Brokers and agents at Investments and Properties El Tucan strive to assist our clients in every possible way from initial contact through the sale of property to post-sale assistance. The process of full-service starts with listing saleable properties, then responding to client inquiries by email or phone, welcoming persons who visit and arranging itineraries, showing properties and offering pre-sale services, handling client purchase offers and communicating with buyer's attorney, and extending as many post-sale services as may be required.
When a person emails or phones about properties we strive to respond promptly and fully. (Email is preferred as then we can keep complete client records). It is helpful to us to better help you if the information form Client Information and Preferences is completed and emailed to us. When a person visits we will arrange hotel accommodations if desired, first night perhaps near the airport and then in the area where you will be viewing properties. If you wish recommendations for an attorney or for assistance in residency we can recommend such assistance, see Legal Services Recommended. Ask us about schools, hospitals, or any personal need that you may have. We will arrange an itinerary for you. If you are searching for a business investment we will email you all kinds of information that will inform you about the type of investment that interests you, see Investment Opportunities. Or go here if you would like to know about Tourism Business or CommercialProperty .
The services extended by your El Tucan agent do not end once you buy the property. We will stick with you and help you in whatever way we can. Normally, there are no fees involved in this as we have been paid a commission by the seller. In the event that a buyer needs extensive assistance in property management we will locate a qualified manager or in some cases one of our staff may be able to assist for a reasonable management fee.
For example, El Tucan agent Jorge Ulate, an agronomist by profession, manages several coffee farms near San Ramon that our clients have purchased but are not in the country. He has also helped clients not in the country to engage and oversee contractors improving a property with roads and construction. Also in the San Ramon area we have a relationship with a qualified builder, Wilbur Arias (husband of agent Stephanie Feeney Arias). Our agent for Northern Costa Rica, Deiber Camacho, also heads a construction company that includes architectural and engineering services. He can arrange for road improvement, electricity, or home construction.
Buyers must remember that it is their obligation to take the sale transaction documents to the local Municipality, register there the property transfer and pay property taxes. Property taxes in Costa Rica are quite low, due in January, and can be paid annually. If you are not in the country ask your realtor to do this for you. You can also ask your realtor to double check that the property transfer to you has been properly recorded at the Registro Nacional. (You can check this yourself by going to www.registronacional.go.cr and entering the property ID number or your name or Sociedad Anónima).
The purchase of a home is not likely to require a lot of post-sale assistance. However, rural properties often need improvement of access road or utilities. For example, the public road that leads to your property may be gravel in bad condition. Your agent will visit the office of the Municipality responsible for road maintenance to see what they can do. Often this will result in a cost sharing arrangement. If no public funds are available then the agent will get a quote from a local company to improve the road. Generally, this will range from $1,000 to $1,500 per 100 meters gravel roadway, about $3,000 per 100 meters more for asphalt. (Internal road and easement improvements are always at the cost of the property owner).
If the electric and telephone lines need extending the agent with contact the state utility, ICE, to see if they will provide, other wise the cost will be around $2,500 per 100 meters of line. Potable water is almost always available in Costa Rica and the cost of extending water lines is not very much. Your agent will help with gaining estimates for home construction from local contractors. Cost may vary from $45 to $60 square foot for cement construction or higher depending upon construction materials and finishings. For absentee owners your agent will assist in property security and maintenance. If the property purchased is for business purposes then you will need a lot more advice and assistance. To find out more about this see the pages Business and Investments.
Our website has a large number of property listings in each of the categories that constitute our specialties. Currently these are homes in Heredia, business properties of all classes, and homes, farms, and building sites in San Ramon and the Northern Zone. We will be adding staff to augment our geographical areas and classes of properties that we deal with.
Property values in Costa Rica have been going up in recent years. In beach areas in particular prices are now sky-high. We do not deal with beach properties, or with overpriced properties in any location. Many owners have an exaggerated view of what their home or land is worth. In deciding whether or not to list a property we do an appraisal based on comparative values in that location for that class of property. This is not always easy as there is no data base for determining property values in Costa Rica.
We do have a bank appraiser on our staff, Omar Arroyo. We negotiate a listing price with the owner. If an owner insists on asking an above market price we refuse the listing. Buyers should be aware that many realty agents in Costa Rica will accept a listing at any price asked by the seller. Also some realtors engage in practice of over-pricing a property such that they collect a large commission. El Tucan commissions are standard and we never over-price.
El Tucan staff only list properties that are well researched and documented. For each property we will have on file a Survey (Plano Catastro), a title search from the data banks of the Registro Nacional (Estudio del Registro), and for lots, building sites or investment properties a Zoning Statement (Uso de Suelo). For rural properties in particular we will inform the buyer of the condition of access roads, location and availability of electric service, water, and telephone lines. Sometimes there are restrictions that a buyer must know about, such as setbacks from rivers or forest preservation requirements. We also check if there is any danger from flood, landslides, volcano eruption or other hazards. For investment properties we have on file for some properties business plans for property development and if we do not have a plan prepared we will do one based on buyer's ideas about property development.
Our approach with clients is low key, no hard selling, total honesty about defects of a property as well as its virtues. We will recommend alternatives that should or can be viewed.
There are no restrictions on foreigners buying property in Costa Rica and they will be legally treated in the same manner as Costa Ricans. If a client wishes to purchase a property the El Tucan broker or agent involved will negotiate terms between buyer and seller until a verbal agreement is reached. Upon agreement on terms the broker will draft a Real Estate Contract and refer this to the Buyer's attorney so that the attorney can draw-up a legally binding Sales Contract. Sales Contracts will include: