How an agent can improve your experience
Let’s face it the world is in a very difficult place right now and selling property may be the last thought on your mind or you could be one of those people who has been thinking about selling for a while and this pandemic has helped you to decide to do something about it. Whichever side of the fence you fall on it may be good to know that things will improve. As a real estate agent, I have experienced periods when the market has been hit hard by world events such as the 2008 financial crisis followed by the 2009 swine flu pandemic but equally, I have seen the markets respond positively once people have overcome their fears and anxieties. I am confident that, just as then, we will see the market rally as people start to consider how to improve their lives and they feel grateful to have come through a very difficult time. If we are to look forward to better times, then it may be useful to know how selling property in Puerto Vallarta works and how best to be prepared when you are ready to do that.
It is good to understand that selling property here does have some differences to selling in Canada, USA or further afield such as Europe or Asia and so it may be useful to take a quick look at the process in selling property.
Here in Puerto Vallarta we use the MLS system where agents list all properties for sale. Potential buyers can access this system directly via the Vallarta-Nayarit AMPI website to see what properties are available but it is important to know that not all properties are listed on that system. Only properties that are part of an exclusive listing agreement with an agency can be included on that system. This is why it is good to work with an AMPI Agent to list your property as it is the only way to be certain that your property is being seen by as many buyers as possible. Exclusive listing agreements grant exclusive rights to a particular agent to market your property to the real estate community and worldwide potential base of clients. It also advocates for other agents to bring clients to that listing agency. Some get confused thinking that the word “exclusive” means that you are limiting yourself to only working with that one agency, when in fact, you are granting the ability for that agent to promote the property to the entire world and work with every other agent and agency that exists. AMPI Agents from across Puerto Vallarta and all agencies use this system (even if they do not list on the system themselves) to source properties for sale and can arrange for buyers working with them to view your property. It is useful to know, if you did not already, that buyers often employ an Agent to help them to buy property and these agents also use the MLS as well as being aware of local properties for sale. Therefore, using an exclusive listing agreement is bringing your property to a greater audience.
Let us take a look at each step of the process in selling your property
So, you have decided that listing with an AMPI agent is the way to go. How do you choose which agent to work with? If you have not used an agent before who you trust and would like to handle your property sale for you then it is crucial that you find somebody who you feel comfortable and confident with. There are many agents here in Puerto Vallarta and so it is even more important that you research thoroughly before deciding on the agent for you. Start by checking out different agency websites, look to see how many agents are working for the agency and how reputable the agency is. Once you have done that and decided on an agency that you like the look of then consider the agents who are part of that agency, they will often have their own websites. Look at the properties that agent has sold or is currently marketing and the feedback they have had from their clients.
It is always a good idea to narrow down the agents that you are interested in and then arrange to meet them, interview them if you will. The agent will be equally keen to meet you and take a look at your property to help them to understand its condition and bestselling features as well as any points that may hinder a sale for you. A good agent will always be honest with you about the property and the ability to sell. Have a conversation with them. Ask them things such as:-
• Their background/experience
• Their advertising strategy
• Their process (paperwork that is required etc)
• Current market conditions
• Potential Sale Price for your property and any strategies to manage the sale if it is not selling at the agreed price.
The marketing of your property is the most important thing to get right as this is what will drive interest and demand for your property. It is always a good idea to find out from the agent what they will do to market the property. There are usually two avenues of marketing that your agent will go down.
This usually is very localised marketing in various ways
• Local free real estate magazines
• For Sale Signs outside the property (not strictly print but a very local advertisement nevertheless)
This is, without a doubt, the best way to market a property today. As I have already stated many people are able to, independently, search properties for sale online. This is fast becoming the first step a buyer will take when considering buying a property. There are many online marketing tools therefore, if the agent is keyed into all of the right online marketing tools, this means that your property can be found quickly and easily by a buyer looking for properties for sale in Puerto Vallarta no matter where they are searching from. I have already mentioned the MLS system, Agency websites and individual agents’ website but there are many other searchable real estate agents’ websites as well as affiliated international agency websites. These together with the agent’s social media presence should all be considered when choosing an agent. Also consider the quality of the marketing on the properties they have sold. How good is their description, how clear are the photographs and are they representative of the property? Let’s face it how many of us scroll on by if the photographs are not inviting enough to want to see more?
Now you have found the right agent for you what can you expect to happen next?
Firstly, you will be asked for paperwork. This may vary depending on the agency that you are working with but we typically ask for:
• A copy of your escritura (deed)
• A copy of a recent tax bill (predial)
• A copy of two forms of your ID (passport and driver’s license)
• A signed listing agreement
• A list of inventories (exclusions and inclusions)
• A property disclosure statement
• A copy of condo documents (usually the last couple of years)
• Acknowledgement that you have been provided with capital gains tax estimate from the agent.
Don’t worry this looks a bit overwhelming but your agent can walk you through it all at your pace. If you are renting your property out it is also useful to share the rental values with the agent as this can be used to share with potential buyers should they wish to also rent out the property.
Capital Gains Tax
When selling property in Puerto Vallarta you may be liable for Capital Gains Tax. It is good to have an estimate of what this may be before the sale. Not all agencies will give you this information when first listing but the agency that I work for does. I think it is important to know so that there are no surprises once the sale has been agreed. If the agency or agent that you have chosen doesn’t offer this information, then ask them for it.
Not all agencies will ask for condominium documents in order to list your property and this is ok. It is possible that a sale can fall through if there is something within those documents that the buyer was not aware of when making an offer or in the event of an offer, you, as the seller, don’t have the documents handy and cannot provide them in the timeframe listed out in the buyer’s offer, making the buyer nervous or you not being able to meet the deadlines required in the offer. This is why a good agent will want the documents at the point of listing the property so that they can ensure that the process of the sale goes through without any pitfalls and to make it as smooth as possible.
Once the agent has all of the information on your property, the documents mentioned above, professional photographs and a well written description, they will go on to market your property via the MLS system (if they have access) and other relevant websites. They will plan to show your property on your behalf when a request is made. The agent will usually attend all showings. They should know all about your property and the area that it is situated, its quirks, plus points and any negatives that the buyer may raise. This knowledge will allow them to field any questions and present your property to its best advantage. A good agent will also be able to check out any questions that they do not have the answer to and get back to the potential buyer as soon as possible. They will also be able to gather any feedback as they are showing the property from potential buyers to help them to understand if they do not wish to buy in order to let you know if there are any improvements or changes that could improve your chances of selling. All of this should result in a good offer and the agent can guide you through the whole sale process.
As with most things there are usual deductions to be made from the proceedings of the sale and, again, it is good to ask the agent for advice about this. Typically, you can expect
• Capital gains tax
• Trust cancellation or transfer fee
• Real Estate Commission
We have already discussed capital gains tax. The estimate that your agent has given is just that, an estimate based on assumptions and can change dependant on how correct those assumptions prove to be.
While the market is still moving it does so at a slower pace at the moment thanks to the current world situation but now is as good a time as any, if you were considering selling, to do your research on agents. It costs nothing to talk to an agent and they may just be able to give you some valuable advice.
If you would like more information about listing your property then feel free to contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org or call my cell number 3221426296.