Tips for Buyers

Interested in buying a property in Costa Rica? Review our buyer tips for an overview of the process.

1) Know the Process. Here is a basic list of what happens and the appropriate steps along the way.

- Sign an Contract to Purchase with the seller of the property.
- Make an earnest deposit.  This is negotiable with the Seller.
- Have your attorney run a title search on the property.
- Close on the sale.
- Register yourself or corporation as the owner with the Registro.

2) Find a Reputable Real Estate Agent. You may or may not be experienced with buying real estate (especially in Costa Rica).  Hiring someone is engaged in this process as their profession can save you time and money.  Your agent will also be familiar with the pros and cons of different neighborhoods, and can also give you a better idea of the intrinsic value of the property.

3) Hire an Attorney. Hiring an attorney is useful in many aspects, especially if you are new to buying property in Costa Rica.  Reputable agents can recommend attorneys they have worked well with in the past.  An attorney will also be able to confirm that the title on the property is clear of major liens and that the land survey presented to you matches that survey in the Public Registry.  Propertyshelf verifies all this information on all listings within its MLS, but it is impossible to prevent deliberate deception.  Consult an attorney.  It is better to be safe than sorry.

4) Review Financing Options. While in most cases, it is possible to receive bank financing through Costa Rican Institutions, it is typically easier and cheaper to receive financing in your native country.  Also, be sure to inquire as to what owner financing (if any) is available with the property.  Many foreign buyers receive financing via equity in other properties in their home country which allows them to put forward a cash offer and increases their negotiating power.

5) Have Fun. This is a great opportunity to see what’s on the market.  There are many different styles of properties, so decide what works best for you.  Talk to the locals.  Visit the neighboring towns.  Learn all you can about your new neighborhood before making a purchase offer.

6) Don’t let Buyer’s Remorse get the Best of You. You have chosen to buy in Costa Rica for a host of reasons, and we hope you enjoy your purchase for many years into the future!

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