So, you want to sell your property?

by terry gray curtis, agent century 21

The basics for selling your property here in Baja are very similar to what you may find in the USA or 
Canada with a few caveats. The first step is to find the right professional real estate agent, one who is a member of our local MLS BCS. Good seasoned agents are busy and know a lot of people, a referred agent from a friend or neighbor is usually a great place to start. Another great option is to consider an agent from a recognized international franchise. These offices are not only governed by the local MLS but also by corporate set of standards that they are required to follow from the franchisor itself. (Although non-franchised companies here who are members of the MLS BCS, also operate under rules and regulations from the MLS BCS, NAR and AMPI. Some of whom are amongst the most successful agencies in BCS.)

Interview your potential listing agents, consider it a job interview and you as the owner/seller are the boss with the right to ask as many questions possible, such as: 

• How long has the agent lived in the Los Cabos area and been in the real estate business? This question is probably the most important one. Selling real estate in a foreign resort area such as ours is quite different than in a city the agent may have grew up in or has lived in north of the border.              Knowing the area, the culture and style of doing business and the market are key criteria when choosing your agent.

•You should also ask the candidates about their marketing program. Do they have proprietary web sites, use social media, generate and publish a newsletter consistently;  basically are they a busy agent or waiting in an office for someone to walk in?

Once you have found your rock star real estate agent, there 3 decisions you now have to make, asking price, commission and length of listing agreement.

Let’s start with asking price; a good agent will present you with a current market analysis. A comparison of your property with what is for sale now and what has recently sold in your particular area. Since you pre-qualified your agent, you can trust his/her judgment on asking price based on the CMA provided. Keep in mind that a smart and busy agent may possibly decline listing your property if they believe your asking price is too high. Don’t be offended, a great agent will not list a property they feel they cannot sell. Sales commissions are not set in stone here by the MLS BCS. But, there are guidelines and suggestions as well as the normal and customary commission levels paid in Baja California Sur.  Be prepared to pay more than you would pay in the USA or Canada. This market is very different because of the fact we are in Mexico and it is a resort area. It is more work for agents to sell properties here for various reasons I won’t get into in this article but, you can be sure successful agents here earn every dime of their commissions. Generally properties listed over $1M USD have around a 6% and under $1M usd 8%-10%, with lots normally at 10%. It is our MLS BCS policy that listing contracts be for a minimum of 6 months, however, many are for 12 months because of our somewhat seasonal market, especially for land and commercial properties.

Sometimes owners are not current on property taxes, trust fees or home owner’s association fees. This does not prevent you from listing your property to sell provided this information is disclosed. Most times the back fees can be paid at closing from proceeds earmarked for the seller.  Other important information, such as building defects or zoning issues, in short, anything affecting your property and its sale, also needs to be disclosed.

Have a game plan for when your listing agent calls to schedule a showing. Normally your agent will contact you in advance so you have adequate time to prepare your property for a showing; however this is not always the case. Consider keeping your home or condo as “buff” as possible on a regular basis so it can be shown on short notice. Because of the nature of our tourist buyers, it does happen and you do not ever want to turn away potential buyers.

When you do receive that offer and you do come to terms with the buyer, take a deep breath and plan to be patient with the length of time for the closing. There can be many variables involved with the closing that determine the time frame. So many that I will not address them all here, but it is another question your pre- qualified agent should have answers to based on the information you provide during the  listing process. The way in which the buyer takes title can affect this time frame as well. Escrow companies, closing companies and title insurance are all available for your potential buyer to use; these particular choices can sometimes make a difference in closing times. Bottom line, choose your listing agent wisely and make sure they are working for YOU. If you have any unanswered questions about the process of selling your property, please feel free to contact me.

By Terry Gray Curtis, veteran Century 21 Paradise Properties agent, he operates www.caboresortproperties.com & www.cabosecrets.com & a blog at http://blog.caboresortproperties.com Drop him a note to receive his very informative, bi‐weekly Newsletter. His e‐marketing program can give you incredible exposure if you are a Seller. Terry can be reached at terry@c21cabo.com or USA Tel 310.272.9500,  Mex Cel (011‐521) 624.151.5530