The must-read guide to selling property in Nosara
- July 8, 2014
So you’ve decided to sell your property in Costa Rica – what next?
How will you trust a real estate agency to sell your Nosara property? In whom do you put your faith to provide you with the right care and to secure the highest possible sales price? Remax Nosara’s commitment to fully meeting these needs reflects why its reputation with both buyers and sellers is unparalleled. We are here to handle the stress so you don’t have to. However, even with the support of the best in the business, sellers often overlook a plain fact: whether it be land, a house, condo or commercial space, unless your property is the bargain of the century, selling it can be an involved process. This requires first rate management from experienced professionals with excellent communication skills.
Despite the Costa Rican property market exhibiting encouraging signs that the effects of the 2008 financial crisis are now in the rear view mirror, memory persists. Buyers still remain selective about where they choose to invest their life savings. Additionally, at Remax we often find that sellers have the same questions and concerns, and frequently make identical mistakes during the selling process. In order to address this we have put together the following simple guide for those about to place their property on the market. While reading this, also know that the Remax staff is always on hand to assist you directly at any point during the period in which your property is listed with us.
So you’ve decided to sell your Costa Rican property. What next?
Let’s kickoff by highlighting some of the mistakes that we see recurring most frequently, and more importantly, how to avoid them. Some may seem obvious but we feel their inclusion is beneficial to all, particularly first time sellers.
Over-pricing the property:
Granted, it may seem silly to mention, but the fact is too many properties simply aren’t priced correctly these days. Contrary to popular belief, any realtor worth his/her salt knows that their job is not to “sell” a property, and often won’t waste everyone’s time showing it if they consider it overpriced. Another myth is clients with the necessary disposable income to be able to buy a second property are inherently savvy. Often even these people are nervous about buying a home in a foreign country. A great realtor knows that their primary role is to win the respect and trust of clients and allow them to make informed decisions with confidence. Your property needs to sell itself. The first and most important step towards this is ensuring that it comes with the appropriate number attached. Methods of valuation include the following:
- Owner’s Value: What the owner thinks it’s worth.
- Investment / Income Value: This is determined by the current value of future income from the property and incorporates it into the price an investor would be willing to pay.
- Comparative / Market Value: Numbers stemming from data collected on recently sold properties with similar characteristics.
- Actual Value: The old adage “It’s only worth what someone is willing to pay for it” applies here. The price reflects the dollar number that a willing seller receives from a willing buyer. In simple terms the price for which the property is sold.
- Replacement / Cost Value: This is determined by analyzing the site as a whole. How much is the land worth and what would it cost to build a similar structure (minus depreciation).
If you want to sell your property (as opposed to merely having the property for sale) then pricing it appropriately cannot be overemphasized. Rest assured that Remax Nosara is here not only to help you with a realistic valuation but also to show you how to effectively maximize that value.
Ensure the paperwork is in order
Selling a property requires a number of correct documents. If any of these documents contain errors or ambiguities then administrative problems will occur. When a prospective seller approaches Remax to list with us, we request the following:
- The plano
- The title deed to ensure the property is free and clear and is not subject to legal dispute.
- The original building plans or permits (particularly for new or recent builds).
- Municipality declarations. These must be updated every 5 years.
- Receipts proving that land taxes have been paid.
- Receipts proving that corporation taxes have been paid if the property is held by a corporation.
While the problem of a property without clearly marked boundaries is a relatively minor one, it is significant enough to deserve a mention here. When viewing a potential property, buyers like to see exactly what it is they may be purchasing. Costa Rican law states that a property must be marked with a fence yet this is often overlooked. As part of the due diligence process, Remax Nosara uses experienced surveyors to mark property boundaries according to GPS data. In a number of cases the GPS data highlights a discrepancy between what the owner thinks the borders are and what the law states they are. Correct title deeds and documented proof of exact border dimensions save time and money.
Paramount in the sale of any property is the buyers’ first impression of the place. The frequency with which we receive properties that are a total mess still surprises us. Inexpensive things like paint, varnish and even cleaning are all too often overlooked. The priority for most of our clients is good value, however the way a property makes them feel is also of great importance. In today’s market only a small portion of potential buyers can look past their emotions far enough to envision the future potential of a property. Instead of worrying about how long it will take to paint or wondering why the yard is still filled with junk from previously messy renters, the buyer needs to be admiring the view and picturing themselves enjoying their new life in a fresh, clean environment. The visual appeal of a well-maintained property infinitely outweighs that of one in need of repair. While we receive some properties that require extensive improvements, often we receive many that are are simply in need of some basic, inexpensive TLC. Fixing up a property before listing it is truly one of the best investments you can make and pays real dividends when it comes to selling.
While this may seem self-serving to include here, the fact is a number of smart sellers have begun to offer slightly higher realtor commissions than the standard 6%. At Remax Nosara we treat every client with the same high levels of care and attention. However if the possibility exists whereby we may make a little more money from a higher commission on a sale then it follows that those properties will be pushed and promoted that much harder. If your property has been on the market longer than you would like, then a wise alternative to lowering the price may be offering the realtors a higher commission. Showing us that you appreciate our time and efforts is surefire way to guarantee that we will put in the extra effort for you.
So why Remax?
The alarming number of self proclaimed “professionals” emerging to add to the already overabundant supply of Nosara realtors can be overwhelming. Never before has your choice regarding who oversees the sale of your property been more crucial. Remax Nosara understands that the sale of your land or investment property is one of the most vitally important decisions you may ever make. We pride ourselves on ensuring that the selling experience is a positive one for all. We work tirelessly to provide our clients with the necessary edge by offering a level of service that far exceeds our competitors. We consider a relationship built on trust essential to ensuring the satisfaction of all with whom we deal. We take these relationships very seriously and promise you the following:
- To follow the instructions you have given us based on the best available information we have given you.
- To convey any and all offers made on your property.
- To provide honest market appraisals.
- To keep you informed at all times.
- To maintain full confidentiality.
- To always act in your best interests.