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Guanacaste, Costa Rica by Joseph Emanuelli

Real information and stories from Guanacaste , Costa Rica. Presneted by a long time expat living and working in Costa Rica
Costa Rica Property a Sellers’ Biggest Mistake

As a professional real estate broker here in Costa Rica, I come across some crazy stuff and sellers that sometimes are very unrealistic. This happens to brokers worldwide as well but it seems to be a recurring theme here. Let me give you some back ground and facts before you start slamming me with your thoughts as I am sure this article will provoke some from any sellers that might read it.

Here in Costa Rica, if you did not know, realtors are not licensed by the government; meaning just about anybody can be a realtor and believe me many try. However there are two government recognized real estate association CCCBR “Camara Costarricense de Corredores de Bienes Raices” or in English “Costa Rican Chamber of Real Estate Brokers” and the other is CRGAR “Costa Rica Global Association of Realtors”. I happen to be a member of both and a past board of director member for CRGAR.  To be a member you have to go through the associations’ classes and pass tests in order to receive a license from them. By being a member in both associations, I am also a member of NAR, the National Association of Realtors that is based in North America. So I have a really good working knowledge of whats what in Costa Rica real estate as I have been here for almost seven years now do it.

Most people believe that a realtors’ main job is to get the best possible price for the seller, which is true, but it is only part of what we need to do to help the seller. The responsibility of the broker is also to help the seller understand the ramifications of holding onto a property to long. As an example more taxes, or home owners’ association fees, maintenance of the property, property manager and the list goes on. The broker is also a sounding board and has a wealth of information to help the seller.

Here in Costa Rica most of the sellers were originally investors from back in 2000 to 2006, when the market was a new up and coming market and screaming hot. Many people purchased property because of all the great things that Costa Rica has to offer. But over 60% of these past buyers which some are now sellers never really planned on living here full time. The purchase was either for investment purposes only or for a second vacation home. As we all know in life, the best laid out plans always change.

Well the market has changed as well, over the past 5 years, more and more buyer are actually looking to relocate to Costa Rica full time, for tons of obvious reason but that’s another article, and those that are selling have changed their plans. I know you saying about now reading this “when are you going to get to the point of this article”, easy now I am getting there.

Ok so one of the biggest mistakes a seller makes, but not the biggest, is over pricing their property from the get go. Even though the brokers they may interviewed and finally decide on tell them otherwise, they just do not listen. I personally have been interviewed by some sellers that when I recommended a selling price they call me every name in the book. I have heard” Oh your just trying to get me to a lower the price so you can make a quick buck” or I hear “ are you kidding me I paid $$$$ for my property I want to make a profit on it” and the list goes on from there.

In my professional opinion the really biggest mistake a seller makes is when the broker present an offer and the seller says “I am insulted by that offer, it is too low and I will not even counter back”. This is just plan lunacy! Real estate is a business, too many sellers let their personal feeling about the property get in the way of finally selling it. Never as a seller, be the one to walk away from an initial offer, always counter back!! You have nothing to lose and everything to gain, like selling that piece of real estates you want to sell

I am writing this because I am facing this right now. I presented an offer to a seller. The property is priced according to the market and not overpriced, although it did take two plus years to get the seller to see the light and finally price it right. So you can’t say I was trying to make a quick buck. So I presented an offer to this seller two days ago, I immediately called them to discuss and emailed then the signed offer to review. We spent almost two hours on the phone discussing it and the seller said they would get back to me. This morning I get an email from the seller basically saying “I do not accept the offer and tell the buyer to jump in a lake”. Here we go, BIGGEST MISTAKE EVER and dumbest mind set ever!!! By not countering back they let a potential sale slip through their hands. The smart thing to do is always counter back, take the advice of the broker they hired; he or she is the pro, at least if they hired a professional. Yes the price may not be what they want, but in three years with no offers at least it is a starting point.

So after receiving this email I called then right away and discussed. They hired me to sell the property not fold like a house of cards when the table gets knocked a bit. I spent another two hours on the phone helping them realize based on market comparable properties, the present condition of the market, the condition of their property and a whole lot more, that they should never be the ones to walk away at the first offer. Let the buyers be the ones to walk away from a counter offer.

Just because the offer was low that does not mean the buyer may not have more money to spend, think about it, you go and what to buy a car, do you pay the sticker price? Or do you try to negotiate the price down. Buyers of real estate do the same exact same thing; they are trying to get the best price for the property they like. So don’t be offended, be smart and don’t make the same big mistake this seller just did when you are trying to sell your Costa Rica property if you have one.

If you don’t own in Costa Rica you should consider it as there are some really good deals out there still.

Thanks for stopping by and send any comments to me- Joseph Emanuelli @ jaaechef@gmail.com. If you have an interest in real estate or just starting to get a feel for the Playa Hermosa area of Costa Rica, click this link to my personal web site for more information. www.costarican-american-connection.com  or send me a note and I will help point you in the right direction. “Pura Vida”

Posted: Friday, September 26, 2014 11:33 AM by Joseph A. Emanuelli


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