The Riviera Maya has over 400 brand new developments with thousands of units for sale. The newer the development, the more modern and unique the amenities can be. Developers also pay high commissions to real estate agents and spend lots of money on marketing. This puts homeowners wanting to sell their properties at a big disadvantage Here is a formula for success that has worked for me to help combat these obstacles.
- Price Competitively. Set the price lower than the lowest comparable property that is on the market. If you have 5 alike properties ranging from $200,000 to $250,000, set yours at $195,000. Make sure you get a capital gains calculation so you know how much money you will get. If the lower price doesn’t make financial sense, don’t sell it. Keep renting it out and wait. If you really need the money, then prepare yourself mentally for taking a potential loss. We don’t always win on investments, some are good and some are bad. Just ask yourself what could the money you have in your property be doing for you if you had it invested in something else? How long will it take for you to recoup your losses with the new investment? Pricing too high will cause your property to stay on the market too long and go stale. You could go through a series of price reductions that could wear you down. Eventually, you get desperate and you end up selling for a lot less than what you could have sold for if you had just priced the property correctly from the beginning.
- Consider paying a buyer’s agent bonus of 2 to 3% so that other agents will promote your property instead of just selling properties for developers. Of course, there are situations when it’s not necessary and it’s not mandatory, but it always helps to get more exposure. Without the MLS, your property will be like a needle in a haystack for people to find. If all the best agents in the area, who get the best leads are motivated to promote your property, you will have a much better chance of getting your property sold in less time. At the end of the day, what matters is you get the property sold and you get the amount of money you want. You can just increase your property or bottom line slightly to cover the bonus.
- Invest in improvements to spruce the property up. Focus on easy, inexpensive things first. For example, buy new ceiling fans and lamps. Add some more lighting to make the property brighter. Use warm or soft white bulbs, not the dreary cool light bulbs. Get new bedding and curtains. Get some new light fixtures for the bathroom and new shower curtains. You can do all this for less than $2000 and this will probably help you make at least $10,000 more than what you’d make. If your property is empty, hire someone to stage it with furniture. Your goal is to have someone walk in and fall in love with the property.
- Make it easy to show. If you’re renting it out you need to set the expectations for renters that the property is one the market and they need to be cooperative or find another property to rent. You might even consider staging it and taking it off the rental market. Sometimes you need to make a short term sacrifice in order to make a long term gain. If a property is difficult to show, agents won’t want to show it, the property will get stale on the market, and then you’ll end up losing way more money than you gain in keeping it rented out.
- Get some professional or professional looking photos for your property. A pro will make the photos pop and you’ll get more interested buyers wanting to see your property. It’s totally worth the investment. You spent $200,000 or more on a property, don’t skimp out on a few hundred dollars for good photos.
- Work with one agent exclusively that is going to be dedicated to putting the time and effort into selling your property. If you do an open listing, no one has the incentive to do the extra work necessary to get it sold. The listing will just end up on a website and the agent or agency will just wait for buyers to appear. This is a passive approach and results in properties being on the market for over 1 year. You need a dedicated agent to put in a sustained effort to get the property sold. Otherwise the listing will get stale and you’ll be reducing the price every couple of months until it becomes a firesale. One might think having a bunch of agents promoting the property is better, but it doesn’t work that way. No smart agent is going to invest time and resources into a property that they don’t have a guaranteed return on. Ask yourself, would you work at your job for free for any period of time? It’s tough to find an agent that is going to really work hard for you because there is so much brand new inventory out there to sell from developers that pay high commission. A listing agent is going to get half what the developer pays and do a lot more work. It’s kind of a niche to sell resales here in the Riviera Maya because the majority of agents want to help new buyers that are warm and fuzzy to get a piece of paradise.
If you’re a seller, find an agent that you trust that is willing to work every day on helping you sell your property. Follow the tips above. Set the price competitively, motivate agents to promote your property, and make the property attractive enough to generate offers. If you check off all the boxes above you give yourself the best possible chance of getting your property sold. In my experience I have been able to sell most of my newer resale properties in 6 months or less when all the conditions above are met.