Buying a property can be a stressful situation. It’s possibly one of the most important investments you’ll make, so you need to make sure that you hire an experienced professional to help.
In these perilous market times, it’s an absolute must to find a full-time REALTOR® to act for you, instead of a part-timer. You’d be surprised at the number of ‘agents’ there are in the Dominican Republic who’ll half-heartedly act for you, won’t help in the closing of the deal, and sit back waiting for a commission.
The advantages of using a full-time, professional real estate agent are obvious:
- They have proven results from previous experience
- They can anticipate any problems
- They have a solid, secure reputation among their peers
- They know and understand the local market and its complexities
- They have strong negotiation techniques and will do what’s needed to ensure you get the best deal
- They have great connections to other professionals, including mortgage lenders, home inspectors, appraisers, general contractors and pest inspectors
Before choosing your agent, ask questions – LOTS of questions! How does the buying process work in the Dominican? What are the closing costs? What taxes are applicable? Does your agent work with any local bank or financial institution offering a loan?
Many so-called ‘agents’ are unaware of the subtleties of the market and will tell you it’s almost impossible for a foreign buyer to get a loan. This is patently untrue; they’ll only say that to ensure they get a cash sale.
Verify that he or she’s a member of the National Association of Realtors. You want someone who’s well-educated, up to date on current issues and who has a solid idea of professional conduct and ethics.
Check for additional training, and alliances with other professional organizations. You might be impressed by qualifications like Search Engine Optimization training, E-listing Certification and other fancy-looking diplomas on the wall, but these are typically meaningless in a land where real estate is not regulated.
Likewise, don’t be tempted to hire the self-proclaimed mega-star “top producer” real estate agent. A lot of times they’re just machines snapping up every listing they can get- and overpricing them so they don’t sell (usually these are listings they rent out to vacation renters so they need that income.)
And this is CRUCIAL:
NEVER here someone who is working a different day job, who doesn’t make the time to meet you during your visit. Many ‘agents’ start out doing vacation rentals to get into the business; for them, it never amounts to more than a part-time gig to earn some extra cash.
Remember: it’s YOUR money you’re investing. Don’t waste it with time-wasters!