Reader's Polls / Best Real Estate Agency in Yucatan 2008

Best Real Estate Agency in Yucatan 2008

Best Real Estate Agency in Yucatan 2008

27 May 2008 Reader's Polls 112

If you are living here in Yucatan, chances are one of the first things you did was to buy or rent a home.

While some of us were savvy enough or spoke Spanish well enough to trato directo (deal direct) with the sellers or landlords, many of us spent our initial days here with a helpful real estate agent. So we're pretty sure that almost every reader of Yucatan Living has something to contribute to this poll.

In order for a real estate agency to qualify for this poll, it must list and sell properties in and around the state of Yucatan. And it must also have at least one bilingual employee who can deal competently with English-speaking extranjeros.

Please consider a few other things when voting for the best real estate agency. Naturally, the best agency should hire and employ knowledgeable agents. They should know the territory, the process of buying and selling a house here in the Yucatan and how to get things done in this environment. They should treat customers well, with both patience and respect. They should have integrity (loosely defined as doing what they say they are going to do). They should be pleasant to work with, and after the deal is done, you should feel comfortable recommending them to family and friends.


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Some things we feel are not in the real estate agent's control, especially here in the Yucatan. We believe you can’t judge a real estate agent on how long it takes to buy or sell a house, for instance. Or on whether or not the seller or buyer had integrity. Or on how happy or unhappy you are with the house once you move in. Sometimes, forces of nature (or forces of Mexico) create havoc for the best of professionals.

We open this poll with five real estate agencies that work regularly with extranjeros, but this is certainly not an exhaustive list. New agencies appear on the scene all the time, and we are not the best judges... that's why the Poll is here for our readers to make their favorites known. So please vote (one person - one vote, please) and may the best agency win!

The Nominees Are...

Here in alphabetical order are the initial 2008 nominees for Yucatan Living's Readers Choice Award for Best Real Estate Agency in Yucatan:

Buena Vida Realtors – Run by Rupert Millautz, Buena Vida Realtors is a small agency that prides itself on providing good service.

Casa Blanca Real Estate – Probably the oldest agency that works with English-speaking extranjeros, the agency is run by Jorge Caceres with offices on the corner of Calle 55 and Calle 66.

Mexico International – Founded by Mitch Keenan, the first extranjero to set up a real estate agency in Merida. His team of agents is based out of their offices in the Fiesta Americana building next to the Sanborn’s restaurant.

Real Estate Yucatan – The husband and wife team of Gabriela Isaac and Alec Stephens, and Gabriela's brother Isaac Salim, run this agency. Gabriela and Isaac are Yucatecos and Alec hails from Mexico City, but spent many years working and living in the USA.

Tierra Yucatan – This agency is represented by Jennifer Lytle, her socio, David Palomo and a team of agents. Jen has traveled and lived in Mexico for over 30 years after moving here from San Antonio, Texas. Jennifer’s team works out of their renovated colonial office on Calle 66 in Merida’s centro historico.

Nominate Your Favorite

If you know the name of an agency that deserves to be nominated for the 2008 award, please leave a comment with the name of the company, the agent and the website address. We'll add them to the Poll. Nominations will be accepted until September 1st, giving everyone plenty of time to add their favorite agency. Voting will continue under the very end of 2008, and not a minute sooner!

Reader's Nominations:

Mayan Living - Jim Mann has run this very successful real estate firm for as long as we've been in Merida.

Mayan Realty - A local real estate firm owned by Jorge Mazún.

Bookmark Yucatan Living and come back often to see how your favorite agency is doing. Then, come back again in early 2009 to read about the winners of the 2008 Yucatan Living Readers Choice Awards for Best Real Estate Agency in Yucatan.

Comments

  • CasiYucateco 10 years ago

    The practice of charging began because quite a number of "buyers" turned out to be people on vacation who wanted free tours of Yucatan's haciendas and colonial homes. I was personally present when one couple expressed interest, asked to see several unrestored haciendas scattered across the countryside, rode along as the "showings" took place, and it became obvious that they were actually just tourists.

    I once saw another couple do the same thing - except they simply wanted to see the beach areas ("We're interested in really nice beach homes."). After a round-trip of nearly 200 miles, they revealed that they may be interested "in a few years but not now."

    People who are actually looking tend to ask a bazillion questions about legalities, title, escrow, fees, attorneys, fidiecomisos, maintenance, etc. People on a tour tend to comment "how beautiful," "wouldn't it be expensive to live here?" "wow, what a money pit, we're better off in our Toronto apartment." It becomes very obvious after a while.

    No one can stay in business under those conditions. Who can spend day after day with sightseers, paying nearly $4.00 for gasoline, driving dozens of miles? The fees sort out buyers from the tourists.

    Also, in the USA, there are qualifying interviews where income is asked (and should be checked), etc. So, the agent knows for a fact that you are qualified to buy a home. That doesn't take place in Mexico. Agents just have to take your word for it.

