For many people who move to Cayman, or those just ready to move out of the house, the biggest question they face is whether to rent property or buy property.
According to Sheree Shea-Carnegie of Cayman Real Estate Company, those with the means to do so should seriously consider buying.
She says that the minimum amount of time workers have to be employed on Island before they would be able to qualify for a loan is six months, which is plenty of time to look around and decide which area might be a good fit. In fact, the longer you leave the decision to buy, the more money you are putting into a landlord’s pocket when you could be investing it in your own property. Due to the nature of the property market here, in many cases the monthly payments on a property will often be less than the monthly rent, making it well worth buying. When you think of it, even if you decide to sell should you decide to leave Cayman, you would effectively have lived here rent free, says Sheree.
The advantage of utilising the services of an estate agent is that the agent has built up knowledge of the local market over a number of years, which can help you make a solid decision when buying a home that will be great to live in but be a good investment as well.
For those who can afford it, investing in a property while living here and then either renting it out or selling when moving on makes good sense.
However, when the time comes to sell, the vendors do not always understand the process of selling a house.
“There is a lot more to it than putting a sign up in the yard,” laughs Sheree.
There is a lot the vendor can do to make the process progress more smoothly and help guarantee a successful showing.
One of the oft-overlooked steps is to remove anything too personal from the home before showings. “Don’t make it look so much like your place that the potential buyer cannot envision themselves living there. You can always put it back after the showing,” says Sheree.
When an agent schedules a showing, it is also a good idea to find a reason not to be at home.
“I’ve scheduled showings days in advance, and then the people are cooking when you are trying to do a showing. That can be very distracting to the potential buyer,” says Sheree.
Pets can also be a major distraction, and even if the pets are not present, they can still influence a sale.
“I’ve had a showing where the tenants who had been living there had dogs, and the place was riddled with dog hair, and you could smell the dog’s scent, and the potential buyer walked in, took one look and walked back out,” recalls Sheree.
Seeing to it that the property is ready for a showing is also very important. This means seeing to it that the garden is in good condition, and also having a spotless home.
“Sometimes you’re not expecting potential buyers to look under the bed or behind the dresser, but they do,” says Sheree.
It is also important to be aware of other properties in the market at the time, as well as overall market conditions, as these factors may influence the pricing of the property.
Even though the property should be in good repair with all faucets and light switches working, doing major upgrades just before putting the property in the market will usually not deliver solid returns. However, Sheree says vendors should keep in mind that the Cayman market is dominated by people who buy properties to live in, not to flip, so the property has to be ready for buyers to move in and live there.
For more information, contact Cayman Real Estate Company at 945-3333