El Conquistqdor Francisco de Orellana

El Conquistqdor Francisco de Orellana
The Conquistador who put the Amazaon baisn "on the map"....Francisco Orellana

Monday, August 8, 2011

1 Way I Avoid Inflated Gringo Prices

A lot of people ask me, "Do property sellers in Ecuador really 'up' the prices when they hear or see the buyer is a foreigner?"

My short answer... "Hell yeah they do!"

And if someone tells you otherwise, they're wrong, or probably trying to sell you something.

Now, to be fair, maybe 80% of the time you'll get quoted the same price as locals do, but there's still that 20% chance you'll get "upped".  In fact, it happened to me this week.  I got a tip a hotel was for sale for $150k... a deal... I approached, the owner saw I was a gringo, and quoted me $400k!

Why do sellers in ecuador do this?  Just like anywhere in a developing, relatively poor country, they think EVERYONE from rich countries is rich, and actually, comparatively, they're right.

Now, instead of just stating the obvious I'll leave you this week with one creative way I USE to avoid getting hit with special inflated "gringo prices".

I created a new email address under a VERY Ecuadorian name that I use to email and make first contact with properties I see advertised on the net in Ecuador, doesn't matter if it's listed by a "gringo (foreigner)" or Ecuadorian.

My alternative name is ... Juan Yagual.  Super coastal Ecuadorian.

A few VERY Ecuadorian names you could use are:

First names: Juan, Jose, Hector, Galo, Cilindro, Cesar, Mario, Diana, Carolina, Ana, Marisol, Paola, Karina
Last names: Yagual, Andrade, Sandoval, Fernandez, Caicedo, Ortiz, Amores

And in your email, a VERY local, yet polite, way to ask the asking price of a property...(to mask you're a gringo)...

Estimado[dear] (insert name if you now it),

Quería saber cuanto pide por la propiedad que tienes en venta?  [I'd like to know what's the asking price of the property for sale?]

Esperando la respuesta, [waiting for the response]

Juan Yagual  (Ecuadorians have two last names but sometimes only put one)

Remember, you only have to hide your identity until you know the asking price of the property, after that it's generally OK if they find out you're a foreigner.

For more interesting Ecuador house hunting tips like this that could save you thousands, try my full guide here.

Saludos until next week, sorry I'm a few hours late this Sunday with the newsletter, I had way too much fun last night,

Juan Yagual AKA Domenick Buonamici
Real Estate Reporter, Investor

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