Preparing for a successful property buying tour
So you are getting ready to visit Los Cabos and look at Real Estate. There are a number of things you need to know about before you get in the vehicle with your agent. Being as educated and prepared as you can ensures you will have a productive and meaningful day touring properties and communities.
1. Prepare yourself ahead of time
Prepare yourself and do your research ahead of time. This means:
A) Going through our Buying Property in Mexico Tutorial and getting your questions ready! This tutorial is easy to use, and you should be able to get through it in 20 minutes.
B) Having a Zoom call with your realtor at least a week before coming to Cabo to discuss your questions about buying here, your price point, investment objectives, lifestyle considerations, attributes of a home or condo, and where and how you see yourself living.
C) Having realistic expectations about the property market in Cabo. Your realtor will help you understand what properties are right for you in Cabo. Prices have increased in Cabo from pre-Covid days. Reviewing our latest Quarterly Real Estate Market Report, you will be better informed about the market here.
D) Agreeing to a day to tour properties well in advance of flying to Cabo. Showings rarely happen on weekends. Plan on a weekday for your property tour. Do not expect to see properties on your arrival day; flight schedules, immigration and customs queues, and traffic all add uncertainty to a potential start time. Yes, it seems like a great use of time until your hotel room or Airbnb is ready to check into but the uncertainties make it extremely difficult to schedule and re-schedule if you are held up. We like clients to arrive, get settled, and have a few days to relax before seeing properties.
E) Preparing yourself for a busy day touring properties. This means dedicating the day to the tour. If you’re serious at all, you will do this. If you’re not serious, you’ll be the type who is asking to change the tour day at the last minute to accommodate fishing or whale watching or wanting to cut the tour short and be dropped off at a bar on the marina.
F) Having realistic expectations about the number of people coming on tour. Your realtor doesn’t own a school bus, and it would be inappropriate to ask to take three couples out to look at properties when only one couple is interested in buying. Keep the tour participants to serious buyers only, and make sure you disclose how many are coming on tour. Every Cabo realtor has been surprised at least once with a last-minute expectation to accommodate more people, and most will say no.
2. Property Tour Day
It’s property tour day. Here are some things you should know about a property tour in Cabo. There are no lockboxes here. Each and every showing is coordinated with the listing agent. This means not only are you consuming your agent’s time but the time of another agent to be at the property, open it up, stage it, and make the property shine. Showings rarely happen on weekends. Showings do not happen last minute either because of the coordination with the listing agent.
A) Be on time for your agent to pick you up at your hotel or Airbnb. If you are late, it causes a waterfall effect of your agent contacting the other agents to bump the schedule for your lateness. Some listing agents may have other commitments and cannot accommodate the later showing – this only hurts you, the buyer, because you won’t get to see that property. If it is an important one to see, then your agent will try to rebook that day or for the next day.
B) Be Serious – this is not a party fun day, so leave your red solo cups at the resort and be well-fed and hydrated. It will be hot and sunny on tour, so bring sunglasses, water, sunscreen, and something to cover your head.
C) Stay on schedule – your agent’s job is to keep you on schedule. Your part is to see all you can see in the allotted time, and don’t doddle! If you need to spend more time in a property, your agent will happily arrange a second showing with the listing agent, understanding that it is a second look and more time is required. Sometimes we can arrange for an evening-sunset showing with wine and cheese.
D) Take Notes – your agent will give you property listing sheets, a clipboard, and a pen. Make notes along the way as properties will run together. Make sure you don’t leave your notes behind in your realtor’s vehicle.
Enjoy the day, and have a great tour!
Our top 10 buyer bad behaviors
There are good buyers and bad ones and the ones who had no intention to buy at all. In no particular order, these are the bad buyer behaviors we have experienced as agents in Los Cabos:
- Is it cloudy outside? (the last-minute showing) – We laugh about people who contact us in the morning who want to see a 7 figure property that day (as soon as possible). We look outside, and yes, for sure, it’s cloudy out, and they want to find something to do. They’re not serious at all, just looking for something fun to do that day. In Cabo, 24 hours’ notice is the norm for a showing for many, many reasons, including weeding out the cloudy weather looky-loos.
