Many savvy people have realized that while Belize is a veritable tropical paradise with English as its official language and a currency effectively enforced by the United States Dollar, it can also be quite the winning locale for some lucrative real estate deals. The real question then becomes which of the many available realtors is right for your real estate needs. The first piece of advice when looking into a realtor in Belize is to treat it like you would in whatever country you call home; start by looking over the statistics of the offices of the various real estate companies. Once you narrow in on some winners, like RE/MAX 1st Choice Belize, you can spend time with their array of agents until you find one that really “clicks” with you —the best realtor is the one who understands what you are looking for in a property. Since you will be working with this person for a decent amount of time, it is vital that you find a realtor whose personality and understanding of the situation work well with your own.
Another tip when it comes to hunting for a realtor is something that should be done when you first get to know them. Ask them if they have personally invested any money in real estate. This way, you have a better idea of whether or not they can place themselves within your position; it can be reassuring to do business with someone who knows exactly what it is like to buy and sell off property, or even just lots of land, in Belize. While reputation and personal experience are wonderful to have in a Belizean realtor, it can be just as useful to pick a realtor who happens to be local, if only to have access to their insights or suggestions on optimizing a property or knowing whether or not close proximity to a particular restaurant, bar or other locale is really as great as it might seem at first glance.
Another thing to consider is that you should definitely take the realtor’s reputation and their references into account. There are no real regulations when it comes to real estate, like an official association for the industry, so it is in your best interest to choose a realtor that has established themselves to be on the up and up, like RE/MAX 1st Choice Belize.
Spend enough time in Belize and you will soon discover which businesses are genuine and which are nothing more than loose canons based outside of the country and who tend to swoop in during peak season to make chump change. You owe it to yourself, your money, and any property you are interested in, to do your homework! The good news is that Belize is not nearly as dense a market as say New York City, you can simply drive around the single paved road of the country and settle on some options in well under a week’s time.
Even the caliber of the realtor’s website can be a great tell as to whether or not they are worth dealing with. Lots of typos, errant links, and outdated information are all signs that you are dealing with someone without the character and connections of a realtor like RE/MAX 1st Choice Belize. This advice extends to the number and variety of properties that the realtor can connect you to a realtor who is only involved with maybe half a dozen properties is probably not going to be worth your time even if those properties seem interesting. While Belize is the second-smallest nation in Central America, it has a rather robust and varied pool of properties.
Consider Your Real Estate Needs
You should also remember to consider your needs. Some dealers are so focused on one type of property that their expertise may not be of much use to you if your particular needs lie elsewhere. If you’re looking to retire in Placencia or buy a vacation property there, waiting for a dip in the market might be a risky bet.
“Just like in the US, the Belize market is on fire,” Kafka says. “Last year was our best year and this year is already outpacing that.”
Some of the crazy outbidding has followed American buyers to this market as well. “Last decade it could take three or four years for a property to sell,” Kafka says. “Now we are seeing multiple offer situations and properties selling within 30 to 60 days.”
RE/MAX 1st Choice Belize is not only an established name in real estate but also deals in many types of properties, from beachfront condos to commercial ventures and even the occasional undeveloped plots of land. Be extra guarded if a realtor seems to be overplaying a particular property, pressure pitches tend to lead to fleeting mistakes that can bite you in the butt after signing the papers.