The crazyness of real estate advertising

There is no multiple listing service (MLS) in Guatemala. The result, particularly in Guatemala City, is a disaster. While there are lots of web sites that pretend they are the place to look, they are not. You can find more ads on than anywhere else but the are mostly programmed ads posted all too often. And that's just the beginning of the problem.

In general, when you see the ad posted about a property it has nothing to do with a realtor that might actually know something about the property. almost universally, someone posts an ad about something that is for sale because they think it sounds like it might get them some responses. In most cases when I have responded to an ad the agent has never seen the property. Usually there is an owner there who can at least answer some questions.

But, more often than not, responding to an ad leads you to a "that is not available but ..." response. That's crazy. And that is a waste of time for the seller and the potential buyer. Yeah, it is a waste of time for the agent as well but generally he or she is just an oportunist so I don't feel sorry for him.

The right solution is a miltiple listing service. That is where one agent/company contracts with the seller and then the listing is published in such a was that any agent can access the listing but the original agent will always get a "seller's commission". And, hopefully, the information about a sale will cause the listing to be removed from the MLS.

You can then employ a "buyer's agent", someone to represent you. They have access to the listings, can find something they feel matches your desires and do all the footwork for you. And get paid for that.