- Showings that are To or From the Airport – This one is ballsy, but people still try to squeak in a couple of property showings just after they arrive in Cabo. They know they have a few hours to kill before they check in to their hotel and are not serious enough to dedicate a day to viewing properties. They ask in hopes that you will offer to pick them up at the airport and save them $100 USD on a transport to their hotel or Airbnb. Same on the rebound when they’re leaving, a last-minute call to see to try seeing 2 or 3 properties before – you guessed – suggesting you drive them to the airport. Agents in Los Cabos are generally on to this unless they’re new.
- Chauffeuring – We have actually had buyer clients ask to be driven to run errands. One client wanted to be taken to somewhere to buy another piece of luggage because they bought too many Cabo souvenirs to fit into the luggage they had. Sometimes buyers also ask to be dropped off somewhere at the end of the tour, like at the Marina. Most agents don’t mind the drop-off so long as it’s convenient.
- Party time – We have actually toured clients who were packing Go Cups filled with wine, and they were well on their way when we started the tour. Never again.
- Bus full of looky-loos – We had a client planning to rent a bus to tour a group of 4 couples through properties here. This one snuck up slowly, first one couple, then more, then the bus, and then the night before the tour; the client wants to cut the tour in half to get to a bar on the marina by noon. They were not a serious group of people, so we gave them back the entire day to get their Cabo on.
- Clients that will tour and tour and tour and never buy – We have had a few clients that we toured multiple times before we figured out they were never going to buy. Seeing property in Cabo fulfills a Mexico Life, Beachfront Bargain Hunt fantasy for some. We suspect they are the same kind of looky-loos at home as well. Clients no more.
- Client no show to sign an offer – We had a client who had been shaping up like the type noted in #6 above but was talking about spending seven figures. Upon completion of a property tour, the client advised they wanted to make an offer and to write it up and bring it to the hotel in the morning to sign. Went to the hotel in the morning, and the client checked out and was gone to the airport – without any warning. Client no more.
- Agent Switcheroo – As listing agents, we show property in person, and occasionally the buyer coming through decides they like you better than their agent. Often times this means asking us for a business card which we rebuff. We cannot solicit clients when we show a property or respond to their solicitation. On one occasion, we had a woman Google us after a showing and called Samantha, and tried the agent switcheroo. The woman had a very distinctive accent but gave a different name. She wanted to see properties the next day before their flight left and… you guessed it asked for a lift to the airport. We cross-checked with the agent who brought them to our listing showing and confirmed the phone numbers were the same. No showings and no lift to the airport.
- ROI Guarantee – In real estate, buyers have differing expectations. When it comes to investor types, we have had many who were looking for their agent to deliver them the ideal turn-key Short-Term Rental (STR) moneymaker with a bow on it. One such buyer asked us to guarantee their ROI. Of course, we laughed because no one would. As agents, we will show you properties with great STR potential, but we can’t deliver a turn-key business case and certainly not guaranteed ROI. Investors need to do their homework and be prepared to take a risk like any other investor.
- Rent-a-Friend – We worked diligently with a couple for several weeks with phone calls and reviewing properties online. We planned a tour and shared the proposed schedule. They were disappointed with the amount of time allotted to view each listing and told us they prefer to spend an hour in each property to really get a feel for the property. We respectfully declined and advised them that another showing would be arranged for short-listed properties where they could spend more time. They then asked us what the plan was for after the tour? We advised they would be dropped off at their hotel. Disappointing them again, we were then told they expected to spend the evening with us and even more time in the days that followed. Again, we respectfully declined. Disappointment prevailed, and they advised us we would no longer be their agents. Your agent in Los Cabos has a life outside of real estate that includes family, pets, and their own personal commitments. We enjoy socializing with our clients, and many have become our friends. When a client is here to look at properties, we will try to make time for socializing during their visit if we can. Competent and capable realtors we are, Rent-a-Friends, we are not.