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Unprepared property owners are such a waste of time

Unprepared property owners are such a waste of timeI encounter unprepared property owners quite often, but they’re only a few minutes away. I don’t list properties that are more than 10 minutes away from my office anymore.

Lazy? No, not really. Just getting sick and tired of so many unprepared property owners.

And I’m not willing to drive 30 minutes to get there and another 30 to get back. Just to list a property that a seller thinks is worth millions, but looks like Sh!t … excuse the French.

Do you know why some agents first ask all kinds of info on a property before making a listing appointment? Especially those agents who are outside the Central Valley and cover a lot of territory do this.

Well-trained agents always first ask all legal documents, photos, and a short description before making a listing appointment.

Unprepared property owners are such a waste of time

The necessary documents

Often, after being asked for more information, the seller won’t send anything. They think the agent is not interested or they simply are one of the many unprepared property owners. Many don’t have the required ownership documents or even a survey map of the property. I’m sure they’ll find a more cooperative real estate agent who will list their property without knowing if the title is clear.

A messy house

I have seen my share of unmade beds, messy offices, bathrooms with dirty towels and underwear and kitchen counters full of dirty dishes and other “stuff”. Throughout this article, I will show photos from homes owned by unprepared homeowners.

I’m sure you’ll enjoy the story of this listing appointment one of our agents had with one of the most unprepared property owners that even I have heard of. The seller contacted us because he wanted assistance to sell one of the two houses he owns in Sabanilla, San Jose.

Unprepared property owners are such a waste of time

Setting up a meeting

Seller: I want to sell my house in Paso Real, Sabanilla.

Agent: OK, I know Paso Real.  I can meet you at the house…or, at least, at the entrance to Paso Real.

Seller: No, let’s meet at Friday’s restaurant, and you can follow me from there.

Agent: No, we’re coming from the other direction, and traffic’s terrible at that hour.  How about the new McDonalds in Sabanilla Centro?

Seller: OK.

Agent: What kind of car will you be in?

Seller: Ummm…it’s a rental.  I’m not sure what kind it is.

Agent: Well, let me know tomorrow.

Unprepared property owners are such a waste of time

The listing appointment

Agent: OK, here we are.  Let’s go see the house in Paso Real.

Seller: No, I want to sell the house in Malaga [the subdivision next door] first.

Agent: Ok.  You’re the boss.

Seller: Ummm…I don’t speak Spanish.  Can you tell the guard we’re going to see my house?

Agent: Sure, a pleasure.

Seller: Ummm…none of these 10 keys seem to work.  Wait here while I go get some other keys at my house in Paso Real.

Agent: Ok, I’ll wait.

Seller: Ummm…none of these keys work, either.  Maybe we can try again next week.

Agent: Fine. Cool.

Seller: Hey, let me show you the Paso Real house.

Agent: OK, back to square one. So you’re prepared to sell that house now?

Seller: No, I still want to sell the Malaga house first.

Agent: Well, then it’s not worth wasting time looking at the house in Paso Real now.

Seller: OK.  Hey, before you go, can you ask those painters across the street if they do another kind of work?  I need some work done in my backyard.

Agent: Oh yes, love to help out when needed. Let me know when you’d like me to start selling.

Unprepared property owners are such a waste of time

Are you ready?

I know, it’s hard to keep your cool when you have unprepared property owners like this. If you’re a selling homeowner, I’m sure you will never treat an agent like this. Few people do. But lots of unprepared property owners don’t get their property documents and the house in order for a listing appointment. Or the keys.

By the way, the seller never called the agent again to list either one of the houses. So it was all a waste of time.

Are you a well-organized, motivated and well-prepared property owner? Are you looking for the assistance of a professional real estate agent to sell your property in Costa Rica?

Then please don’t hesitate to contact us.


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While we’re at it, I DO want to remind our readers that we appreciate any referrals you can send us. Finally, please remember the American-European real estate Group’s agents when you refer a real estate agent. Because we DO appreciate your business.

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Ivo Henfling

Ivo Henfling started the American European Real Estate Network Costa Rica in 1996 and has grown it into the largest Costa Rica MLS with thousands of up to date property listings for sale and for rent. Ivo has written hundreds of articles about real estate and living in Costa Rica for The Tico Times and other online informational sites.

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