There’s no doubt about it, one of the charms of life in Mexico is that things move a little slower here.
Usually that’s a good thing, but clients are sometimes frustrated when they learn it is also true about selling their property. According to statistics pulled from our MLS in December 2016, you would be wise to plan that your house or condo will be on the market a little over one year: the average Days On Market (DOM) for single family homes sold in the prior 12 months was 384 days and for condominiums the average DOM was 407 days. Of course, that’s just the average. You may be lucky and find a buyer in just a few days or weeks. And while there are no guarantees there are certain things you can do that will increase your chances of selling more quickly. Here are a few tips that will help your real estate agent market your property more effectively.
1. Be Gone.
It’s always a good idea for the owner to be absent when a property is being shown. Prospective buyers need to be able to visualize themselves in a property and to discuss a home’s pros and cons openly with one another and their agent. That’s difficult or awkward to do when the current owner is within earshot.
2. Don’t Rent It.
It’s hard to give up rental income just to facilitate a sale, but access is key. We can’t sell what we can’t show. Some vacation rental properties are so successful that it’s almost impossible to get into them for a viewing. Long term rentals are also a problem since it’s to the renter’s benefit to keep the house from being sold; some will go to great lengths to present the home poorly just to avoid having to move.
3. Fix It Now.
Generalization is never a good thing, but as a rule prospective buyers will over-estimate the cost of repairs because their frame of reference is labor cost in the US or Canada. Help them concentrate on the good points of your property by making any needed repairs prior to putting the home on the market. Generally sellers receive offers closer to their asking price if the home does not require any work to be done.
4. Depersonalize It.
The truth is that prospective buyers only have a few minutes to decide whether or not your condo is going to make it to their ‘short list’. Every minute they spend looking at or commenting on the 900 pound fish you’ve got hanging on the wall is a minute they are not admiring your high ceilings or spacious terrace. Staging a home for a quicker sale definitely works, there are many excellent articles and e-books available online on the topic. Bear in mind you don’t want to over-do it, you want to make the property attractive while appealing to the greatest number of prospects. Your real estate agent will have suggestions for you and this is an excellent excuse to tour a few model homes to get ideas.
5. The Price Must Be Right.
There is no doubt about it: having the right price on a property will shorten time on market. Yes, you want to get the maximum possible return when you sell but it is also true that if a property is overpriced it will languish on the market for much longer than the average time. Our Multiple Listing Service software is an excellent source of information on sales data. Your real estate agent will be happy to create a customized Comparative Market Analysis for you using actual homes that have sold in your area. This analysis will show you what other sellers have actually gotten for similar properties – the truth rather than wishful thinking. It’s not important what you paid for a property or what you’ve invested: you need to price for what the market will bear. Once your property is on the market your agent will be able to provide you with a Listing Activity Report: in my experience if the report shows many views online but you haven’t had many prospects actually come to view the property in person that is an indication that your price is a barrier to success.
There is one other interesting statistic that came out of my research for this article: every 32 hours someone on our system sells a house or condo. These are things you have in your direct control that will help you find the right buyer sooner rather than later.
Carol Billups is Broker at Cabo Realty Pros, a full service real estate firm in Cabo San Lucas and has been working with buyers and sellers in Cabo for 17 years. You can reach her at www.caborealtypros.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, or cell 044-624-147-7541.