    Some charge and some don't. Those who don't tend not to show houses far from Centro, so they don't have much travel. Those more in demand tend to charge, because they've got to use their time with actual prospective buyers, not tourists. And anyway, many wave the fees once they determine someone is truly interested in buying.

    So, rather than "one of those Mexican things," it is something that (abusive) tourists have made necessary.

    (Full Disclosure: I am not a real estate agent, not employed by any real estate firm, and do not have property for sale. In other words, I don't have any hidden agenda.)

  • Harald Jezek 10 years ago

    J.D. & Steve:
    It never happened to me and I never heard about it either and I'm already here for more than 10 years.
    I suggest you just refuse to pay them anything. At the end, they are the ones who want to make business and showing you around should be the investment from their end (obviously, assuming that you are really interested in doing business with them).

  • J.D. and Steve 10 years ago

    Is it common practice for realtors to charge $50+ for their time and gas to show you around? This doesn't seem right, but maybe it's one of those Mexican things. Can someone comment?
    THANKS!
    J.D. and Steve

  • Candy Watson 10 years ago

    Jim Mann at mayanliving.com is the best. He has been very helpful and patient in walking me through the process of purchasing a home in the Yucatan. Jim is knowledgeable, professional and honest. All characteristics one needs with such an investment. I highly recommend Jim, especially for a first time buyer.

  • Janice Desjardins 11 years ago

    I recently sold my home in Chicxulub. Doug Wiley was my agent, along with his wife Teresa. I had excellent and professional service from Doug and Teresa. I felt they were dedicated to selling my home. They did more showings than any other agents. I also enjoyed the pleasure of their friendly, down to earth approach. I was so pleased I listed 2 other properties with Doug. Very, very nice people. Jim handled the closing and was efficient, knowledgable, and a pleasure to work with.

  • John Miller 11 years ago

    I'm glad to see so many recommendations for Mayan Living and Mexico International because I can highly recommend these real estate agencies as well. Both are very professional, responsive, and helpful. Jim Mann of Mayan Living and Keith Heitke of Mexico International are reliable and trustworthy professionals.

  • Georgina Obre 11 years ago

    I would like to endorse Casa Blanca, and, in particular, Anny Schrader. I had an appointment with Anny my first day in Merida to view homes. The appointment began at the time arranged and she showed me four homes, the fourth of which I bought. She did not charge anything for her gas or mileage. The purchase went expectionally smoothly and quickly. As a Canadian buying in a foreign country, trust and confidence in my real estate agent was exceptionally important. I was very comfortable leaving Merida after signing a contract with Casa Blanca, that the purchase would go smoothly, due entirely to Anny's conduct and professionalism.

    Above all else, she has integrity. If she says she will do something, she does it, if she says something is so, it is so. In all circumstances I have no hesitation in endorsing her not only as a very professional real estate agent, but also as a person of great integrity. In fact, two other people at the law firm where I work in Canada have purchased homes through Anny on my recommendation. I would have no hesitation in recommending Anny and Casa Blanca to anyone wishing to purchase property in Merida and the Yucatan.

  • Anita de Wit 11 years ago

    I highly recommend Anny of Casa Blanca. She is extremely knowledgeable and efficient, plus she goes the extra mile(s) for her clients. It was a breeze buying property through her. She is truly a wonderful person.

  • Dean geyer 11 years ago

    My 1st choice is Casa Blanca Real Estate broker in Merida, Anny Schrader is a sales and service pro. Anny has done much more than her job calls for, she is very client
    focused and hard working. Trust is a big item here in Mexico for foreigners, well no problem at all with Casa Blanca Real Estate. All transfer and legal transactions were smooth and done correctly. I would recommend Casa Blanca Real Estate for any of your Real Estate needs. Anny has recommended a local contractor in the Chelem area, which is working out very well. Anny i do wish you all the best in your real estate career.

    Dean Geyer

  • Sunny & Hank 11 years ago

    We cannot express enough words to say how wonderful our experience was 3 years ago with Anny at Casa Blanca Realty. She was truly patient showing us properties at the beach and in Merida before we could make up our minds. She shared tons of information with us, helped us get our house set up (water, electric etc.). Still, after 3 years, we can call or email her with any question and she is available to help us out. She is a very good friend who was once our real estate agent! Anny's philosophy is that she will provide you with lifetime support once you work and purchase from her. She also is very tenacious in getting in to see properties and hunting down owners and she knows a lot of people having lived in Merida many years. Anny is a great choice - you can't go wrong working with her!

  • Nancy Walters 11 years ago

    I just want to say a big thanks to Anny at Casa Blanca Realty for showing property to my partner and myself and then sending photos and keeping up with us when we changed our minds and opted for another property. She was honest about the neighborhood and showed photos over the internet which helped me make up my mind. She guided us though the buying process and more than a year later I am still happy she was my agent.

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