Sold! How I sold my beach lot in Ecuador. Part 10 Property search series

 
I know what you’re thinking.

Where’s part 1-9 of this series?

Well, they were released about this time last year and tell the story from step one of how I found an undervalued beachfront lot near Salinas, Ecuador, legalized and resold it.

Well, about a year later, it’s now sold.

First, the specifics… 

In October of 2012 I bought a 500m2 lot right on the beach in a small fishing village 30 minutes south of Salinas near the town of Chanduy for $4000.   The lot was cheap for a number of reasons, the lot was located in a rather impoverished, completely undiscovered area of the coast, the papers of the lot were out of date and needed to be legalized (or attained for the first time), and the previous owner didn’t know much about marketing and sales.  The lot took about one month to legalize and cost around $500.  (No lawyer fees except for the notary.)

Then, in November of 2013, after negotiating I came to an agreement to sell the lot and sold it for $8000, a price where I still made money and the buyer still got a great deal (even for Ecuador) on a front-line beachfront lot.

How I sold it?

Due to time constraints and other priorities, I didn’t spend much time or money marketing it, all I did was post it on my own blog ecuadorealestate.org as well as on viviun.com .  Nothing else!  I didn’t list it in Spanish, or in the local paper (like I planned), or with any real estate agents.  Then I left it be.  And after a lot longer than I thought I had a buyer, a year later.

What I learned from the experience?

– That contrary to popular belief in Ecuador it is possible to take publicly owned “communal” land and privatize it and legally deed and register it in the notary, municipal and property registrar just like any other privately-owned property if you get some knowledge on your side.  But it can be a process and is a bit risky cause you never know.

– That if you buy property in an undiscovered, out-of-the-way location it is NOT a short-term play and will take you a lot longer to turn than you thought, even if the property is nice and right on the ocean (ideal).

– That the quality of the beach and proximity to a legit city with shopping and other services is important.

– That it will be a harder sell if NO other foreigners are in the area.

– That simply being beachfront is not quite enough to ask what other beachfront lots in more discovered, developed places on the coast are asking ($80-$100 per m2) .  If I would have got that I would have sold for around $40-50,000!  I started by asking $20k then I lowered to $16k but I didn’t start seeing any real interest until I lowered the asking price after several months to $12k.  Albeit I didn’t do a whole lot of marketing.

– That stating publicly on my blog how much I paid for the lot doesn’t help to sell it for a profit (duh).

– That using an agent probably would have been a good idea, it’s just that I had a bad experience with an agent previously.

– That there are a lot of areas on the Ecuador coast that are actually pretty stagnant while other areas are moving quickly.  Best find the areas moving quickly (which Ill cover on future newsletters).  For instance, this lot had a ‘for sale’ sign when I bought it that had been there 6 years!

– Not to waste time with all the (dozens) of tire-kickers online, the person who is actually going to buy your lot is probably someone already in Ecuador beit foreiger or local.
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