Is your property ready for sale?
It is an all too common experience in Panama. Seller’s are anxious to sell their properties, but commit major errors that cause their property to lag on the market for months, or sometimes even years, while maintenance fees, mortgage payments, and other expenses reduce net profits every month that goes by.
Help us help you get your property sold fast – here are Philip James’ quick tips for a quick property sale:
1. MAKE YOUR APARTMENT ATTRACTIVE TO THE BUYER: Walk through each room and criticize the home from a buyer’s perspective. Invest the time to fix the most egregious flaws that can be fixed cost effectively. These include signs of water damage, broken tiles, cracks on walls and ceilings, and fixing broken windows, doors or cabinets. Consider painting before selling, especially if it has been more than one year since the apartment was painted or if the color scheme is odd. Eliminate window shades, curtain and blinds that are dirty, broken or outdated. Needless to say, give the apartment a thorough cleaning, and make sure it is aired out and smells good, with no signs of must and mold. Philip James can assist you in achieving these goals quickly with minimal cost.
2. DECLUTTER AND DEPERSONALIZE: If you are still living in the apartment, in addition to the above, declutter and depersonalize the apartment. Put away family photos and personal artifacts, excess furniture, toys and appliances, and consider painting in neutral colors and tones. Keep the apartment clean and organized, putting in an extra effort right before showings.
3. HAVE ALL BASIC INFORMATION ON YOUR PROPERTY AVAILABLE: (And share it with your agent!) Clients are going to ask, so might as well know the answers from the beginning. How old is your apartment or home? How many years are left of tax exoneration? How much are the annual property taxes? What is the registered value of the property? What is the current value of the mortgage? How many square meters is the construction and/or the property? How much are the administration fees? Who was the developer of your building? Take 15 minutes right now to collect this information, and then send it to your real estate agent in an email so they can share it with clients. Need help? Email Philip James today for assistance!
4. TAKE GREAT PICTURES: Make sure you accomplish steps one and two first. Then, if you have the desire and requisite skills, on a day with good lighting, perhaps in early morning or late afternoon, take pictures of the interior, exterior, social area, and building facade of your property for sale. Invest at least 30 minutes in the endeavor, afterwards weeding out the poor photos and saving the best to use in promoting your property. Need help? Contact Philip James and we will take the photos for you! This service is free for our exclusive listings.
5. GET PAPERWORK IN ORDER: When an offer comes, you want to be ready. As such, have your paperwork in order before you get an offer! Make sure you have in hand your original deed to the property. If there is a mortgage, verify the current mortgage balance, and check with your bank regarding potential prepayment penalties that will affect your net proceeds on the sale. Also calculate the taxes you will owe on the sale so there are no last minute surprises. Make sure there are no liens on the property that will prevent title transfer once you have an offer. In case of a property held in a corporation, also make sure you have on hand the articles of incorporation of the company the property is held in, as well as original stock certificates, director resignation letters, and renunciation letters from the company subscribers. Make sure the directors of the company are available for signing of contracts and actas as necessary. Get these items in order now, so they do not cause a sale to fall through later if you are unprepared. Make sure to consult your real estate agent and lawyer early on with any questions.
6. KNOW THE MARKET: An overpriced property sits on the market for months or years all the while costing you money. Buyers are astute comparative shoppers, and in the end overpriced units do not sell. In addition, property that sits on the market for a long time begins to become stigmatized, creating a vicious cycle. An owner benefits by taking the time to determine a realistic selling price from the beginning that includes a small margin for negotiation, than overpricing only to reduce the sales price later after incurring significant holding costs and losing potential buyers. In our next email, we will go into more details on properly pricing your property.
In the meantime, don’t hesitate to contact us if you have any questions. We look forward to selling your property soon!