Sunday, April 20, 2008
NEVER TRUST YOUR OVERSEAS REAL ESTATE FRIEND
Many near-pensioners and youngers in the US are thinking of moving abroad to where they can live well on less income (e. g., shrinking pensions) while paying no (or minimal) US taxes. Here is some invaluable advice for those folks:
"Buying and even shopping for real estate in another country takes nerve. The rules of engagement are completely different than back home. To be successful, you’ve got to arm yourself well in advance with an understanding of how this game is played.
The first thing to know is that the real estate agent is not your friend.
I’ve worked with real estate agents in dozens of countries. They are all friendly guys, and most are good company. I even keep in regular contact with some and value those relationships. But none of those things changes the fundamental truth about real estate agents in developing, unregulated markets: They’re wolves.
Stepping into a real estate agent’s office in these countries, you’re stepping into the wolf’s den. Believe me when I tell you that, when it comes to business (that is, the purchase of real estate), the agent you’re working with is not working for you. Buyers' agents don’t exist outside of North America. In many of the markets I recommend, real estate agents aren’t regulated or even licensed. The guy showing you around could have been a travel agent in Iowa three months ago.
Furthermore, not only are these guys not working for you...but they’re not working for the seller, either. They are working for themselves, and their goal is to extract as much commission out of you as they can. Understand that going into the conversation, and you stand a much better chance of coming out of it uncheated.
Here are some other tips to help your search go smoothly:"
From long experience, I can vouch for the truth of this advice. Invaluable for the now or future international resident, or traveler, from the excellent resource International Living.