You are currently viewing The Best Real Estate Brokers in Bolivia: An Extensive Review
The best real estate brokers in Bolivia every detail and precaution to know

The Best Real Estate Brokers in Bolivia: An Extensive Review

Reading Time: 12 minutes

There are thousands of real estate brokers in Bolivia, but more than 95% of them don’t have all the documents needed to fully legally operate and execute commercial activities in the country. Only a bunch of them, maybe less than 100, are serious and formal companies that you can rely on, from these ones, only just a few will be able to deal with you as a foreign customer.

The best real estate brokers in Bolivia on a nationwide level are: 1) Century 21 and 2) ReMax. By city, for La Paz they’re: a) Remax Professional and b) Firma Propiedades. For Santa Cruz: a) Century 21 Business & Residences and b) UNO Corporacion. For Cochabamba: a) Remax Libertad and 2) Century 21 Valle.

In this deep review about the best real estate brokers in Bolivia, you’ll see which ones are the best in both nationwide and at the city levels, and why they are so. Will also know why other local real estate brokers are not worthwhile and even scammy in some cases. Additionally, you’ll get a general perspective of the real estate brokerage industry that operates in Bolivia.

The actual situation of real estate brokers in Bolivia

Bolivia currently has a very unregulated real estate brokerage field, there are more than 2,500 of different real estate agents and brokers, but more than 95% of these operators are unlicensed and not allowed to work or do commercial activities, however, they still conduct them on a daily basis. 

From all these agents and firms, only around 100 are totally legal, having all the needed documentation to fully operate according to the laws in the country. And even with this, almost all these legal firms are not prepared to deal with foreign customers.

Currently, we only know 2 companies that are enough prepared to serve foreign customers in Bolivia, these are:

  • Century 21
  • Remax

As you might know, these 2 companies are present around the globe in more than 100 countries, also in Bolivia, together having more than 100 different franchises in the main cities of the country. And a combination of more than 3,500 real estate properties available for sale or rent in a given moment. 

All the other realtors usually only serve local customers from the local cities in which they operate. They won’t attend to you in English, and usually don’t know how to sell properties to customers from other countries.

The only 2 companies that we recommend to you as a customer from a foreign country are both Remax or Century 21, unless you really know the Bolivian culture and speak Spanish well. We’ll show you why this is the case later in this guide.

The best real estate brokers of Bolivia

This review is based on a very deep review we did before for our Bolivian real estate website (see it here: CasasenBolivia).

Now we’re going to show you the best real estate brokers in Bolivia, in both Nationwide and citywide levels. All real estate brokers in the country work at a citywide level, this means they only serve clients within a given city, except for Remax and Century 21.

Nationwide, the best real estate agencies are:

In the present, only 2 international real estate brokerage companies have established in Bolivia, these are:

These franchises started their operations around 2015 inside the country, and since then they have become the largest real estate brokerage companies within the country, out-passing the local prior real estate firms in a very fast way

You may already know that these 2 companies are quite reliable, and this doesn’t change in Bolivia, they manage the same standards as in other countries, so you can be sure that at least you will get a decent service from them.

By city, the best real estate agencies are:

Sadly, almost all the local real estate brokers have been relegated to the background, by both Century 21 and Remax. Local brokers are usually not prepared to deal with foreign customers, but anyway 1 or 2 local companies may be worthy to try for buying, selling or renting a property with.

On a city level, these are the best real estate brokers that currently exist in Bolivia (2023):

  1. La Paz:
  2. Santa Cruz:
  3. Cochabamba:

We can’t recommend you to work with other local real estate brokers, except for Firma Propiedades and UNO Corporacion, most of the other firms almost never have dealt with customers from other countries, they only speak Spanish and simply lack international standards when attending clients.

The best nationwide real estate brokers of Bolivia

As we just said before, only 2 nationwide real estate brokers are currently available in Bolivia, these are Century 21 and Remax.

1) Century 21

From both international brokers, we think that Century 21 currently offers highest quality real estate brokerage services within the country, as they are usually rated above 4/5 in reviews. The downside of this company is that it’s mostly only present in Santa Cruz city, and a lot less available in other regions.

