The Costa Rica MLS for our region – Dominical, Uvita, Matapalo, Escaleras, Lagunas, Ojochal, etc. – isn’t centralized because the region is too small to attract the investment in a centralized computer system. Several companies claim to have a Costa Rica MLS, but they do not include enough of the regional inventories to be effective. A buyer, using only these non-regional Costa Rica MLSs will be missing over 90% of our region’s inventory.
That being said, the advantages of having Costa Rica MLSs by region are too great to ignore! In the Dominical area the local Realtors have created an ad hoc Dominical MLS that provides the major benefits. What we do is a mix of the original MLS concept (see MLS history below) with modern internet connectivity mixed in.
Each Realtor in the Dominical area has their own website and their own listings. However, some of us take great care to include the listings from other real estate houses that we don’t already have listed ourselves. We also provide our listings to other Realtors so that they may sell our inventory. We have developed essentially a decentralized database of listings and use social responsibility to take care of commission sharing enforcement and end up with an efficient Costa Rican MLS for our region.
This regional Costa Rica MLS system helps the buyer know that they do not have to visit every office in order to make sure they are not missing opportunities. If you use our site for your search you can be assured that we take this regional Costa Rica MLS very seriously and make sure to include new listings as soon as they are announced.
Costa Rica MLS History
To understand how the Costa Rica MLS works in our region of Costa Rica, it is first important to understand what an MLS is, and why it is so important. MLSs or Multiple Listing Services were first formed in the early days of the last century. They began simply as a meeting of Realtors that would share their listings in hopes of finding buyers through their associates.
The MLS meetings were so successful that they quickly formalized into regional groups all around the country. Additionally, because the concept often unites two Realtors in one transaction, MLSs formalized commission sharing standards bringing stability and trust between competing Realtors.
There are several important features worth understanding that are provided by modern MLSs. First and foremost, they allow a single database to provide most of the regional listings to any participating Realtor. A buyer does not need to visit all the Realtors to find all the properties in the region. This is the biggest advantage.
A second advantage in the US came from the government’s requirement that the MLSs include the final sales price into the listing history in the MLS. This stabilized pricing and created the concept of the “comp” – comparable properties that can be used to help set the value for other properties. It gives confidence to the buyers that they are not overpaying and sellers what price they should expect to ask.
The prices that properties have sold for, however, are not included in our regional Costa Rica MLS system described to the left, and so the system of “comps” is much weaker than in an official, regulated MLS. In this case, you need to rely on your Realtor to have enough experience and integrity in the local market to give you guidance on the comparable values of various properties. It also helps to have a Realtor that has experience in building and development for the same reason. A comparable price can be built up from the component parts of a property. The land, the land’s features (waterfalls, views, etc.), the neighborhood (location, location, location), the proximity (in driving time) from amenities, the building quality and size, the infrastructure quality, and more. We at Dominical Real Estate have 63 years of combined experience between our five agents and take great care to provide the best comparable pricing in the industry.