Panama is filled with all sorts of characters, mostly all of them pretend to be real estate agents
when they either don’t have a job at all or they pick up the real estate gig to augment their earnings.
In a country filled with so many surprises, it would be good advice to use only those people with
their data on file with the ministry of “commercio y industrias (MICI)”, and by operating in this
fashion; you can reduce the risk involved in your real estate purchases in Panama.
In Panama it is very easy to take advantage of the tourists and those that come to this country looking for investment opportunities. You can sense that it might be a good idea to seek good advice from the moment you first get in a taxi here. When you start looking for properties and find out the whole country is comprised of real estate agents, you are immediately stumped and begin to try to figure a way to sort them out.
It is easy to get carried away with the hustle and bustle of the real estate business. So many new projects and so many great investment opportunities make it overwhelming and the instant urge to dive right in takes hold as you run towards the sales centers of extravagantly luxurious condos and homes. Every project has what you’re looking for, the finishes, the location, the view, and the exclusivity. The social areas in these projects are resort like and filled with everything from gyms and saunas to “infinity” pools and entertainment. You will most certainly find what you are looking for in Panama.
The trick is not so much finding the right project but the right guide to present you with what you really need. The MICI certified realtor is the best guide to the projects of Panama. He or she can come up with the projects that will meet both your need s and wants. I.E. adequate schools, adequate shopping, safety, easy access to acceptable recreation, and where my kids can play safely. These are all super questions to ask your MICI certified realtor. They will guide you to the correct project that has the ideal combination of the things you need.
Easy advice to follow in Panama when looking for a real estate purchase;
1. Use only certified real estate agents in Panama who are certified through the “Ministerio de Commercio y Industrias”. This will cut out 70% of the fake real estate agents and ensure that you are at least dealing with a person who has been qualified by the government. Ask for the license, if they can’t show it you can’t use them. Keep in mind that dis-honest persons can get licenses too, so always keep your guard up.
2. Consult the list of certified agents which is available online through the MICI
- list of companies
- list of individuals
3. Always get a second opinion, even a third and fourth one too. As a common practice I always ask several random people the same questions over and over again. I try to filter out inconsistencies and come up with an averaged opinion. This way I don’t just fall for the B.S. on the first hit. (good advice for all central American countries)
4. Go out and have fun in Panama, remember that if you don’t mix it up with the locals then you haven’t really left your country after all have you?
5. If you are against real estate agents and middle men in general, go developer direct, their sales department generally speaks in English and they will have English contracts too or at least translated contracts. Another option for you is find the property yourself, do the negotiation and use a closing company or lawyer to settle the closing and related banking stuff.
6. If what you are after is a translator when you are looking for a real estate agent the get the book and start learning the language too. Its good practice to be double sure in everything you do in Panama.