Century 21 in Bolivia currently handles about 1,000 properties in a given moment, with a vast majority of these located in Santa Cruz. The firm and its franchises usually charge 4% in commissions for their services on the sale of the house (it’ll be charged to the property’s owner). 

Century 21 has presence in the following Bolivian cities:

  • Santa Cruz (36 offices or franchises, more than 700 properties for sale or rent, being the Century 21 Business & Residences franchise the largest one).
  • La Paz (only 4 offices available, the broker is small in this city).
  • Cochabamba (6 offices or franchises, with Century 21 Valle being the largest one).
  • Sucre (2 offices available).
  • Tarija (1 office available)
  • Trinidad (1 office available).

We have seen that this real estate brokerage firm and its franchises usually have slightly better real estate agents than Remax, offering in general a little bit better services too. 

However, you need to realize that this company usually only sells high quality homes that are located in the most premium and expensive neighborhoods of Bolivia link. They in general don’t sell modest and cheap houses, the only way to buy these ones in Bolivia is often by directly dealing with the owner, a generally risky process for foreigners.

2) Remax

In the present, Remax is the largest real estate broker of Bolivia, it is currently handling and offering for sale and for rent about 2,500 properties inside the country at any given moment. The firm is also very well established, with many franchises in the main cities of Bolivia: Santa Cruz, La Paz and Cochabamba, as well as other smaller ones.

This real estate broker in general has slightly worse brokerage services than Century 21, as its general ratings are about 4/5, this may be because of the huge number of agents working in their franchises, which drives to a wider quality because of newer and novice agents. We estimate that the company in total has more than 500 real estate agents across all its franchises within the country.

Remax has presence in the following cities:

  • Santa Cruz (24 offices or franchises, the bigger presence is in this city).
  • La Paz (11 offices available, being Remax Professional the largest one).
  • Cochabamba (9 offices or franchises, being Remax Libertad the largest one).
  • Oruro (1 office available).
  • Sucre (2 offices available).
  • Tarija (2 offices available)
  • Trinidad (1 office available). 

The commissions that this company usually charges are about 3.5%, a little less than Century 21 (of course it’s charged to the property’s owner). With this company you’ll be able to find a wider range of houses in their quality and price, as it often also offers cheaper houses in other neighborhoods than just the most premium ones.

The best real estate brokers for each city

Now let’s see the most important real estate brokers on a city level. As you would expect most of them are either Century 21 or ReMax franchises, but there are also 2 local real estate brokers that are worthy of mentioning.

La Paz 

a) Remax Professional

Remax Professional is the largest franchise of Remax in La Paz city. It has more than 35 in-house real estate agents, and more than 220 properties available for sale or for rent. The franchise charges 3.5% of commission for the sale of a property and 100% of one month of rent for the rent of a property.

This franchise has a large presence in La Paz city, and we’re almost sure that it constantly deals with clients from other countries. If you hire this franchise, always be sure to go with the most experienced agents and the ones that have the most homes available for sale and for rent.

There are many other ReMax franchises in La Paz, and they’ll also offer in general the same quality of services as ReMax Professional, but this is the default franchise to go in the city.

b) Firma Propiedades

Firma Propiedades is the largest local real estate broker in La Paz, as it currently handles about 1,350 properties for sale or for rent (much more than ReMax Professional, but they are not as used as Remax in attending clients from other countries). This company has about 55 in-house real estate agents.

This real estate broker also has a much wider range of different properties and houses in a lot of different neighborhoods and zones of La Paz city. The company has in general good ratings in its services, with about 3.5/5 to 4/5. The commissions it charges are about 3.5% for the sale of the property, and 100% of 1 month rent for the rent of a property.

If you want more options when trying to buy or rent a house in Bolivia, but with a lot less risk than just directly dealing with the owner, this is the company to go for. Take into account that they will struggle to deal with you in your source language and also because you are a foreigner.

