For every horror story you hear about buying property in Panama, there are thousands of success stories that will never be told.
As you can read in our ‘Doing business in Panama‘, we are not prone to hallelujah stories and sweet lies coming from real estate folks. There are plenty of horror stories of people losing their money or buying a cat in a bag. But that does not justify the cynicism you might hear being spewed by depressive bored expats in equally boring bars or online fora.
For every shark attack, there are millions of people swimming without incident. The same can be said about business. For every fraud, there are millions of honest business transactions taking place everywhere around the globe, every day, including in Panama.
I was reminded of that fact last week when I assisted a client through real estate negotiations. The owner lowered the asking price by 5%, agreed to be paid in instalments over a period of several years (at zero interest), and signed a straightforward contract composed by our lawyer. There were no complications, no attempts at cheating, no major disagreements whatsoever. A Panamanian middleman received his commission straight away and everybody was happy.
It was a good day, worthy of the two day BBQ that followed