A few months ago, we travelled to Puerto Vallarta on a due diligence trip looking to open up a real estate marketing company. During our trip, we met “everyone who was anyone” in the real estate market in Puerto Vallarta.
Now, let me preface this conversation by giving you a little of my back ground. I have had the great pleasure in my personal career to have the opportunity to work in the trenches and for corporate America. I have given my time and talent to a boss as well as stockholders for a Fortune 500 insurance company who entrusted me with seven countries for business expansion. More than that, the person I am talking about is a real estate professional that impressed a guy who owned the franchise rights for a couple of states in Mexico for a major real estate firm. Let’s suffice to say that I am an expert in the field that recognizes talent! This article is not about me, it is about the hidden treasure of Puerto Vallarta!
So, in my travels I encountered a lot of “very important people” not by my standards, but that is what they told me they were. The names will not be mentioned in the article because it is not important. I have run across many “important people” in my life that were the worst business people known to man…..but anyway, enough about my life, let’s get into the good stuff.
While I was in Vallarta, I thought it might be a great idea to buy a condo seeing that the market was soft and money was tight. I had a little money that day and wanted to see a few properties shown by various realtors to see not only the properties, but the talent level in the Bay of Banderas as it related to the real estate market. You won’t believe this story, but that will not make it not true, why would I tell you different, since this story, I have exited the real estate industry to pursue other ventures that captured my attention.
So there I was, I wanted a condo, I wanted to buy it that week and I wanted it in Marina Vallarta. I didn’t tell anyone why I was there, but I did say that if I found what I perceived to be a value that day, I would deposit the money within 24 hours and the deal was done. Let’s suffice to say that I was a stone cold buyer!
Ha! Ready for the punch line….I bought nothing! I happened to have been shopping in PV during a weird time that owners still thought everything was roses and me, the gringo, would pay whatever it took to buy the condo of his dreams. Well, they were wrong but the story gets better! Don’t give up on me yet………..let me tell you about the treasure I found!
Here is a summary of three listings I saw that day…
1. First property. The owner was desperate to sell, she met us in her unit with the realtor. I could smell the blood and forgive me, I was a little excited! I thought our day would end as soon as it began and this was the unit I would buy…..and then disaster struck! I was willing to pay the asking price for the unit that day and right then….as we were leaving the showing the realtor looked at me in the elevator and told me that the buyer would except 20K less than the offering price. In a puzzled expression I asked him why he would tell me that? He told me that she was desperate and he wanted or needed to make a commission that week. No lie, that is what the guy said! I expressed to him who I was and that he ought to find a new line of work because if he had not of said that, the unit would have been sold. Unfortunately, I cannot do business with anyone that represents a seller contractually that would tell me, the buyer, what he told me. Forget the value, I’m moving on!
2. I saw a gorgeous unit in Marina Golf displayed to us by a kid that may have still been in high school….we’re not sure. He asked about our taste in music, recommended us to the finest strip bars in Vallarta…..yes, you heard us right! We said we were really focused on buying a condo that day…he seemed dismayed! He showed us a gorgeous unit with a great view and told us that the seller was motivated. The asking price was way too high but we said, call the owner right now….we will pay $$$$$$$ today, not a penny more. He explained to us that he had previous engagements that day and could not accommodate our offer until the following day in the afternoon. We explain3d to him that he should finish high school, go to college or whatever he was doing and stop trying to sell real estate…..he really sucked at it! We don’t know if he took our suggestion but he should have….only time will tell. We have not seen him since.
3. We were tired, frustrated…a little pissed off but we had one more appointment that day and as realtors, we would never stand up one of our brethren. So with all that we could muster, we went to see the final listing. The property was overpriced, the owners were not close to realistic but the agent representing the property absolutely convinced us to just take a peek and see what happened.
Ready for the moral of this story? We hope so at this point! Within ten minutes of entering the property the agent in question asked us about 20 questions….that was a good start, she may actually care about us as customers! Once she figured out that we were buyers, she showed every square inch of the condo pointing out every good quality of the unit that was possible to take note of. Mind you, this property was terrible! Dated, owners never spent a penny, furniture straight out of a 80′s flick when Darrel Hanna was still a “10″…..you get the drift! Now….for every good, great or aspiring to be great salesperson in the world…..listen to what happened!
A. The “agent in question” presented me with over 10 trial closes during the presentation (trust me, I was counting)
B. The agent knew her property, within short order knew her client and although she was showing us and absolute impossible sale (for us), never missed a beat!
The end of the story is this, we never bought a property in Puerto Vallarta!
No…just so you know, we live here today but the rental market was so attractive we couldn’t find a compelling reason to buy that day….period!
What we did find that day was the only true real estate asset in the bay that we still rely on today for real estate advise.
No, nobody paid me or us to write this. No, we have never bought anything from her. That is what makes this recommendation so compelling!
Is you are a seller, buyer, interested party, shopping for a friend, know how to spell real estate or know where Puerto Vallarta is…..well, you should get to know this person!
Grace Ramirez is the most professional, diligent, endearing and trustworthy person we have met in the real estate industry in Mexico….remember, coming from people who had over 38 agents in Baja and yes…..you heard it here first. We would never buy, sell, trade, speculate or any other thing in the Bay of Banderas without talking to Grace! We all want to buy, sell or trade something with people we trust, people we would invite to our house for dinner. Not because of what they represent, but because of who they are.
Grace is that person, period! I have never in my life wrote this compelling of a recommendation but here it is and it is rare! Call this woman!
Just in case you are a doubting Thomas about who I am…….
Trust…but verify “Ronald Reagan”
Grace Ramirez can be contacted at
If you didn’t call here first…well, what can we say, “buyer beware”!