Costa Rican real estate is no longer the Wild West. (We’ll get into that below.) Today, you can reap the benefits of using a realtor in Costa Rica. You can find true and ethical experts in their fields. And, if you know where and how to search – as well as how to verify credentials – then you, too, can hire a licensed, legal, and highly professional real estate agent in Costa Rica.

Here’s how and why.

Benefit #1: They’ll Be Your Advocate and Ally

Costa Rica real estate advocate

Whether you’re a buyer or a seller, a professional real estate agent in Costa Rica – keyword: professional – will be your staunchest advocate and ally throughout the entire process.

Because, while this is a professional relationship, we also know it’s a personal one. And that’s one of the biggest benefits of using a realtor in Costa Rica: We get to know you. Because, here’s a question: When was the last time someone listened to you? Really listened.

At Blue Water Properties, that’s the heart of what we do. We take the time to build a true relationship. And that’s huge, when you take into account that this isn’t your home country, you likely don’t speak Spanish real-estatese, and you may not always know even what questions to ask. (See benefit #5.)

Having a trusted supporter on your side – and knowing that support is backed by legal obligations, professional requirements, and other standards (keep reading) – is key to a smooth process and your peace of mind.

Benefit #2: They’ll Show You Every Property on the Market

Costa Rica realtor show all properties

In other words, don’t waste your time and energy trying to get to know several different agents who will show you the same properties. That’s no longer necessary.

While it was once true that you had to double- or even triple-up on the services of a professional real estate agent in Costa Rica in order to see even a portion of what was available, that’s no longer correct. Costa Rica’s real estate profession has improved by leaps and bounds, and we’re so happy about it!

With the evolution of our industry, we’ve also improved our networking and inter-agent collaboration, while creating the first Costa Rica MLS (see benefit #4). This means that when you choose a licensed agent (see benefit #3), you’ll have access not only to all MLS-listed properties, but also to a network that spans hundreds of agents who work together in partnership.

Bottom line: We can show you any property that’s on the market, provided it’s listed by an agent. (Many beach property owners don’t live in Costa Rica, so if they list FSBO, there’s often no one in-country to show their property. Call us!)

Benefit #3: They’re Held to High Professional Standards (via CRGAR)

Costa Rica real estate professional standards CRGAR

One of the best things to happen to Costa Rican real estate is CRGAR, the Costa Rica Global Association of REALTORS®. Founded 18 years ago, the association committed to supporting Costa Rican real estate laws, mandatory licensing, and related efforts.

You’re probably already familiar with Realtor®, a registered trademark and a select sub-section of real estate agents and brokers who adhere to higher ethical standards and a specific Code of Ethics. Put simply, all Realtors® are licensed real estate agents but not all licensed real estate agents are Realtors®.

All CRGAR members are Realtors® – and all Blue Water Properties agents are CRGAR Realtors® – and that means we undergo an application process, must complete a required 12-month series of professional education, and are also required to operate under specific ethical and professional standards.

CRGAR Realtors® also reside and work legally (not always a given in Costa Rica, see benefit #6), pay our due taxes, and contribute in other ways to Costa Rican society. We’re also the driving force behind the new MLS, which is en route to revolutionizing our business and industry.

Benefit #4: Get Access to the First & Only Costa Rica MLS

benefits of using a realtor in Costa Rica MLS

If we had to choose the top benefits of using a realtor in Costa Rica, it would be this: Costa Rica’s new MLS, which is not only changing the face of Costa Rican real estate but is poised to revolutionize your own personal experience with buying and selling real estate here.

