Is your Costa Rican Real Estate broker legit?
Real estate agents and brokers in Costa Rica are in a very particular situation legally. While their occupation exists in practice and they even have an official Chamber (Cámara de Corredores de Bienes Raíces de
Real estate agents and brokers in Costa Rica are in a very particular situation legally. While their occupation exists in practice and they even have an official Chamber (Cámara de Corredores de Bienes Raíces de Costa Rica), their occupation (as of today) has not been legally described or typified in any manner in the law. While there are attempts to make amends in the Commerce Code to correct this, there is no delivery date in sight.
Trying to figure out who is a “real” Real Estate agent or broker can be a bit complicated. Due to there being almost no legal recognition and with the absence of a formal Association for Real Estate Brokers, there really is no governing board ensuring agents and brokers are held accountable to a set of standards. This is surprising, considering Costa Rica is notorious for regulation of various professions, including for instancethe Costa Rican BAR or the Engineer Association.
However, to make things more complex, the Superintendency of Financial Entities in Costa Rica (SUGEF) via an amendment to their Law 7786 against money laundering have required that Real Estate Brokers have not only register at SUGEF, but also provide quarterly disclosureof income received from the purchase or sale of Costa Rican properties. Failure to do so could result in having their entire bank accounts frozen and other sanctions for acting as a broker while not registered.
Therefore, as of today, the only way to find out if your Real Estate Broker is at least legitimate to operate as a broker (SUGEF wise) is to go to Sugefs main website and verify it.
The process is quite simple, you can access the search bar option in this link.
Once inside its just a matter of either knowing the full name of the Broker or their identification, and SUGEF will inform you if they are inscribed or not in their system, giving you an idea of the Brokers Status with the current laws.
As of today, since there is no regulatory law that describes the requirements or the legal figure of Real Estate Broker in Costa Rica, pretty much anyone can do this occupation. As long as they are either a National or a foreigner with a residency identification that allows them to work in the country, hence the necesity to always verify and check if your Real Estate Agent is legitimate.