You have made some research and have decided that you either want to come back to PR or just move here for the first time. I can’t judge you, our food is amazing, people are warm and loving, our beaches are like those you see in the movies and you don’t have to deal with snow!
However, the home buying process in PR can be overwhelming as it differs a great deal from the process in many states. We will highlight a few of these main differences for you on this blog. This is not to discourage you from your pending move, but instead to prepare you for a different process and manage the expectations to prevent frustrations along the way.
In Puerto Rico, unlike in most states, a very small percentage of Licensed Real Estate Professionals are associate with the National Association of Realtors (NAR). The domino effect of this is that very few listings make it to the Multiple Listing Service (MLS) and syndicated through sites like Zillow and Realtor.com as the MLS is only available to REALTORS. This, in turn, creates low visibility on the most used platforms in the US and creates a lack of readily available date for comparable sales. Instead, you will find that most listings are spread out through a few local classified online pages, Facebook Market Place and some independent Real Estate Agent’s websites.
As a consequence, you will likely need assistant from a Real Estate Professional to determine the Fair Market Value of a property as most of this data is only available through paid databases. All recorded deeds can be found on a public data base but will not have all the data required to make a good assessment of the condition or extra features that property may have compared to the property you are evaluating.
We have found that buyers are better served by working with a REALTOR who can help them navigate through the buying process and explain the differences between the systems and processes you have come accustomed to and the reality of purchasing a home in Puerto Rico. In Compass Property Group we stand ready to assist you with this process. We are fully-bilingual and have extensive knowledge in the buying process in PR and the US.
Written by Jan Morales, REALTOR, C-21340