Foreigners sometimes do not realize the potential pitfalls of purchasing real estate from local Colombian realtors, or even worse, from non-realtors. Perhaps some buyers think they will save money or find a bargain by dealing with a realtor other than firms like Lifeafar which specializes in assisting foreign buyers with all aspects of the purchase process. Uniformed buyers do not realize that the real estate business is not licensed so anybody can earn a commission including friends and relatives of the seller, taxi drivers, porteros (doormen at the buildings), bartenders, attorneys and others. Thus there can be a lot of built in conflicts of interest, broken promises and misinformation when purchasing real estate in Colombia.
Consider the following regarding local Colombian realtors (and non-realtors):
- They don’t provide proper assistance in bringing buyers funds into Colombia
- They don’t provide registration of funds assistance (critical and you can be subject to fines if not done correctly plus have trouble repatriating your funds)
- They don’t provide experienced ethical bi lingual real estate legal services and support
- They often do not have bi lingual sales agents
- They often do not provide physical inspections to be sure parking and utility rooms are correct as well as basic inclusion of all required items such as water heaters, window treatments, light fixtures, ovens, etc.
- They do not provide term sheets
- They often will show properties that have nothing to do with buyer’s needs or interests
- They may have conflicts of interests, payoffs, hidden incentives, etc.
- They have a “get the deal done mentality” and will say almost anything to get a deal closed
- They may not have the buyers best interests in mind and sometimes may not disclose relevant negative facts regarding a property
So in summary why should any foreign buyer take the above risks when purchasing real estate in Medellin? The 3% seller paid commission is the same for everybody so why take the risks when it costs you nothing and you have nothing to gain. FARM has been serving foreign buyers since 2007 and has assembled a team, support services and more than 350 sales listings to assure foreign buyers of a safe, fair and professional closing process.
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