In some places it is not uncommon for a property to sell in a few weeks. While in Costa Rica it’s not uncommon for a property to remain unsold for years. There may be a lot of reasons that a property remains on the market for so many years. But we also get used to hearing “this is Costa Rica” as if that explains everything. There may be some more practical reasons.
- Have you asked the real estate agents who specialize in that region why your property hasn’t sold? Have you followed their suggestions? Now ask them if they have any great suggestions that might help?
- Is your property priced comparatively to the regional market price? Probably not. In the past, many people came to Costa Rica thinking they could get rich quick by ‘flipping’ properties. But that market has changed in recent years. Some property owners have been trying to sell for years, and then decide to raise the price. Is that logical? Why not lower the price, and see if that brings in more prospective buyers? If you are waiting for the next real estate boom, then best to simply take your property off the market rather than keep it up for sale at an unrealistic price.
- Be sure to get great photos of the house or property. But understand that real estate agents are not photographers, and photographers are not property sellers. But good photos really do help to sell a property. Some real estate agents will hire a professional photographer to come take photos of your property that are exquisite. But usually they will ask for an exclusive listing for that service. A better solution is to hire a professional photographer yourself, and then use those photos with all the agents you have chosen to list the property. You can also uses those photos to post on a variety of social media sites like Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram, Twitter, national newspapers, and other options.
- Your property is not looking its very best. There is no attractive exterior, the front gate is falling down, the yard looks like a jungle, and the grass needs cutting. Your property must look like a woman on her first date. So consider what needs fixing up, what needs beautifying, and what needs to be removed. Everything should look freshly painted and pristine, get the landscapers in to upgrade the garden, fumigate the house for nasty smells, ventilate the closets, and cut the lawn. The house must be ready to be shown at its best at any time.
- Perhaps having you there at the house is intimidating to prospective buyers. Following them around the house while they are on the tour. Not letting the realtor do their job on their own. Maybe you talk too much telling them all about the house. When the agent arrives to do their job, it is your job to disappear and leave them to it. Or even better, have the gardener let them in while you go out to meet friends, take the dog for a walk, get a haircut. Just disappear.
- Your property has been for sale for so long that all those prospective buyers in the market have already seen the photos over and over again. Back to the quality of those photos. Maybe another reason no one is interested. Back to #3. Take new photos and then get the agents to list the property again with the new photos. It will show up as a new listing. Ask a friend who is good at writing to help write a beautiful description of the property. Tell your friend the reasons why you decided to buy that property. Advertise the property as if it is the very best piece in the area. If you can’t find a list of great things to say about the property, well that is going to be a problem right there. You are going to need to make some changes, and maybe even renovations, so some prospective buyer finally says “wow, this is the property for me!”.
- You’re never available for a showing when buyers are ready to make an appointment. Do you always have more important things to do that can’t be adjusted to meet the buyer’s schedule? You tell the agent “don’t come before 10 am so I can make the beds”. Or you have an appointment with the hairdresser? This weekend you are going out of town, and next weekend you are going to that dance party with Uncle John. Or you have closed the fourth bedroom because it has things of value, and you won’t let anyone in that room. Or you’ve told the agent, “the best day to show the house is on Thursday between 2-3:00, if it doesn’t rain”. You need to make every possible effort to be available and flexible to when it suits the buyer’s schedule.
- Have you already listed the property with a number of exclusive realtors, and yet they haven’t done much more than list the property on their website and then sit in the office waiting for phone calls to come in? Have you already contacted all the best agents in the area? Have they made a super-human effort to market your property? Have you asked what more is needed to make a sale? Or perhaps you should list the property, but without exclusive listings, with all the realtors so there are even more companies working to sell the property in record time.
These 8 reasons are not necessarily listed in order of importance, and it is possible that your property has not sold due to only one or two of these reasons. Help yourself and your real estate agent. Make the changes necessary and take action.
Contact Us for more tips on how to sell your property quickly.