Real Estate Confusion & Understanding “how things really work” in Belize

I can clearly remember seven years ago, when I was seriously looking at the Real Estate Market here on the Placencia Peninsula. When I heard it was the “Wild Wild West of Real Estate”, I wasn’t clear what that meant, but quickly learned, and over the years, it appears to be even worse.

Vitamin “Sea” cures everything 🙂

You might remember that I came from a Real Estate Background, many years as a Realtor with top agencies, and then as a Real Estate Broker / Owner with my own business. In Oregon, I constantly took classes, and learned everything in “Contract Law”. In fact, I took the same courses as Attorneys, as well as the same “final exam” in Real Estate law.

Then came Belize, where they have no “Real Estate Agency”, no “overseeing” the conduct, integrity, legality or “right/wrong” of agents. While a couple Belize Real Estate companies are “International” established agencies, with offices here in Belize, where their are certain “standards”, many agents are still “cowboys and cowgirls” so to speak.

In the U.S. you have to go to a Real Estate School, take tests, pass an intense Real Estate Exam to work as a Realtor. Here in Belize, you don’t need any kind of training, or have worked in sales, or have an education, or any customer service. Heck, most Realtors here have no clue how to write a sales contract, or understand their offices contracts.

And then there is the fact that there is no “MLS”, Multiple Listing Agency, where all listing have to be entered, so Realtors have access and info on “listed properties”. In Belize there is no such thing. While there are very few that will only advertise their actual “contracted” “Exclusive Listings” on their office websites, many offices copy / paste info of the actual Listing Agents “exclusive listings” and put them on their pages, even though not theirs.

Thus the confusion of buyers searching online for homes and land. Different Real Estate Offices have those other agents listings on their pages, but don’t “update” them when the actual listing agent makes changes. You can find a property advertised on different Realty sites, all with different info / Listing Prices. The only way you find out that it’s not their listing, is when you arrive here to look at the property, and the agent says “Let me contact the listing Realtor to see if we can view it”!

You will also find a lot of “listings” on Real Estate Office websites that either already sold, or are off the market, again, because they don’t “update” like the Listing Agent will do.

Surprise ???!

In the past two years, in spite of “The Pandemic”, the Real Estate market has been on fire ! The house and land inventory for sale has dwindled, especially waterfront properties. Average price of land and homes is up about $100,000 U.S. in most cases, at least, with some offices raising list price even more than that. Because of the decline in available properties, more a more “exclusive listings” are showing up on other offices websites, because they have very few “exclusive listings” or any that are in popular locations.

Homes selling like crazy

So, I highly suggest that if looking for a property, when you contact any office, ask them if all the properties listed on their webpage are their “exclusive listings” or not. If they are honest, they will check with the Listing Agent for any update, and get back to you. Most will not tell you that they only advertise their own “exclusive listings”, although there is at least one that does in Belize. If interested to know who…..just comment 🙂

Although things are getting pretty “slim” here on the Placencia Peninsula, it appears that Ambergris Caye is getting busy expanding their market and land/homes. The Northern “Secret Beach” is growing and offering pretty cheap building lots, small, but for a “vacation rental”, perfect. Their beaches are fantastic, beach bars and restaurants growing. Regretfully, some National Chain Hotels are popping up there in San Pedro, but for now, we are keeping them away from our peninsula. Even Caye Caulker is now getting “hi rise condo’s” on the northern split, sad but true.

So, there’s still deals to be had here in Belize. With a little extra “due diligence”, you can have a good experience buying or building a home here in Belize.

Something like this can be in your future

Good Luck and remember

About storiesbygary

I am a Freelance Writer / Photographer, writing travel related articles for international magazines, blogs and websites and my own published books.
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