Pam Gray, Realtor®
Homes and Land Of Baja, Los Barriles
It’s true, the pace here in Baja gets even more relaxed during the summer months but that does not mean that nothing is happening. In fact, we see a steady stream of tourists through our Los Barriles Information Center right through hurricane season. We’ve also seen an increase in real estate Buyers in the past two summers. The summer season is no time for Sellers to give up.
Let’s think about it, if someone likes Baja enough to shop for a property here in July how much more are they going to like it in May? These hardy shoppers are highly qualified, this is probably not their first trip to Baja and with a little effort you can easily outshine your competition and win them over.
In my 17 years of selling real estate year-round here, I have shown some pretty scary properties in the summer months. I’ve tried to smile and make light of dust a half-inch thick, dead bugs (or worse), strange odors, and otherwise beautiful homes so full of stored lawn furniture that we could not get into the bedrooms. I can tell you, it will not take much for your property to out-shine most of your competition this time of year.
With some good planning and a sharp real estate agent, you can make a great impression on these buyers and get your property sold before you come back. Here’s how:
• Hire a Caretaker:
If you don’t have a Property Manager consider hiring one or at least arrange for a caretaker while you are away. Make sure you have solid lines of communication with them, that they have quick response times and the ability to send you digital photos. Their responsibilities should include:
– Installing Hurricane Protection. If you are confident your caretaker can do this after you have left, you can leave the shutters down or at least leave key windows/sliders uncovered for as long as possible so potential buyers can see the view. If you must put all the shutters up be sure to leave a way for agents to access and show your home. A serious buyer can make an offer contingent on seeing the home without the shutters in which case, it may be worth paying your Caretaker to remove/reinstall them.
– Fumigation. Don’t neglect your fumigation routine. Most fumigators recommend you spray your property at least twice a year – or more if you have palapa roofing. Be sure to schedule a cleaning a few days afterwards to sweep out the dead critters.
Cleaning: Have your home cleaned at least every other week and schedule sweeping of outdoor areas or any area under palapas more frequently.
– Utilities. While it is helpful to leave at least some power on, water and propane service is not needed to show your house. Your Caretaker should know how to turn these on so a home inspection can be made if you receive an offer while you are away.
– Yard Maintenance. Trimming, weeding, and sweeping of outdoor living areas should be done once a week and verified. Any landscaping will require extra water during the hot months and extra weeding once the rains come. Again, verify with digital photos after each cleaning.
• Store your Outdoor Furniture
Don’t pile up all your outdoor furniture inside the home. A cramped garage is okay, it can demonstrate how much a garage can actually hold! But if you cannot fit your outdoor furniture in the garage rent a storage space for the time you are way. This allows you to leave some of your staging in place. You don’t necessarily have to leave the dining room table set for a dinner party (though that is nice) but do leave the beds made (drape clear plastic over them to protect the bedding from dust without hiding it), hang clean towels on the rack, etc.
Lots can also benefit from a little extra attention in the summer. Is your fence/wall in good condition? Does the gate open easily? Consider having your Caretaker maintain a winding path through your property that shows the highlights. The path should to be walkable in flip-flops, the preferred footwear for summer visitors.
• Stay Engaged.
As I have mentioned, it is important for the people representing you to know that you have not just written the summer off. They should understand your expectations and agree to do their best to meet them while you are away. Be sure that you are easily accessible through email and or phone. You never know when that offer is coming! If you head off to that retreat that requires you surrender your iPhone or the African Safari that’s completely off the grid, leave an alternate contact number and let them know the dates you will be unavailable.
Of course, all this effort will not help if no one is representing you here. It is best to list with an agent who is here and engaged year-round. The next best thing is to work with an office that demonstrates strong teamwork with agents who are here full time and are willing to go the extra mile to help colleagues sell your property.
Whatever you do, don’t surrender! Make the investment to keep your property showing at its best while you are away and be sure to check in regularly to make sure your instructions are being carried out. With a bit of advance planning and attention it will be easy for you to shine among the many shuttered and neglected properties while these intrepid buyers are selecting their new Baja property.
Ready to list your property? Drop me a line! Pam@HomesandLandofBaja.com