Panamanian citizens and foreigners residing in Panama for over 5 years are eligible to become a real estate agent (broker) after passing professional examinations. Panama’s Real Estate Technical Board (“Junta Técnica de Bienes Raíces”) within the Ministry of Industry & Commerce administers the examinations and licenses real estate agents.
Panama real estate agents were created by a Presidential Decree No. 6 (July 8, 1999) which contains all of the requirements to become one along with the responsibilities of the Real Estate Technical Board.
What is a Panama Real Estate Agent
The law defines a Panama real estate agent as one whom professionally and habitually acts as an intermediary, mediator, agent, or representative in real estate transactions.
Is He a Licensed Real Estate Agent
All Panama real estate agents must be licensed. They must carry a card identifying them as licensed real estate agents. Most people claiming to be “real estate agents” in Panama are not licensed. However, that does not mean that he or she can’t show you properties.
There Are Exceptions
The law excludes people who work as administrators, promoters, rent collectors and maintenance providers who work for a licensed real estate agent. Instead of being called a “real estate agent”; they are called “representatives”, “consultants”, “promoters”, or “property showers”. They are paid a salary or fee instead of a commission. Their pay checks will say something like “marketing” or “professional services”. Because they work for a licensed real estate broker, the law exempts them. Developers can also hire people to sell their own projects without a license. Sellers can sell their own properties without a license.
What Does It Take to Become a Panama Licensed Real Estate Agent?
1. Take courses and pass a written exam administered by the Real Estate Technical Board covering the following topics:
a) Real estate law & brokerage regulations;
b) Purchase, sale and leasing real estate;
c) Financing real property;
d) Processing Leasing contracts; and
e) Urban zoning
2. Get a $10,000 bond to cover malpractice claims and government fines.
3. Pay annual $25 for Fiscal Stamps (Timbres Fiscales).
4. Proof of Panamanian citizenship or a foreigner with 5 years residency.
6. Provide a Police record showing you were never convicted of a crime.
How Should A Panama Real Estate Agent Act?
The law requires an agent to act in good faith when dealing with their clients (sellers or buyers), informing them of all facts which affects the property as it relates to contracts, sales, financing, zoning, etc. Agents should complete their activities within a practical time and in a professional manner. They should avoid all illegal practices in relation to sellers, buyers, third parties and other colleagues. This includes avoiding: False Representations, Fraud, Misleading Advertising, Malicious Practices, and Exaggerations which can harm the public and the image of the profession. Agents cannot offer or market a property lacking prior authority to do so. Agents must maintain strict confidentiality of all information obtained from clients.