“How much for the house?” I asked.
“$175k.” The real estate agent in Guayaquil, Ecuador responded.
“Humm, that’s funny.” I thought.
Cause I just spoke to someone (the owner) 5 minutes ago who told me the place was for sale for $170k.
But I wasn’t surprised.
You see, in a country not used to using real estate agents, most sellers and buyers don’t like paying commissions, they’re not “broken in” to it like we are in North America.
So some agents at times will “markup” the property like this in order to make their money.
And buyers and sellers know this, and often prefer to scout out the owner of the property to do deals directly, bypassing the agent.
But this isn’t all…
Other agents will show you one of their listings, then out of the blue tell you that you, the buyer, owe them a commission as well as the seller.
I’ve seen other agents try to charge a 6% or even 8% commission, which for me is just steep. (Most agents in Ecuador charge around 3%.)
Other agents (foreigners primarily) will charge you by the hour just to drive you around, which is fine as long as they tell you they’re going to do that beforehand.
Which sometimes they don’t.
And many agents in Ecuador will agree to sell your property but only use it as a “bait and switch” in order to lure buyers in so they can sell another property they have a direct hand in.
No mistake about it.
Ecuador, with no organized MLS listing system, remains the wild west of property investing where you really have to know what you’re doing to find the best deals, just like I teach in my full guide.
And yes, there are also a lot of good, ethical agents in Ecuador, too, some of which even licensed, worth their weight in gold.
Just keep “yo’ head on a swivel”. If you know what I mean.
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