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Why should you use a buyer’s agent for a property search in Panama? What’s special about a real estate buyer’s agent anyway? Buyer’s agents work for you alone, the client, the person searching for an ideal property. Such an agent fully represents your interests, and very often this service comes at no charge to you! Hiring a buyer’s agent can be particularly helpful for property searches in real estate markets like Central America, where there is no fully functional, rational, and North American-style multiple listing service (MLS). This is the case for Panama.
Buyer’s agents in Panama work with clients from all over the world to help them find the home of their dreams and advise them on investments involving real estate. Such agents are present at every step of the buying process, from the initial search through closing on the property. In addition to holding a vast database of properties for sale and the time the agent dedicates to finding a home matching the buyer’s interests, a buyer’s agent also provides advice and support to make correct, informed decisions. Here are nine reasons why one should use a buyer’s agent when looking for a property in Panama.
The primary goal is understanding the buyer
Property buyer’s agents spend a lot of time with their clients to fully understand their wants, needs, and priorities. In addition to telling your agent what you’re looking for and what you absolutely must have, also be clear in communicating what you’re willing to compromise on. For example, you may think you want a house in Panama City's Costa del Este, but if there’s a fantastic apartment with plenty of space, in another city-center area like San Francisco or Obarrio, you may be happy to concede if you’re still getting everything else you want.
Finding commercial or investment opportunities
Instead of looking for a new permanent home or holiday home, you may (also) be looking to buy Panama real estate as an investment. If you’re interested in renting out your property to create a new income stream, a buyer’s agent will be able to tell you where the best rental markets are, and which seasons are the busiest. Good news: in many areas, like the Pacific Beaches of Panama, tourism buzzes year-round. Or, you may want to purchase property that will serve as a bed and breakfast, hotel or commercial rental. Your agent won’t just be able to find you suitable properties to consider, but they’ll also explain how much work needs to be done (if any) to get it up-and-running as a business. In addition, some agents specialize in agriculture-related investments in Central America, and can present advice on investment portfolio diversification.
Agents specialise in the specific area where you’re looking to buy
Teams and larger real estate offices that cater to buyers tend to have multiple consultants with specialties in specific regions. For example, RE/MAX agent Charlie Leary is based in Panama City and can cover all the main property hot spots in the country, however he also has a team member in Bocas del Toro, and his office, RE/MAX Freedom, has offices in David and Boquete too. Of course, RE/MAX, with the number one network of offices in the world, has offices in all the other international locations like Paris, London, Geneva and New York.
Buyer’s agents have access to hard-to-find properties
Local estate agents don’t necessarily have every listing in a specific area because they work on behalf of sellers, meaning they only have the properties that sellers have listed with them. If you’re looking for property in a popular destination, it’s best to work with a buyer’s agent. Not only will they have a broader selection than local real estate agents, but they will also know about properties for sale that are unlisted. This is common when there’s a high-profile seller who wants to keep the sale of their property confidential.
They have the best connections, too
Buyer’s agents also boast established, trustworthy connections. They can reach out to the top estate agents, lawyers, and sellers in your destination. Also, since agents have relationships with developers and large property owners, they’ll be able to find out information about a property that you may not discover on your own. By getting in-depth information about a property before purchasing it, you can decide if you’re able to take on the building’s challenges or would rather keep looking.
You don’t have to speak your destination’s language, Panamanian Spanish (yet)
While you will want to learn Spanish, you can go through the buying process without being fluent. Many agents are multilingual. They can speak your native language, the language of Panama, and additional languages if need be. This will be particularly helpful when trying to understand and negotiate finance, legal and tax issues.
Lots of effort goes into the research stage
A buyer’s agent often spends weeks or months researching a property for a client. That way, agents can accurately point out the strengths and weaknesses of the property so that you, the client, knows exactly what they’re getting into. When it’s time for the buyer to take a viewing trip, only the best, most suitable properties will be on your list. Handing over the research to a qualified and experienced Panama real estate agent means that you won’t be so wooed by a property’s high points (beach access, pool, heating, multiple outbuildings) that you miss drawbacks, like interior work that needs to be done or lack of parking for all your cars.
A buyer’s agent and his team will help with negotiations
Agents aren’t there just to find the perfect property and then leave you on your own. They’ll be present and active throughout the process and help negotiate a deal that’s in your best interests. They are trained and experienced in negotiation. Since the agent is acting for you as a buyer’s agent, he is not partial to any specific seller, and he will be objective when offering his advice or opinion. Buyer’s agents have also trained in negotiation techniques, both through places such as RE/MAX University as well as regular university and professional courses. This is something to look for when selecting an agent.
Hiring an agent often doesn't cost you anything
Service is most often free to the buyer because the real estate agent earns part of the sales fee. The fact that you’re a valuable client only if you’re entirely thrilled with the homes you’re presented means that the agent will work for you until you’re happy with the outcome. It’s in everyone’s best interest to wait until the right property is found rather than try to force you into a deal you don’t want. Sometimes, a buyer’s agent in Panama will have to ask you to cover his commission, but that is only in cases where vendors or other agents will not cooperate on paying commissions.