Buying property in a foreign country can be daunting, so a great real estate agent is vital. Unlike North America, there is no real estate licensing in the Dominican Republic. Unfortunately, anyone can call themselves a “realtor”, and there is much more to being an agent than just wanting to be one. Here are some checkpoints to look for when choosing a real estate agent in the DR:
Ask how long your realtor has been selling property in the Dominican Republic. The laws, marketplace, and much more are very different from North America. Experience counts, and information is power. Many people move to the DR and want to start selling real estate. While a new realtor can learn and be great, they need to be backed by a long standing, experienced brokerage. DR Properties has been operating for over 17-years, and one of our partners for almost 30-years in the DR working with buyers, developers, governments and more.
- Maturity and Integrity
Your realtor will be dealing with what is likely one of the biggest investments of your life. Emotional maturity, patience, problem solving skills, strategic thinking and commitment are necessary to give you the best service possible. Without these traits, you are investing with someone who will not represent you well.
- Service Can’t Stop with the Sale
Working with buyers in the DR is very different than with buyers who are purchasing a primary residence in their home city. They are coming to a whole new country and count on their realtor to provide all the information they need – not only in the real estate marketplace, but also with area orientation, banking, shopping, medical services, insurance, and much more. A truly great realtor understands this and is willing to put in their time helping you adjust and feel comfortable with your purchase and new country. We believe in going way past the extra mile and love that our clients become friends too.
- In-Depth Market Awareness
A solid understanding of new developments, current properties on the market, how they should be priced and what they should sell for is paramount. A good realtor knows the marketplace like the back of their hand. There is no MLS system in the DR, so realtors can’t do a systematic market analysis from a centralized source. They must know every area and individual developments so they can provide timely information to you, the buyer. They must rely on a strong market awareness and be constantly evaluating pricing. Also imperative is to know which developments are sound, have proper titles, environmental impacts, etc.
- Understanding Dominican Republic real estate and other laws
Your realtor needs to know how to navigate the laws in the DR, how real estate laws effect buyers, parameters, etc. Things like property tax and transfer tax and how much buyers need to pay are good examples. There are many layers to a sale, and buyers need help with all details of their purchase and life in the DR.
- Exceptional Communication Skills
As agents, we deal with buyers daily. The ability to effectively communicate – particularly since we are selling in a foreign country is vital. Active listening then clear and concise communication to potential buyers paves the way for them to understand the process, the dollars and cents, and eases their way into living life full time or part time in the DR.
- Strong working relationships with lawyers, appraisers, rental companies, decorators, handymen, builders and more
Realtors in the DR need to have a team of service providers to assist buyers, before and after the sale. And as importantly, these providers need to be reputable, well-respected in their industries, and provide outstanding service. A vast network of connections is important.
- Astute Negotiating Skills
The ability to negotiate with finesse and maturity is necessary. Oftentimes, we represent the buyer and the seller. Knowing how to get a fair deal for each, while meeting needs, requires a deep level of understanding of people, laws, timelines, and more. It’s our job to get our buyers what they want, at a fair price, all the while ensuring we act with the utmost honesty.
But how can you be sure?
- Do your research. Check on how long a realtor has operated in the DR. Thoroughly read their websites, check them out on social media and Google reviews.
- Ask others. There are lots of social media pages where you can ask if anyone has experience using them to purchase.
- Ask to speak to former clients. Have a list of very pointed questions that encourage conversation and details.
- Follow your instincts. We often get a sense of someone. If you’re spidey senses detect something is off, follow them and move on. If something seems to be too good to be true (example: really high rental returns), it probably is.
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