Often people come to Costa Rica and have no idea where they want to live or buy property. This is one reason we strongly recommend that you rent for 6 months to a year before jumping in and buying property. Since there is no MLS or central registry of property there is really no way to see all the properties that are available.
There are no laws in Costa Rica that require realtors to have any experience or training. Realtors here are not required to be licensed. Any taxi driver or store clerk can claim realtor status. There are no professional organizations they must join, though there are realtor associations. Anybody, at any time, can represent themselves as an expert realtor.
There is no Multiple Listing Service (MLS) in Costa Rica. Several people have tried to start one, but in order for an MLS to work, all (or nearly all) realtors must be members and reports all sales to the MLS who then maintains pricing information comparisons (comps). These comps would help both buyer and seller to assign a realistic value to a property.
There are a ton of agents here both good and bad. You must be careful when choosing a realtor as all are not looking out for your best interest and often time there is a dual pricing problem. The better realtors act as the go-between and provide introductions to realtors and potential buyers. The right realtor can provide a valuable service. These agents often have knowledge of available properties in several locations. Different realtors will have different properties so often times it is best to check with several realtors to see more options when it comes to finding that right home for your family.
One example of how different realtors are needed…We have our home listed for sale with 11 different realtors at the present time and in order to give us maximum exposure and it would help to list it with even more.