Santa Cruz

a) Century 21 Business & Residences

Century 21 Business & Residences is the largest franchise of Remax in Santa Cruz, which is by the way the largest city in Bolivia, with about 1,500,000 habitants. It currently has 75 in-house real estate agents, and more than 600 properties for sale and for rent. This is a quite large franchise in relation to the real estate market of the country and the city.

Century 21 has a huge presence in Santa Cruz, and from the 36 franchises that this company has there, Century 21 Business & Residences is the largest one. This franchise, like all the other ones, charges 4% for the sale of a house. Remember to always try to find the most experienced real estate agents there.

b) UNO Corporacion

UNO Corporacion is a local real estate broker that usually offers an outstanding service to customers, but it’s not as used as Remax or Century 21 to work with customers from other countries. You’ll also find a wider offer of different types of properties with this company, as this tends to cover more neighborhoods, but these still being premium and expensive.

This company rates really high in customer service, about 4.5/5 in general, it has about 40 in-house real estate agents, and other 20 people working in support activities like accounting, security, managing, etcetera, it also lists about 450 properties for sale and for rent. This firm is the mix of 5 other companies that existed before and is very strong in the market of Santa Cruz city.

Cochabamba

a) Remax Libertad

Remax Libertad is one of the largest franchises that’s currently operating the country. Despite Cochabamba being a medium size city, this franchise alone has more than 270 properties for sale and for rent, also about 35 in-house real estate agents, charging 3.5% of commissions for the sale of a house and 100% of a full month’s rent for rentals.

Remax Libertad is a very fast growing franchise of Remax, in about 5 years it has reached this high volume of operations and team of agents. It’s of course a good firm to go to in order to get real estate brokerage services, by both locals and foreigners.

b) Century 21 Valle

Century 21 Valle is also a large franchise of this international real estate broker, it has about 35 in-house real estate agents, and more than 200 properties for sale and for rent. The commissions it charges are 4% for the sale of a property, and 100% of a full rent month for the rent of a property.

It is also a good company to work with in the city as it has the same standards as Century 21 in the rest of the country. In Cochabamba we don’t recommend any local real estate broker, these have gained a bad reputation in recent years, increasing home prices too much, taking a lot of time to sell a property and poorly serving clients.

In Cochabamba we can’t recommend you a local real estate broker, all of the ones we have encountered have failed, or don’t have the best practices and often deliver poor services. With Century 21 and ReMax you’ll be just fine in this city.

Important details and precautions on real estate brokers in Bolivia

Other real estate brokers not mentioned here

Beyond Firma Propiedades and UNO Corporacion, there are many many other local real estate brokers in Bolivia, as well as standalone real estate agents, most of them are informal, illegal and are not allowed to execute commercial activities, also many of them are not real firms, instead they are just a brand with a person and a phone behind.

The main features of these fake or informal companies are:

  • They usually handle less than 100 properties for sale and for rent.
  • More than 95% of them are not allowed to commercially operate, they just set up an office, get a phone number, and start attending clients without proper permission from the local government and from the commercial entity link in Bolivia.
  • They almost never have attended clients from other countries and usually don’t speak English.
  • They tend to overprice properties (and a lot more for foreigners) and in general offer mediocre services.

As we mentioned before, more than 95% of the real estate brokers and agents in Bolivia are informal and don’t have the proper documentation to legally operate and act as real estate brokers. People in Bolivia don’t really care about this, and very often get scammed and misled by these people

When real estate legal conflicts and lawsuits happen in Bolivia, like between owners and tenants, agents, etcetera, they’re often really really difficult to handle, as well as very expensive and time consuming, also they can last for years, even for a decade. 

Dealing with Bolivian justice it’s a nightmare as we can tell you. So it’s better for you to just go with the best real estate brokers here and avoid all these risks as much as possible.

Independent real estate agents are usually bad

Additionally to the 1000s of small informal or even illegal real estate brokerage firms that operate in Bolivia. There are also 1000s of independent real estate agents. None of these agents has a license to operate as a real estate agent,as in Bolivia there is no such licensing process. So you never really know if an agent is good or bad.

