When you are looking to buy Spanish Property there are many approaches available. You can do it yourself, you can go through agents or you can use a property finder. In this article we are going to look at the pros and cons of each approach and then of course we are going to recommend you use our services as Property Finders for your Spanish Property Search.
1) Going it Alone
There is nothing wrong with doing this, after all many people do it successfully. However there are some limitations for the majority of people when they take this approach. The advantages are obvious; there are no commissions involved, you get to deal directly with owners of properties and it is somehow more exciting.
However there are major drawbacks too. Firstly you generally get less of a selection because the majority of sales in Spain are still done through agents or intermediaries. Secondly how are your language skills? If you do not speak fluent Spanish then you will most likely not be able to communicate with the owner as it is unlikely that they will speak your language. Thirdly, there is no background check of the property done and although you will use a lawyer to do the conveyancing (You WILL be using a lawyer right?) buying property on the promise of the owner who says everything is hunky dory is a little risky.
2) Using Estate Agents
Estate agents (I am one, Graham speaking here) are good, bad and indifferent in all parts of Spain. During the boom years everyone and his dog had an estate agency and the quality of them was debatable in most cases. The bust came and up to 80% of estate agents in Spain closed their offices. The ones that remained tended to be the better ones and the worst ones. Why? Well the worst ones had ripped off som many people for so much money they were able to survive the slump. The better ones lived on referrals and their reputations until the market came back (Which for foreign buyers it has now. See the stats here)
When searching using an estate agent, obviously you can start on the property portals, you can narrow your search down to one area and visit the websites of all of the agents in that area until you find properties that you like then make your own appointments. You can choose an area, find the agents in that area and visit them. However in many cases in effect you are flying blind. You don’t know if the agent is reputable, you don’t know if they are only showing you properties that make them the biggest commissions and you rarely get a good background of the area.
The advantages are that an estate agent with an established reputation in an area may get offered the best properties and the better deals from the local people who know them. They act as the key holders for many owners who do not want to receive hundreds of calls from other agents, curious neighbourhood gossips and potential buyers. Therefore if you go down the “Going it Alone” route you may not get a chance to see these properties.
3) Property Finders in Spain
At the Spanish Property Network we are property finders in Spain and we believe this gives you a level of service, choice and variety that you would otherwise not get. A property finder in Spain works with agents, private sales and portals to find the best deals for you, the client, based on your criteria, requirements and likes. The Spanish property finder establishes a relationship with the buyer and works hand in hand with them to check out properties before a visit to narrow down the field of properties to simply ones that will interest the client. Interestingly we also establish a good relationship with the sellers and agents as they know we will bring them quality clients looking to buy rather than just “tyre kickers”. Therefore they try their best to get us the best places to look at.
The advantages are manifold but the most obvious are the time and trust factors. Because the property finder works for the buyer there is no conflict of interest, property viewings are targetted towards what the buyer wants. Time is saved because you do not need to spend hours and hours poring over property portals and agents websites and visiting properties that, while they may look good on the agency website, are totally unsuitable because they back onto a nuclear power plant for example, conveniently missed out from the photos, or there is a huge damp problem that has not been addressed.
At the SPN we have a track record of success in guiding our clients to find exactly what they are looking for and we also have an excellent working relationship with agents in the areas where we operate while at the same time knowing exactly where to look on property portals, other websites and even people’s balconies to find those important “Se Vende” signs to find the best opportunities based on the requirements of our clients. In certain areas such as Valencia we also have our own listings to increase even further the scope of properties available for your search.
So fill in the form below and tell us what you are looking for and let us start working towards a common goal of finding you the right Spanish Property for you this year. Life is too short. Don’t let it wait when the bargains are out there now.