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8 Reasons why your property in Costa Rica has not sold in 7 years

Learn now why properties often take forever to sell in Costa RicaBuyers usually ask how long a property is for sale and why it has not sold. And why it takes so long in Costa Rica, while in some other places property sells in a matter of days. I wrote this article originally for the real estate section of The Tico Times. On request, I am republishing this article in English and in Spanish, the reason why it’s included in Ivo’s blog.

A home-seller recently sent me an email saying, “Could you please list my property in Costa Rica? I need to sell and move on, but it’s been listed for seven years now and has not sold.”

In some countries and cities, a property listing might be on the market for a week or even less. In Costa Rica, I have seen properties sit on the market for seven years or even more. Why is that?

There are many reasons for a property to sit on the market for years, but the simple answer is “because Costa Rica is different.” If you list your property and it’s actively being marketed and it still doesn’t sell, you can either sit on it for another 210 years and your great-grandkids will get stuck with it, or you can get serious, read the eight reasons below and do something about it.

1. Follow the Agent’s Advice

Have you asked the realtors in your area for the reasons your property has not sold and then followed their advice? Probably not! Listen to the suggestions the local realtors can give you, and I mean this. They should all be able to give you good ideas if they still want to talk to you.

Learn now why properties often take forever to sell in Costa Rica

2. Priced to Sell?

Is your property priced to sell? Probably not! I sometimes get sellers, after trying to sell their property for a long time, who ask me to raise the asking price. Hey, if it didn’t sell for a low price, let’s try for a high price, right? It makes sense, doesn’t it? Of course not. You should do the exact opposite and lower the price and if it doesn’t sell, lower it again. Repeat this process until it sells.

Have you done all this and the house still has not sold? If you’re waiting for the next boom, then take it off the market and don’t try to keep it listed at a ridiculously high price it will never sell at. You’re wasting everyone’s time and effort.

Maybe it’s time for a price reduction?

3. Wow Photos

Ask the realtors to take exceptional photos. Realtors are not photographers and so poor listing photos are not unusual. Good photos help sell a property. Few realtors in Costa Rica will pay for a professional photographer to come in and make your house look like that is the property everyone has been looking to buy.

Hire that professional photographer yourself and you’ll be able to recover the money when your property is sold. And you can hand them out to all the listing agents, and post them on your Tico Times FSBO advertisement, on social network sites such as Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram, Twitter, as well as in Costa Rica forums such as CostaRicaLiving and CostaRicaCentralValley.

4. Falling Apart

Your property shows terribly, there is no curb appeal at all, the front gate is falling off its hinges, the lawn looks like it’s not been groomed for 6 months and you need a haircut yourself too. Clean up, find some paint, get rid of the dog poop, and clean the cigar smell out of the house. Get the wall-to-wall carpet professionally cleaned and paint the front door. Get a new hinge for that front gate and cut your hair as well as the lawn.

Look for the reasons the property has not sold. Then make the property look picture-perfect at all times!

Learn now why properties often take forever to sell in Costa Rica

5. Leave us Alone!

Maybe you scare the buyers off because you follow them and your realtor during the whole showing? Are you trying to take over the showing from the realtor? You talk too much? You smell bad? Please disappear when your realtor shows the property.

Figure out how to let him/her in or have the maid do it, but please… disappear. Go walk the dog, get that haircut, I don’t care WHAT you do, but make yourself scarce and let the realtor do the job.

6. Great Description

Your property listing has been sitting on the market for a long time, and buyers already recognize the photos that have been there for a long time. And most of them look horrible anyway. Get new photos, as I suggested, and ask the realtors to totally re-do the listing as if they were listing it for the first time.

Ask a friend who writes well to help write the description of the property and ask the real estate agents to use that description. Tell your writer friend all the reasons you bought the house and why it’s such a great house that anyone would want to buy it. Turn your property into a hot listing.

If you can’t find any incredible amenities and pros about your property, you’re in trouble and you should create new reasons so the first buyer who walks in there says, “Wow, I really love this place, this is paradise!”

7. When to Show

You never make it possible to show the property, you always have more important things to do. You tell the realtor “please don’t come before 11:00 a.m. because I can’t make the beds before the showing.” Or you have to go to the hairdresser. This weekend you’ll be out of town and next weekend you have that barbecue at Uncle Ben’s house. And when you’re out of town, you always lock the master bedroom, where your valuables are, so the buyers can’t get in and cannot see the most important bedroom and bathroom of the house. Or you tell the realtor, “The best day to show is on Thursdays from 2:00 to 3:00 if it doesn’t rain.”

Often, this is a very important reason the property has not sold. Make your property available to show, at all times.

Learn now why properties often take forever to sell in Costa Rica

8. Exclusive or Open Listing?

You have your property listed exclusively with different realtors in your area at different times and they won’t do more than put it on their website and wait for the phone to ring. Have you signed up with the best realtors in the market to promote your listing? Did the agents make a real effort in marketing your property? Have you asked them what else needs to be done to sell your property? Or maybe you should list it as an open listing and they can all work to sell your property in record time?

The eight reasons I just gave you are not necessarily in a specific order, and it’s possible your property in Costa Rica hasn’t sold for only one or two of these reasons. Help yourself and help your listing agents have a serious look at your property listing and the list of reasons above.

Then act on it!

Are you a motivated seller and willing to listen to our recommendations? Then we’d love to list your property and work hard to make it happen! Contact us now.

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I DO want to remind our readers that we appreciate any referrals you can send us. Also, please remember the GoDutch Realty agents when you talk about your home in Costa Rica, we appreciate it.


If you like this blog, subscribe to my newsletter by clicking the banner below.

Click here to subscribe to Ivo's Blog

I DO want to remind our readers that we appreciate any referrals you can send us. Also, please remember the GoDutch Realty agents when you talk about your home in Costa Rica, we appreciate it.

We Love your Referrals at GoDutch Realty

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Ivo Henfling

If you are looking to buy a home in Costa Rica or invest in a condo anywhere in the central Valley, or looking for any property for sale in Escazu, you need to call me. I have been selling real estate in Escazu for over 20 years and can show you hundreds of happy buyers of real estate in Escazu and other areas. To me, a deal is not a good deal unless both buyer and seller are happy.

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0 thoughts on “8 Reasons why your property in Costa Rica has not sold in 7 years”

  • Drue

    23 August, 2020 at 10:01 am

    Spot on about pricing. Had 20 yrs in the RE business. Our manager had a saying to explain to the sellers of an overpriced property why it has not sold. “Your home is either overpriced or underwater. Since it is on a hill, which one do you think it is?” Says it all.!

    Reply

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