You can be sure that more than 95% of these standalone real estate agents will offer just mediocre services, some of them will even try to mislead and scam you, they also overprice their services and properties. The only ones that we could recommend to you to some extent are the real estate agents that are part of both Remax and Century 21.

But independent Bolivian real estate agents, believe us just don’t trust them, a small part of them might be able to bring you a good brokerage service, but most of them won’t do so. These agents charge commissions of 2% to 4% (by the way, almost the same as Remax and Century 21), but will offer way less quality services in general.

Multilevel real estate brokers are not recommended

Bolivia also has some multilevel real estate brokers currently operating, but all of these are local. If you don’t know, multilevel means that these firms not only reward their agents for selling properties, but also for recruiting other agents in the line below

But we can tell you that no multilevel firm is worthwhile in Bolivia, for either buying or renting properties from, or for becoming an real estate agent for the company.

Airbnb is widely available in Bolivia

If you want to rent a property in the country for a short period of time, even for months, then you also have the option of using Airbnb. This well-known company also is present in Bolivia with thousands of properties, and it’s way less riskier and easier to rent a property from this company in the country.

Airbnb works in Bolivia the same as in other countries, the same process will need to be followed to rent a property here from this company. It’s better for you to try many different properties and homes before knowing what’s the best for you here, instead of just hurry in buying a property. That’s why we recommend you to first rent a property in Bolivia.

We have an in-depth guide about all the steps, requirements and precautions to rent a property in Bolivia, from both common real estate brokers and also Airbnb, with every detail you need to know, in the following direction: How to rent a property Bolivia? a full walkthrough.

You should 1st rent instead of buying a property in Bolivia 

As we just said, we advise you to first rent in Bolivia and not to buy a property, unless you know what you’re doing. Buying real estate in Bolivia is very difficult and also a risky process, you should buy from either Remax or Century 21, but even with them you must take all the necessary precautions.

In order to buy a property in Bolivia, you’ll also need to be more than just a tourist, people that have other visas than a tourist visa here can additionally get a foreigner’s ID card. This ID document will allow you to open bank accounts, own real estate, manage businesses, etcetera, in the country.

In fact, buying a property in Bolivia is a difficult process, even for Bolivians, you’ll need to know what you are doing, also to have a foreigner’s ID card (the analogous of Bolivian ID document), and a proper visa for doing this, along with many other requirements, steps and precautions.

We have a complete guide about how to buy a property in Bolivia, with all the requirements steps and also precautions you need to take as a foreign buyer and owner, including every other detail that is needed, in the following direction: How to buy a property in Bolivia? Everything to know.

Conclusions:

In this complete review about the best real estate brokers in Bolivia, which is based in the review we did in our Bolivian website (CasasenBolivia), you have seen that almost all firms that exist here are informal not serious and in some cases illegal to operate, except for a bunch of well stablished legal companies. Nationwide only Century 21 and ReMax are reliable enough companies to hire.

At the city level, companies and franchises like: Remax Professional and Firma Propiedades for La Paz, Remax Libertad and Century 21 Valle for Cochabamba, also Century 21 Business & Residences and UNO Corporation for Santa Cruz are the only companies we recommend you to work with in order to buy, sell or rent a house in Bolivia.

You now know also that more than 95% of the about 2,500 real estate brokers that exist in Bolivia are not reliable and will often deliver mediocre services, and this becomes worse for foreigners. You’ve also realized that buying a house in Bolivia is quite a difficult process and you should first rent a house which is way easier and that Airbnb is available in the country.

In general, you should only hire in Bolivia the firms listed in this review, unless you really know what you’re doing, as even for local people some of the other real estate brokers can be misleading and scamming, driving in many cases to legal conflicts that can be a nightmare to solve.

We hope this information has helped you, and if you want to know how much it costs to buy a house in Bolivia, with all the details for different types of properties, in different regions of Bolivia, also in both rural and urban areas, visit our dedicated guide in the following direction: How much does a house cost in Bolivia? All the numbers and details.

BolivianExperts.com, information about how to live, work, invest and travel in Bolivia.

Leave a Reply