About Us

Harcourts: The New Face of Real Estate in Cabo

Harcourts was founded in 1888 in Wellington, New Zealand, as a real estate company 135 years ago. It later expanded to Australia, Fiji, Indonesia, Hong Kong, China and South Africa and it worked its way into North America, where it started operations in the United States and Canada with several offices on the West Coast.

Today, this company proudly provides a full range of real estate services in international networks and local communities through a franchise model, covering residential, commercial, rural and urban projects, as well as property management. They are a global real estate brand with over 10,000 team members worldwide, operating in over 1,000 offices in 10 countries.

The Harcourts Baja office, located in Camino de la Plaza #190-B, Pedregal, in Cabo San Lucas just turned one year, this last January, and is the first and only office in Mexico. The young Mexican franchise currently operates in the residential market. It is managed and co-owned by the seasoned agents Heather Walker and Melissa Murphy, both of whom originally began their real estate careers in the United States almost two decades ago.

Heather is a Brit who worked as a realtor in Houston, Texas with Keller Williams since 2006. Being rookie of the year with a US$1.4m transaction, led her into the luxury side of real estate. She has now been a realtor and broker in Los Cabos for the past four years, member of AMPI – Mexican Association of Real Estate Professionals, for its acronym in Spanish, and holder of CIPS (Certified International Property Specialist), CLHMS (Certified Luxury Home Marketing Specialist), CNE (Certified Negotiation Expert) and GRI (Graduate Realtor Institute).

On the other hand, her partner, Melissa, is an American national with more than 15 years of experience as a realtor in Portland, Oregon and now a realtor and partner at Harcourts Baja, here in Los Cabos. She holds a Master of Arts in Teaching as well as the CIPS (Certified International Property Specialist) and RSPS (Resort and Second-Home Property Specialist) certificates.

Known for their dedication, sincerity and energy, the Harcourts Baja team provides the utmost professionalism and service to each individual client, challenging and pushing the industry standard through their four very humane pillars: people first, being courageous, doing the right thing, fun and laughter.

But what is Harcourts doing differently?

Auctions. The Harcourts Auctions process has over a 90% list-to-sell ratio, as opposed to traditional listings, where on average, the list-to-sell ratio is between 30% and 50%. There is a huge difference!

Auctions have a bidding price to start from or no price at all, allowing a negotiation up. The marketplace doesn’t know the sellers’ expectations or their final number; there is no ceiling to the value, so the market decides the value. This allows buyers to focus on what the property has to offer without the distraction of a list price. Auctions are subject to a sellers’ confidential expectation/reserve, allowing a seller to be in complete control at all times.

On the other hand, traditional listings have a for-sale list price. The list price immediately tells a buyer what the seller will accept. Buyers will always try and negotiate and offer below the list price. So buyers are focused on how much less they can buy your property for and how much they can negotiate your list price and if the property isn’t selling, the only option is to reduce the price. In a traditional sale, the buyer knows your reserve price – because it’s your list price.

All inspections, reports and disclosures are completed up front. When a property sells at auction it is sold on an “as is” basis. The buyer is required to complete all due diligence before signing the non-contingent purchase agreement.

During the auction process the seller is in control and dictates the terms. In a traditional listing the buyer signs a purchase agreement, lists their terms and inspection periods. The buyer completes due diligence after making the seller agree to the purchase agreement.

During the contingency period, the buyer has the ability to ask for repairs, price reductions and extended time to close. During the traditional process, the buyer is in control.

Auctions have a set sale date, called the auction day. The set date tells buyers, the seller is motivated to sell, although not desperate. This forces buyers to make a decision and creates a sense of urgency amongst buyers.

Statistics show that buyers are more likely to view an auction property before a traditional listing, allowing the seller to captivate the entire market. And a set date allows market value to be found quicker as the process creates urgency and incentivizes buyers to make an offer for fear of missing out. The famous FOMO.

On the other hand, traditional listings are marketed without timeline and with no set date for sale. This can be described as a passive approach with no set strategy and it can take months to obtain valuable feedback and discover real market value since no set date means buyers are not forced to make a decision. The buyers keep looking at other properties while watching the seller’s property continuously sit on the market. This encourages buyers to wait for a price reduction because they have no call to action.

We know that no two properties and no two clients are the same. The idea is to work closely with the customer to understand their situation, their wants and needs when advertising a property as well as how much or how little they want to be communicated with and by which method.

The idea is to implement a true fiduciary service, together with marketing strategies to best fit any given property at any given time in order to ensure all opportunities are being explored, displaying full transparency of the process and aligning incentives.

 

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Meet the Team