Quite often, we get a request from a realtor in another country to list a property on our MLS. Just last week, a realtor from Carson City emailed me “I am a listing agent in Nevada (USA) who is working with a seller in Costa Rica.
The seller would like me to list the property on American-European.com. Can you please let me know what steps I need to take to list the property on this website?”
Why would a seller who lives in Carson City, NV use a realtor in Carson City to sell his property in Curridabat, Costa Rica?
Wouldn’t you want to hire a listing agent who knows the Curridabat area, the schools, the nice neighborhoods and who can recommend on how to price the property right and therefor attracts buyers for tour property?
If there are no real estate agents in Curridabat, you would probably look for an agent in San Jose or even in Tres Ríos.
I have absolutely no idea what a realtor in Carson City could ever be able to do for a seller with a property in Curridabat except for uploading the listing on some websites.
Long time ago
A long time ago, we were having that same problem on our Costa Rica MLS. An agent from Heredia, would list a property located in Turrialba, some 4 hours away from his office. Then, another agent on the MLS had a client who was interested in looking at that Turrialba property so buyer’s agent called the listing agent to make an appointment to show the property. The listing agent said that the drive was too far. He gave the buyer’s agent directions of the property and the seller’s phone number and expected to receive half the commission if a sale was made. That was when we decided to make some changes to the MLS bylaws.
We are in Costa Rica
In Costa Rica, we already have plenty of agents who will just list a property on every website they can find with the information and photos supplied by the seller, without ever getting to know the property, in the hope of scoring a buck. So for what reason would you hire an agent in another country who doesn’t even speak Spanish?
What can a local listing agent do for a seller?
- First of all, local agents have connections with other local agents and agents from other areas.
- A local agent attracts buyers who are interested in the particular area that he or she is working and promoting.
- Agents who have properties listed all over the country do so because of lack of experience and lack of being known for their niche market. They’re usually agents who are still wet behind the ears.
- The local listing agent knows the area, where the schools are located, how good or bad they are. They also know where to find a dentist and a gynecologist and where to make new friends.
- Consequently, this listing agent will know how the local market behaves, what price properties sell for, and is able to give a recommendation of how to price a property in the area they work in.
Of course a local agent would first visit the property for sale to see if any work needs done before listing the property. It speaks for itself that the agent from Carson City would never do that. An agent who lives in another country would just accept the price the seller suggests. THAT is the reason we created the AE MLS over 20 years ago.
The MLS bylaws
Like I said, we decided to change the bylaws on the MLS because we started it to professionalize our affiliate agents. Although real estate is not regulated in Costa Rica, at least on our MLS we oblige our affiliate agents to live by the rules.
Our MLS bylaws state that:
- A property can only be listed when the property has been visited in person by the listing agent.
- If an agent lists a property, he/she is obliged to show it personally to the buyer. Unless he/she can delegate this to another person in the office who is knowledgeable about the property and its details.
- It is prohibited to send the buyer alone to see the property or with someone who is not part of the listing agent’s office.
Exclusive listing agreement
Realtors do sign exclusive listing agreements in some areas of Costa Rica, mainly in the beach areas. All the agents work together. The Carson City agent you hired might put in time and effort to help marketing your property worldwide. Instead of asking a local agent to list the property on the MLS, a good proposal might make sense. Do your homework before you sign a listing agreement with anyone.
My recommendation: For all the obvious reasons, hire a local real estate agent when looking for a listing agent. Contact us now
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