Let’s Get Real: There is No MLS in Costa Rica
Despite being considered a third world country by some standards, Costa Rica is full of modern conveniences. Internet access and cable television is basically a human right these days in most parts of the country and the tourism industry is completely accommodating to anything you can think of. However, when it comes to the real estate market in Costa Rica, there are some striking differences from what you might be used to in other countries like the United States or Canada.
One of the most obvious differences is that there is not a regulated Multiple Listing Service (MLS) where you can find all the listed properties for sale by region from licensed agents. In fact, there is no mandatory licensing system for real estate agents or agencies in Costa Rica. Nor are there designated buyer realtors and seller realtors who split the commission when a house sells like in North America in most cases.
The Real Deal on Costa Rica MLS
More often than not, real estate commissions in Costa Rica are considered a “finder’s fee” of sorts and are not exclusive to one agency or agent. Basically, any agent, agency, friend or your brother’s best friend’s cousin that acts as the referral when a property sells is eligible for the commission, which usually runs around 5% or more. This is why you’ll regularly see a property for sale in Costa Rica that is listed by several agents unless there is an exclusivity contract in place.
That being said, it is worthwhile to find a credible real estate agent who knows the ins and outs of buying property in Costa Rica. Even though standardized MLS accreditation isn’t the status quo, experience and familiarity can more than make up where government regulation is lacking. A reliable and trustworthy real estate agent will be your strongest guide and adviser when buying a home in Costa Rica.
Costa Rica realtors work together with certified Costa Rica attorneys to get you the property of your dreams. If you have any hesitations or concerns when purchasing real estate, make sure to double check with your lawyer that the seller has the right to sell the property along with the appropriate title paperwork.
As we’ve mentioned in other pages, CASA is not an MLS either. We are an independent and inclusive real estate database that is not associated with any real estate agencies or agents in Costa Rica. We simply provide an easy-to-use platform for sellers and buyers while building the best database in the country. We also never take a commission or act as realtor for any of our listings.