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Real Estate FAQ | How long to sell a home in Costa Rica

Real Estate FAQ | How long to sell a home in Costa RicaHow long to sell a home in Costa Rica is a real estate FAQ or a frequently asked question in Costa Rica real estate. The short answer on this FAQ is – That depends on you, the owner! Supply and demand conditions determine the price to ask for a property, not the wishes of the seller.

A motivated seller will want the property to sell really fast and will listen to professional advice. For lack of motivation, properties in Costa Rica take more than 6 months to sell. I have seen homes on the market for 7 years.

When I list a property for sale, the first question I ask homeowners is how fast they want to sell. An overpriced property takes forever to sell.

Why overpricing?

The reason for a high sales price does not have anything to do with the market value of a home, only their wishes. A few reasons for overpricing are:

  • I need to buy another house that is going to cost me an X amount.
  • This is my nest egg and I need to retire with this money.
  • I have 4 children and they all need a new condo from the proceeds.

No rush

It is quite customary that sellers take very long to sell a property in Costa Rica because they are not in a rush. They prefer a high price and take their time to sell. They usually end up lowering their price little by little. So by the time the property sells, years have gone by. Time and money are wasted.

Property tax

Property tax is cheap in Costa Rica, with only 0.25% of the registered value in the municipality. Therefore, property owners often do not care how long to sell.

How to?

So how can you, as a seller be sure it doesn’t take forever to sell your property?

Call as many agents as you can for a listing appointment. Ask the agents to suggest a listing price. Don’t tell them at what asking price you would prefer to list your property.

Listen to those agents. If they’re professional agents, they will know what the home should sell for. Also, ask them how long to sell the property.

Other reasons

There are other reasons it takes forever to sell a property in Costa Rica:

1.       Bad curb appeal

2.       The need for TLC

3.       Title problems

4.       Horrible listing photos

5.       Bad smells


Although rent to buy or a lease-buy option is not very customary, this might be a possibility to sell your house quicker, if you need to move to another country soon. The reason that you don’t see this form of moving on often is that those looking for a rent to buy, usually don’t have a large earnest money amount to put down.

This is a collection of Costa Rica real estate FAQ – frequently asked questions that I have put together to help you in buying or selling a home. Do you have any other questions that are not listed in our FAQ blog? Then feel free to leave them in the comment section below or send me a request. You can also subscribe to our FREE weekly newsletter, The Easy Times, below.

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Ivo Henfling

Your West-side of San Jose real estate agent, covering Escazu and Santa Ana, Rohrmoser and Ciudad Colon. If you are looking to buy a home in Costa Rica or invest in a condo anywhere in the Central Valley or looking for any property for sale in Escazu or Santa Ana, you need to contact Costa Rica real estate agent Ivo Henfling. Ivo has been selling Costa Rica real estate on the westside of San Jose, in the locations of Rohrmoser, Sabana, Escazu, Santa Ana and Ciudad Colon for over 20 years and can show you hundreds of happy buyers of real estate in Escazu and those other areas. For Ivo, a deal is not a good one unless both buyer and seller are happy.

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2 thoughts on “Real Estate FAQ | How long to sell a home in Costa Rica”

  • harriet latimer

    2 April, 2018 at 11:01 pm

    Do you have to be a resident to buy a house if the owner is going to finance the sell? What are the chances of leasing with the option to buy? Can you be a Pensionado to purchase or a Rentista. If a house is listed at $199,000 is this the assessed value of the property? If the assessed value must be $200,000
    I do not understand. Any information would be greatly appreciated.Thank you!

    • Ivo Henfling

      3 April, 2018 at 9:34 am

      Thank you for your comments and questions.

      With owner financing, you don’t need to be a resident. You can purchase real estate by using your passport.

      To live here, you need to be a resident, unless you travel out of the country every 6 months. They call that a perpetual tourist.

      You can be Pensionado or Rentista, when you are either one of those, you are a resident and you can get bank financing (depending on your credit score)

      If a house is listed at $199K, that’s just an asking price. For mortgage reasons, the lender will have an appraiser to appraise the property and see if the LTV (loan to value) is ok.

      On the other hand, the assessed value is the one that is registered in the Municipality (the one that’s needed to get the residency). That value doesn’t have anything to do with the asking price or even the sales price. There can easily be $30,000 difference.

      Which agent is attending you?


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