Among other benefits, Costa Rica’s Omni MLS guarantees:

  • Transparency: We finally have a centralized, accurate, and reputable database of listed and sold real estate.
  • Comparative Market Analysis: We now have access to a full suite of comparative information – asking price, price per square foot/square meter, bedrooms/bathrooms, time on market, and a lot more – making it easier to price your property competitively and solidify that stance via hard numbers, when we come to the negotiating table.
  • Availability: No longer will buyers be side-tracked by listings that have long since gone off the market; they’ll be served only those properties that are currently available, at a currently accurate market price.
  • CountryWide Listings: No longer will a buyer’s agent (or a buyer) be forced to hop around from one listing engine to another; with the new Costa Rica MLS, they’ll be able to search any national listing with just one click. And that makes your property more accessible to more buyers.
  • Greater Real Estate Professionalism: Only licensed agents have access to the MLS, meaning both your seller’s agent (that’s us) and the buyer’s agent are guaranteed to operate under specific ethical and professional standards.
  • And more! Read about the new MLS’s full suite of benefits.

Important: And at Blue Water Properties, all our agents are licensed and have access to the system.

Benefit #5: They Offer Hyper-Local Expertise

Costa Rica local expertise

A true, ethical, and professional real estate agent in Costa Rica will not purport to cover a wide swath of Costa Rica; that’s what we have our brokerage and real estate network for. Instead, great agents focus on a single area – and in Guanacaste, that’s often a small area of only a few nearby towns or square miles – and thus, provide the level of hyper-local expertise critical to your decision-making.

Here’s why that matters: Costa Rica is a new country and, even if you’re well-traveled, it’s still a bit of a brave, new world. There will always be surprises and adjustments, with many factors to consider, both from the buyer/seller and lifestyle standpoints.

For example, how can you minimize your capital gains tax obligations upon sale? Or, before you buy, have you considered all those oh-we-didn’t-realize! details about living in Costa Rica, including microclimates and infrastructure, access to utilities and necessities (ex. major medical services, international schools, the airport, etc.)?

There is so much to consider, much of it very specific to a single area. What you may not know is that Blue Water Properties currently offers three locations (more to come!), centered around the areas of TamarindoPlayas del Coco, and Playa Negra. Our team – the largest independent team in Guanacaste, by the way! – files each listing with the office closest to the property’s location, so you’re guaranteed an agent who knows the neighborhood well.

Benefit #6: They’re Legal

benefits of using a realtor in Costa Rica legalities

While we’re on the topic of the crucial benefits of using a realtor in Costa Rica, let’s talk about legalities.

Lots of outdated internet resources seem to claim that Costa Rican real estate is still the “Wild West.” That’s because it once was, to some extent: Anyone could hang out a sign and call themselves an agent. No more!

Today, it’s 2023 and there ARE minimum legal requirements now and there IS such a thing as verifiable, trustworthy real estate credentials in Costa Rica. To be sure you’re hiring someone above board, legal, and by the book, request their credentials and confirm:

  1. That they are either a Costa Rican citizen or resident with the right to work (libre de condición).
  2. That they are registered with Hacienda (the Costa Rican tax authority), for the specific professional service(s) (servicios profesionales) they offer. This will always fall under the category of servicios inmobiliarios (real estate services); from there, there are several tax categories that your Costa Rica real estate agent may choose.
  3. That they are registered with SUGEF (the Financial Institution Superintendency), which now requires any professional real estate agent in Costa Rica (as we deal in large financial transactions) to register, so the superintendency can guarantee that everything proceeds smoothly and is above board with your purchase and/or sale.
  4. That they are a member of either CRGAR or the CCCBR (the Costa Rican Chamber of Real Estate Agents), to guarantee their ongoing education and adherence to the highest professional and ethical standards.

Get in Touch with a Professional Real Estate Agent in Costa Rica

Get in Touch Blue Water Properties of Costa Rica

At Blue Water Properties of Costa Rica, helping people like you just happens to be one of our fortes. We’re happy to help you in any way we can. We can talk about locations and costs of living, schools and lifestyle. We can refer you to real estate attorneys or other sources of information, and share our own experiences and lessons learned.

As a company and as people, we thrive on relationships and promise the fastest communication and best services in the industry. And that begins with lots of information. We are happy to answer your questions and point you in the right direction, even if you’re only in the beginning phases of planning your future move.

We’re proud to offer some of the best Costa Rica real estate, from condos and homes to land and businesses for sale. So, go ahead – try us. Give us a chance to show off our expertise – and wow you with the possibilities! We look forward to it.