Every property seller in Costa Rica wants to get the best price for their house, as well as the best conditions possible.
Unfortunately, sellers almost never cooperate in creating the most favorable showing conditions. What do I mean by that?
Every listing on our MLS needs to be approved by me before it is published on the MLS website. By just looking at some of the photos, I can spell it out for those sellers: this will take years to sell. If ever!
On a first date, you want to dress to impress, don’t you? It seems obvious – but no matter what real estate agents tell sellers and no matter how many articles I write about why a property can be on the market for seven years, some sellers don’t seem to get the memo. Let me show you what I am talking about in the next couple of images.
Some homes don’t have much curb appeal, no matter what you do to it. In this sample listing, the curb appeal is absolutely terrible. A power wash, some paint, and some garden maintenance will make a huge difference.
We all know that Costa Rica has a six-month rainy season. Therefore, mold is quite a common issue. However, a smart buyer will make a low-ball offer knowing there is lots of TLC waiting. This seller will not get the max out of the house sale.
Bad repairs that are visible are a bad omen. Taking away a kitchen exhaust fan shows bad taste. If I were a buyer, I would have a home inspector go through this home twice. Getting rid of all the flaws and disrepair is essential.
Buyers paint the house before moving in, according to their own taste and colors; however, a bad paint job make a costly first impression. This house is only 10 years old. Nonetheless, but it has suffered from a careless owner. Painting a house cost money. Not painting it will cost much more.
Roof leaks show very well on drywall ceilings. Even if the roof problems are fixed, a buyer will use those large spots on the ceilings to negotiate the price. Cleaning and fixing the gutters before putting the house in the market is probably also a very good idea.
An empty house looks so much worse than a furnished house. That’s when you see any and every blemish and imperfection. Agents in the Central Valley usually list properties as an open listing, which means that lots of agents list the property. None of the agents insist with the owner to get it cleaned before taking the listing photos – hence the dirt in the photo.
The max? Definitely not!
You probably already figured out that all these photos were taken in the same house. For sure, this seller will NOT get the max out of the house sale, no matter what price tag they decide to put on this listing.
Ivo Henfling, a Dutch expat who has lived in Costa Rica since 1980, founded the American-European Real Estate Group back in 1999 which was the first functioning MLS with affiliate agents from coast to coast. Ivo Henfling can be reached at (506) 2289-5125 / 8834-4515
This article first appeared in 2017 but the principles set forth in this article are timeless and a good reminder for those looking to sell their home in Costa Rica or anywhere else for that matter