The other day I turned away potential business to a gentleman in my home of Puerto Aventuras, located in the Riviera Maya. The prospective buyer asked to see properties he found on my website and then briefly mentioned he was meeting other agents to see additional properties. When I explained that you only need one competent, professional, and qualified buyer's agent, he said he understood and that his daughter is a REALTOR® in the states. However, the gentleman went on to say that he did not wish to commit to one person because of Mexico's reputation were anyone can sell anything. The potential buyer is right. Anyone in Mexico can sell real estate. Knowing this, makes it all the more important to know, interview, and research your real estate agent, their company, and their reputation in the area.
In the US and Canada, prospective buyers research, interview, and allow a licensed REALTOR ® to earn their business as a buyer’s representative. In Mexico, as well as the US and Canada, real estate agents have access to all properties regardless of what websites or signs advertise. Again, I recommend treating a possible purchase in Mexico like a purchase in the US or Canada.
As I sit down to renew my real estate license, (# RS293392 National Association of Realtors) that members have to renew every 2 years, I feel it important to explain why I turned away the potential business. Like buyers should, I need to qualify who I spend my time with. With todays competitive market, real estate professionals have to choose wisely who they allocate their time with in this beautiful Caribbean destination. A real estate professional needs to assess, qualify, and uncover the motivation and criteria of the potential buyer. I am a actively licensed REALTOR® and business owner committed to the profession, but more importantly, I am a husband, father, friend, and local expatriate who has to determine how my time is best spent.
Below are my suggestions for potential buyers. I suggest interviewing at least three professionals before one has the opportunity to earn your business. The potential buyer should also expect to answer some questions. Take your time to choose a qualified professional. Real estate agents know that buying a property can be a slow process of working together with explicit communication and trust.
Some questions/suggestions might be:
1. Know your agent (we live in a transparent and social media world…. information is out there).
2. Why are they living in this area of Mexico, do they own property here and what’s their story?
3. What did they do prior to real estate sales in the Riviera Maya?
4. Do they have a photo of themselves?
5. What area is their expertise? (Mexico is a huge country and some sites purport to cover it all)
6. Are they a member of NAR, AMPI, or are they part of any professional organizations in the Riviera Maya. Many of us reputable real estate agents are part of groups that exchange ideas, inventory, and business related information with other qualified, reputable, and ethical professionals.
7. Ask why you should choose them or their company to represent you?
8. Do they have personal testimonials where clients actually signed their full name?
9. Ask them who they would recommend if they themselves were not in real estate (this is my favorite question to be asked)?
10. When looking to purchase in a development, please seek out an impartial and objective real estate professional who does not work for the developer. Agents for developers are exactly that…….agents who work for and answer to developers. Individual real estate professionals and companies have access to all the developments in the Riviera Maya and our job is to represent YOU, not the developer.
Finally, commit to one professional after your research and keep communication open and ongoing.