Back in the boom days of the Panama real estate market, Panama real estate agents were a very popular “profession” with many unlicensed and unscrupulous individuals operating in a very active market. The same can be true in any dynamic real estate market in the world: when there is a lot of business to go around, some people who would otherwise not be involved in the profession decide to enter the market. That was the case in Panama from 2007 to 2010, and to some extent, there is still a very high number of Panama real estate agents, but many of them are either no longer active or no longer fully committed to the business of real estate.
What characteristics should one look for in a Panama real estate agent? First of all, it is important to acknowledge that the Panama real estate market does not have what is commonly referred to as an MLS or multiple listing service. This is a centralized, regulated system whereby all active and licensed real estate agents publish their available properties for sale. These real estate agents typically have an exclusive agreement with the sellers signifying they are the only agent authorized to publish and receive inquires about said property. In Panama, however, there is no single multiple listing service because the concept of an exclusive listing has not become as widespread by the general public: instead, Panama real estate listings tend to be open listings, meaning any Panama real estate agent that brings a buyer will receive a commission usually paid by the seller.
This lack of an MLS is an important consideration when choosing to work with any one specific real estate agent in Panama. The objective of the client and the relationship with their Panama real estate agent will be different depending on what the client’s needs are, specifically whether the client is looking to sell their Panama real estate or purchase something in Panama.
Panama Real Estate Agents: What to look for?
If you are looking to purchase real estate in Panama, it would be wise to select one specific real estate agent to work with, as opposed to working with a number of different agents. It is important that your agent be well connected and have a good relationship with all of the major Panama real estate agencies as well as with the developers. It is a common myth in Panama that if you approach a developer on your own, you will get a lower price: but nine times out of ten, this is not the case. If you are working with a good Panama real estate agent, that agent will already have a relationship with the developer and enough insight in the market to be able to negotiate aggressively on your behalf and suggest solutions to impasses that may not be resolvable on your own. Furthermore, because the real estate agent is paid by the developer, there is no additional cost to work with them.
If time is also an important factor for you, it is always a good idea to stick with one particular Panama real estate agent otherwise you run the risk of seeing the same properties twice. Oftentimes a strong professional relationship develops between client and agent, such that the agent starts to understand a clients specific tastes, tolerances, and preferences. In these cases, the value (both in time and money saved) to the client is simply priceless.
The best real estate agents in Panama will have solid relationships and enough good feedback from past clients to get a feel for what they are all about before you ever meet them. To learn more about what clients are saying about our Panama real estate agents click here.