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What Should a Real Estate Listing Agent in Mexico Do for You?

Beachfront property in Puerto Vallarta
Credit: Harriet Murray

If you’re planning on selling your home, what should a real estate listing agent in Mexico do for you?

First, your agent will see your property and form an opinion. A good listing agent will ask for feedback from you and the cooperating agents. These comments should be shared with you as a partner in the marketing effort.

After receiving feedback from your agent, any changes that need to be made to improve how your property “shows” should be done as soon as possible.

The number of showings should be a guide to the condition of the real estate market and acceptance of the particular property and its price.

If there is a buyer’s market, sellers are in greater supply. In a seller’s market, there are more buyers. If there is little activity, some forces are affecting the demand for the property. A good listing agent will be sensitive to these conditions and work to maximize the position of your property in order to find the most number of qualified buyers in the current market.

Many sellers say they never hear from their listing agent after the listing contract is signed. Sellers should request regular reporting by the agent. That’s just good business.

If the marketing of your property is successful and a buyer (or multiple buyers) appears, the selling phase begins.

To create a sale, a buyer must be convinced of the value of the property he/she wants to purchase. The agent should encourage buyers to make a written offer. People react to different strategies, so the professional real estate listing agent should pay attention to what is meaningful to buyers and show how the qualities of the property meet their needs and wants.

If a selling agent is working with a buyer, the listing agent should not divulge confidentialities about the seller to the buyer’s representative. The exclusive listing agent should, however, give the selling agent pertinent information, which may help the buyer make a decision.

When the offer is written and presented to the seller, the exclusive listing agent has another job. The offer should be properly written, signed and presented to the seller as soon as possible. Time is of the essence, so it is an important rule to follow in the sale of real estate.

The listing agent can help the seller analyze the offer and can make recommendations for the seller to consider. The listing agent should know of any recent sales that have occurred from the time that the listing was taken. The exclusive listing agent should find out what he/she can about the buyer in order to give the seller a sense of the ability of the buyer to go through with the transaction.

If more than one written offer comes in, the listing agent should present all of them to the seller. The seller can then determine which offer he/she wants to respond to in writing first. The listing agent should guide the seller and make the seller aware of the procedures that should be followed in regard to the AMPI code of ethics.

If buyer and seller accept an offer, the listing agent will continue to see that the procedure of the sale is kept on track and that all timetables, deadlines and document review are accomplished.

The listing agent will help the seller determine the costs of the sale. These costs can include a trust cancellation fee, sales commission plus IVA, capital gains tax, employee liquidation and notice to SECOFI of the change in ownership by a foreigner.

Exclusive listing agents should:

  • Not lose a sale because of poor management of the process of the sale. It is the duty of the exclusive listing agent to keep the seller’s expenses to a minimum, while still making sure the expenses, which are rightfully the seller’s, are paid.
  • Help the seller turn over the condominium, villa or land in clean, working condition.
  • Ensure that the purchase funds of the buyer will be safely kept for payment to the seller. Escrow is a good solution.

Properly managing an exclusive listing agreement is a demanding job. The seller and the listing agent have responsibilities to each other during the term of the contract between them. There is a greater chance of completing the sale if the seller and his/her exclusive agent understand and follow a system.

This article is based upon legal opinions, current practices and my personal experiences in the Puerto Vallarta-Bahia de Banderas areas. I recommend that each potential buyer or seller conduct his/her own due diligence and review.