comments from someone about real estate agents in Panama

I just posted this in response to someone else on Panama Forum, in case it helps:

That depends on what you are looking for an agent for. If you are a buyer looking for an agent to represent you in transactions on an hourly or daily basis, I only know of one such agent in the entire country (there may be others), Nora Smith. Understand that you should never consider the seller’s agent as “your” agent because they owe you no fiduciary duty either in law or in practice in Panama.

If you are a seller, the best way to find an agent is to talk to people who have recently sold property in your area and ask them if they used an agent and if so, who. See which agents are advertising property in the area and how long those listings stay on the market. Ask for references and talk to their clients.

I recommend against ever signing an “exclusive agency” agreement with any agent in Panama. They are just too lazy, they sit on their asses and wait for buyers to come to them if they have an exclusive listing. There is no MLS so there is no automatic agreement to split the commission if they show another broker’s listing. They won’t work unless their commission depends on them bringing the lucky buyer. Instead, prepare a contract that awards the commission to whichever agent brings the buyer, and set up a notification system so that each agent you sign an agreement with (you can sign it with several agents) notifies you by email of each buyer they refer, so there is no conflict later over where the buyer came from, because if you advertise properly, there’s a very good chance you will get the buyer yourself. The best places to advertise are: Encuentra24 (free),, Craigslist and your local real estate portal.

The typical commission in Panama is 5%. Some agents may try to get more, but don’t go for it.

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