“I just didn’t find any VALUE.” My new friend said referring to his 2 week property search on the southern coast of Ecuador.
“The properties that cost $40-60k needed a lot of work or simply weren’t in a desireable location off the ocean. The other properties I found that were nice were more expensive, maybe starting around $90k… out of my budget.” He continued.
“Well, how’d you look?” I asked.
“I did an exhaustive search with most of the real estate agents in the area of my interest, having them take me to see their listings and even having one drive me around looking for ‘for sale’ signs. If we found something I would have had to pay him 3-5% commission on the find depending on the property price.” He said.
“Well, it doesn’t surprise me. You looked for property in Ecuador the WRONG way.” I said.
I continued, “You see, maybe that’s how you look for property in the US, but it’s A LOT different down here. The real estate agents here tend to focus on the higher-end of the market, logically, commission is a much nicer payout on a $200,000 property than a $30,000 one. And if the agents did find any real steals, they’d probably buy it themselves, fix it up a bit and then turn around and re-sell. I mean, wouldn’t we all? Who can blame them, business is business, it is what it is.”
I added, “Besides, Ecuador doesn’t really have a real estate agent culture yet, most prefer to sell by owner to avoid paying commissions. Agents should only be used TO AID your search, and as a good source of information.”
Should agents be used?
Absolutely. But they shouldn’t be the end all say all in Ecuador.
So how should you look?
First off, try making a local friend to help your search.
You know, someone that would help you for free, or maybe someone you could pay hourly or daily. Most in Ecuador would jump at the opportunity if you offered $100 for their whole day, much cheaper than paying someone commission. Heck, I could recommend a few that would be interested at that offer.
Secondly, sign up for my Weekly Ecuador Insider´s Newsletter, where you’ll learn everything YOU NEED TO KNOW before you look for property in Ecuador, you can unsubscribe at any time: