Who is Your Agent In Paradise & Why In The World Should You Care?

May 20, 2020

A Kind Of Important Question Most everyone who has ever bought or sold a property has discovered first-hand, the value of working with the right local agent. It’s no less important when buying abroad, in fact, it may be even more important. Honesty, integrity and professionalism are an absolute must and you’ll want to ensure that your agent has these extra qualities to ensure a worry-free experience.   Knows the Lay of the Land It can be a tall order. In the case of a multi-island nation like St. Vincent & the Grenadines it means having useful knowledge about each island as a unique real estate market. Then an understanding of the country market and finally an understanding of the Caribbean. Consider that most agents on your home turf are not too familiar with the neighboring city or state, then consider if an agent with beautiful listings all over the Caribbean can deliver. Most agencies that feature properties in multiple countries have never seen the properties and do not have a relationship with the owners or developers.   Still, you would expect that local knowledge about the island that you have fallen most in love with should do the trick. This would be sufficient on home turf but far from target here. As many home buyers discover, it’s easy to be shown properties on a small island where anyone can be in the real estate game. In fact, many a taxi driver has shown more than a few houses! But do they understand the importance of seller disclosures, fiduciary duty and market assessments? In the warm glow of vacation fascination, it’s fun to be shown around, learn the island stories and get the 4-1-1 from the expats at the local watering hole. But you’ll need more.   When it comes to choosing an agent, knowing the lay of the land must go beyond simply being born on the island and knowing every bump in the road. You'll need help with the hidden details and the fine print (true in any market). Here’s where having real market know how must be matched with the ability to meet the same expectations that you would have at home.   Can See it From Your Perspective We’ve all met agents who show you everything and up sell you at every turn. Wouldn’t you much rather see the best options in your price range and get back to the beach? But there’s more to think about. An agent who is looking out for your best interest will share perspective that won’t come to you immediately. Are you thinking about an income property? What does that really entail? Is the area growing? Why? Can I sell it if I need to? Is that a pig farm behind those trees?   Knows the Market that You Came From Your expectations and predispositions are welcomed. Yes, it is different here (aren’t you glad?) but when you’re making this important decision, your critical eye and high expectations are a very good thing. As licensed Realtors of the National Association of Realtors and Certified International Property Specialists, we know about the market that you came from and we strive to provide you with the highest level of service – with honesty and integrity. We are uniquely qualified to find the perfect Caribbean home that fulfills your dream. Whether you are looking for a serene oceanfront retreat or the vibrancy of a Lower Bay villa, our experienced agents are here to guide you every step of the way.

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Michelle Bess Bellegarde

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