In Costa Rica, there is little governmental regulation of the real estate industry. In general, a good agent performs a more critical role than stateside agents as the system in Costa Rica is far less sophisticated
This puts more responsibility on the agent. For example, all listings must be thoroughly researched before a property can even be considered, especially in rural areas.
In some cases, a field agent/buyer's agent will not only show you property, but also work directly with the lawyer, the surveyor, the bank, the property owner, the national registry, the local municipality, and follow up on a host of details until the transaction is completed.
The field agent sometimes represents both the buyer and seller so that when it's time to draw up the sale document, all issues are discussed and agreed upon before closing. Agents commissions are normally paid by the seller, but in some cases, the buyer and the seller may split the commission if agreed to in advance.