Within the past couple of months, several folks have mentioned to me that they found their experiences with Realtors along Ecuador’s coast to be a bit surprising. So for those who sell real estate along the coast…relax. I am about to defend you.
This evening was the most recent complaint. Someone here on the coast on a look-around visit, once-again complained that the Realtors he was supposed to meet failed to show up. This has been a common complaint. There could be any number of reasons why that happened but surely, in North America, a phone call would have been in order. Missed appointments here seem to be taken less seriously.
But I’m wondering if something else isn’t also a factor. Those coming to Ecuador for a “look around” visit almost always have a number of cities on their agendas, sometimes 5 or 6. It is the intent of the visit to select a new city and part of that process, for many, is to look at properties for sale or rent.
Over the past few years, with the influx of gringos to Ecuador, Realtors and agents have been called upon to show properties which they dutifully did. After a few days of this, their “look around” clients would say thanks and head on down the road to do the same thing in a number of other cities.
From a few Realtors I’ve spoken with, they are, quite frankly, becoming tired of being tour guides. A few that I know have started charging a daily rate for their services and I completely understand.
In North America, when one engages a Realtor, a client typically knows what city and possibly what area within that city they want to call home. The Realtor first ensures that the client is financially qualified and then begins to select homes that meet the client’s criteria. That is not the case in Ecuador. Some newly arriving gringos engage the time of Realtors or agents in every community they visit with no idea where they will end up.
So, for those of you who will be coming to Ecuador on “look around” visits…understand the plight of the local agents who would LOVE to help you find a place to live. They work on commission and their hours need to be productive. If you are planning on visiting a number of cities on your trip, try to understand that agents and Realtors are not tour guides and do your best to help them help you.
Spend some significant time in the city or town to get a feel for it before engaging the services of a real estate agent. Whirlwind tours are tough. Try to narrow your focus and the number of cities on your agenda before arriving in Ecuador. It will help you in the long run.