I realize that an article on this topic by a local real estate broker is going to seem self-serving. However, before you leap into a FSBO deal on either side, it will pay to take these points into consideration.
If you are the buyer ask yourself “What do I know about Mexican law?” Mexican law is quite different than the laws of the U.S. and Canada. Further, per the Mexican constitution all commerce must be conducted in the Spanish language. It is imperative that you have a team looking after your best interests; even an honest private party seller might make a mistake that could cost you hundreds of thousands of dollars. Your real estate agent has a team of legal experts in place who will work to ensure your investment is safe and all paperwork and registrations are completed correctly and in accordance with the law. It is important to note that some developers have their own in-house legal team that will handle the closing. Still, it never hurts to have someone looking over their shoulders. Since traditionally the seller (or developer) pays the real estate agent it just makes sense for buyers to take advantage of the services of a professional.
If you are the seller it is also in your best interest to use a realtor. Granted, Cabo is a safe place. But still, would you leave your home open to the general public? When a property is put on the market prospective buyers must first view it in order to determine if they wish to buy. How will you handle the logistics of that? Who will vet the prospect, present the home, and lock it up securely after the showing? Of course, showing the property presumes that you’ve found interested parties. Are you prepared to advertise the property? Do you have access to other real estate agents who may have clients looking for something similar to what you are selling? Mexico doesn’t keep statistics on the financial benefits of using a professional but in the U.S. it has been proven that properties sold by a professional sell more quickly and for a higher percentage of asking price than those sold by the owner.
Unlike many parts of Mexico, Los Cabos is home to a strong multiple listing service organization. In addition to the database, our organization provides Operating Procedures and Policies that govern our behavior. In order to subscribe to the service all agents must agree to conduct themselves in accordance with our practices and ethics. With over 400 agents it is a strong and efficient tool that wise buyers and sellers will put to good use. When you list your property with one of our subscribers you are actually hiring all 400+ agents who also subscribe, as they will all have access to the information on your property via the FLEX MLS data base that contains every property from every agency. In addition, your agent can use the database to obtain the actual sales price for properties similar to yours which will help you set a realistic price and give you the number of days that property was on the market prior to receiving an accepted offer. Your agent will also help you with the proper offer contracts to protect all parties to the transaction.
Granted, my point of view is likely biased but I believe the benefits of using a professional realtor who is an MLS-BCS subscriber is to your benefit.
Carol Billups is Broker/Owner of Cabo Realty Pros, a general real estate firm in Cabo San Lucas. She has more than 16 years of experience in Mexican real estate, and serves on the Board of the Multiple Listing Service for our state. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org, or visit her website at www.caborealtypros.com.