa Rica has to offer, the Costa Ballena. However, I also won't hesitate to show you all the beach properties you want to see...
But (and this is a big BUTT), I will be doing so as your unbiased Costa Rica buyer's agent.
I hope you now understand the difference.
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