Robert* fell head over heels for a million-dollar home in Costa Rica and closed the sale while he was there. Barely a year later, he asked us how to sell his property without losing all of the money that he invested.
“His home definitely wasn’t worth a million… it never was,” states Louise Rémillard, a realtor specialized in foreign properties.
“If we think a foreign property is a good deal based on our frame of reference, it might not be after all,” she adds. “This is why you need to deal with a professional that knows the local market.”
Local expertise is key
“It’s impossible to know the ins and outs of every country,” notes Rémillard.
“You’d want to work with a realtor specialized in the country — and region — that you’re interested in.”
To find the right professional, contact a Canadian realtor affiliated with an extensive international network who can put you in touch with an expert in the region. Your local advisor can help you determine the best location for your needs, what you should budget, financing conditions and the regulations in effect. They can also help you figure out the local paperwork, which is often in a foreign language. Remember that what may seem straightforward at first can quickly become complex if any issues come up.
“You want to avoid paying too much, or buying a property on the wrong beach, where you can’t swim with your grandkids,” says Rémillard. “And it can be costly to buy a condo in a complex with a mismanaged contingency fund.”[……]