Puerto Vallarta, Mexico - The process for selling a home here in the Bay of Banderas (Mismaloya, Puerto Vallarta, Nuevo Vallarta, Bucerνas, La Cruz de Huanacaxtle, Punta de Mita, etc.) isn't dramatically different from selling a home in the United States or Canada, but there are some differences to the process. I thought that it might be helpful to some to walk through some consideration and the process itself.
Exclusive listing agreements do NOT limit you to only the clients (buyers) of agents who work for that agency. For example, I show properties represented by all major agencies to my clients - and agents from pretty much all agencies seem to show my properties as well.
Choosing the right agent and agency for you is an important consideration. If you don't already have a relationship with an agency and agent, consider interviewing a couple of agents. The agents will likely want to visit your home to get a feeling for its condition, what's to be included in the sale, the view (if any), etc... as well as to meet you, of course. Some topics you might want to cover in such a conversation may include:
The agent's thoughts about your home
The market, in general
A discussion on potential pricing strategy for your home
The agent's background / experience
What the agent generally does to advertise his or her listings
The process (paperwork required, etc.) for listing your home
The MLS systems
The real estate agency's website
Numerous other searchable real estate websites
Affiliated international agency websites
Social media (Facebook, etc.)
Side note - quality photos make a difference! If a client looks at a number of listings online (whether through their own search or from a list that an agent sends them), you can bet that the photographs affect their interest level. Make sure your agent has a plan to represent your property well. You want the potential buyer to want to see your property!
Once you select the right agent and agency for you, you will be asked for some paperwork. This varies from agency to agency. In general, that may include a list along the lines of the following:
A copy of your escritura (deed)
A copy of your predial (a recent property tax bill)
A copy of your ID (passport, etc.)
A signed listing agreement
A list of inventory inclusions or exclusions
A property disclosure statement
A copy of condo documents for the past couple of years (if we don't have them on file)
Acknowledgement that you have been provided a capital gains tax estimate
It looks like a more imposing list than it actually is.
If you actively rent your property, it's also helpful to inform your agent of your rental rates (so that the agent can convey that information to any prospective buyers who are considering the property as a potential rental).
I also noted condominium documents. It's true that not all agencies require that the agents have the condominium documents on-hand when they list a property. Deals sometimes (rarely, but it happens) fall apart due to information within (or not within) the condominium documents. It can also happen that a deal falls apart because the seller doesn't provide the documents per the timeline specified within the agreement (sometimes raising the anxiety level of the buyer). Our agency requires that we have them in advance of the listing. Whether or not the agency requires them in advance of the listing, it really is a good idea to have them ready. It's better that your agent is prepared to respond to the requirements of an offer. We want the process to flow as smoothly as possible (and hopefully as stress-free as possible) to a successful closing.
One final note - many of my clients ask me what the net proceeds would be for a sale at some specific price. Capital gains taxes are calculated in such a manner that if the purchase or sale is in a currency (e.g., USD) other than pesos, the currency exchange rate will affect the gain; capital gains are calculated based on the peso gain, not the dollar gain. Using assumptions for the exchange rate (and selling price), the capital gain (and thus, capital gains tax) can be estimated - but it's only an estimate. With that said, the net is roughly:
Capital gains tax
Trust cancellation or transfer fee
Real estate commissions
The trust cancellation or transfer fee is dictated by your trust bank - it's generally in the range of $1000 USD or so (often less).
There can be additional deductions (for example, if the trust has not been kept up-to-date with annual payments or if there is a property tax amount still due, or if your bank has another fee related to the transfer or cancellation, etc.), but those are the most common factors that go into calculating the net amount.
We have a rather strong market at this time. If you're considering selling, it may be a good time to chat with your real estate agent. I'm sure that many agents are actively looking for more great properties to represent. I know that I am!David Hoffman is a Real Estate agent at Tropicasa Realty. If you are thinking about buying or selling an investment property in Puerto Vallarta or the Banderas Bay area, contact him at 322-888-0791 or davidh(at)tropicasa.com.
Since 1997, Wayne Franklin and his team at Tropicasa Realty have been a trusted name in Puerto Vallarta real estate. Tropicasa Realty is the region's representative for "The Leading Agents of the World" and with over 100 years of combined experience in real estate, all agents of the company are affiliated with AMPI. Wayne Franklin or any member of his knowledgeable team can be contacted in-person at their Romantic Zone Office - Pulpito 145-A at Olas Altas. While in PV they can be reached at (322) 222-6505 or by calling 866-978-5539 (Toll-Free) from the U.S.
Click HERE to learn more about Tropicasa Realty, or visit tropicasa.com.