By Harriet Murray ● Cochran Real Estate ● August 2014
“Salesmanship consists of transferring a conviction by a buyer to a seller.” Paul G. Hoffman, l960
The work of marketing, selling and closing on a property involves many steps.
- Prior to listing the property, the listing agent should evaluate the comparable sales pertinent to the real estate he/she is proposing to market. Important considerations to help find a buyer for the property include analysis of: actual sales prices, asking prices, condition of properties, the qualities of the neighborhood and the community where the real estate is located. Today we also have to take into account market conditions for the Bay in terms of supply and demand, and economic problems in the rest of North America. Sales prices are difficult to track, since at this time there is very little sharing by AMPI offices.A marketing plan and budget should be developed prior to taking the listing. This marketing plan is a part of the listing presentation. The price and type of property affect the marketing strategy. A condominium has certain features different from an individual villa, and these differences should be emphasized.
- Once the marketing plan and price have been established and an exclusive listing contract signed, the agent should obtain from the seller a copy of their legal paperwork defining their ownership of the property This will include, but not be limited to, the escritura (deed) which will be a fidecomiso or bank trust in the case of a foreigner, predial or tax statement, survey and plans, if available, condominium regime and related documents. It is a good idea to also request a copy of the most recent trust payment.
- If the community has a homeowner’s association, the legal documents will be similar to condominium documents. These papers describe the common ownership and responsibility of the owners to pay the maintenance fees to protect the value of the common areas and the individual property.
- The nature and quality of the utility services is important to ascertain. Does the property have sewer or septic? Is there gas or only electricity? Is the water one main or an individual meter? Is the common pool heated?
- It is important to determine whether the structure of the villa or condo is adjacent to or into a federal maritime or highway zone.
- The seller of record on the escritura is the one to sign the listing agreement and agree with the marketing costs and plan. If the owner has given someone a power of attorney to sign on their behalf, this document needs to be reviewed legally. It is also very important to check to be sure the person giving the POA is alive. POA’s expire upon the death of the giver.
- The seller should disclose the condition of the property, so that steps can be taken to remedy a situation prior to marketing the property for sale. If the roof leaks or there is termite damage in a beam, get these repairs done before beginning the marketing. It is a good idea to order a no lien certificate which can be the expense of the seller, and is handled by the notary.
This article is based upon legal opinions, current practices and my personal experiences in the Puerto Vallarta-Bahia de Banderas areas. I recommend that each potential buyer or seller of Mexican real estate conduct his own due diligence and review.