Estate Agents in Spain
Finding a good estate agent to help you with your property purchase in Spain could help to reduce the time and hassle it takes to find your perfect property. However, being able to tell a good one from a bad one is easier said than done!
Spanish estate agents as a whole do not have a great reputation. Although there are some very good estate agents in Spain, it is important to make sure you exercise some caution when choosing a Spanish estate agent.
Spanish estate agents are not regulated and therefore anyone can set themselves up as an estate agent in Spain. Given the high commissions commanded by Spanish estate agents (anything from 5% to 10% or even more!) it is not hard to see why the profession has attracted some unscrupulous characters over the years.
For details of a recommended Spanish estate agent contact Total Buying Abroad on 01244 478911 or at firstname.lastname@example.org
What should you look for in a good estate agent in Spain?
Your Spanish Estate Agent should:
- Have experience and knowledge of the local Spanish property market and the local area.
- Make an effort to understand your particular property requirements and help you to understand what your budget will realistically achieve. They should provide you with details of Spanish properties that actually meet your criteria and not just properties they are trying to push.
- Respond quickly to your enquiries in a professional manner.
- Be organised and have a file with details and documentation relating to the Spanish properties that they are selling. This should include land registry information (the nota simple) and a copy of the title deeds. Good agents should also have information about the local rates, utilities and community changes where relevant. For new build properties they should have a copy of relevant documentation provided by the developer/promoter such as a current price list, property specifications, copies of example contracts and a copy of the building licence. Your lawyer will have to check all of these documents independently but if the estate agent is organised it will help you get the information you need and will assist the process if you decide to proceed with a property.
- Not try to convince you that you do not need a lawyer or push you towards their own in-house or recommended lawyer. They should encourage you to find and instruct you own independent lawyer.
- Not try to put you under any pressure during the process.
- Be honest about issues such as rental potential of the Spanish property and any restrictions there may be on renting the property out.
What is the role of an estate agent in Spain?
The role of an estate agent in Spain is to advertise and market properties that are for sale and connect buyers looking for properties in Spain to those looking to sell theirs. Many estate agents will help you to find a property that matches your search criteria even if they do not have a suitable property on their own listings. Some agents will contact other agents on your behalf to try to find suitable properties on the market for you.
Estate Agents also help you to negotiate the purchase price for the property.
Remember however that the Estate Agent’s fee is usually connected to the amount the property is sold for so it is in their interest for the purchase price to be as high as possible!
If the area is unfamiliar to you or you don’t have transport, Spanish estate agents will often take you to the property themselves or arrange to spend some time showing your around a few of the properties they have for sale.
Spanish estate agents may also help in other ways, for example by offering to show you the local area to show you the schools, doctors surgeries and other amenities.
In terms of the buying process itself however, once an offer has been accepted on a property in Spain, your Spanish property lawyer should take over from the estate agent from that point.
We cannot stress enough the importance of instructing your own independent Spanish lawyer to assist you with the purchase of a Spanish property. It is common for estate agents in Spain to try to push buyers towards using their “in-house” or “recommended lawyers” to deal with the property purchase in Spain or even try to persuade buyers not to instruct a lawyer at all!
Whilst getting the estate agent to “hand over to their recommended lawyer” can seem attractive to unwitting buyers, a lawyer working closely with an estate agent clearly has a conflict of interests. Whether you are buying a resale property (i.e. one that has already been lived in) or new build property, decline any offer for the estate agent to recommend a lawyer and source your own lawyer who is independent and not connected to the estate agent or developer. That way you will have peace of mind that your Spanish lawyer’s aim will be solely to protect your interests and not to ensure the sale goes through so that the estate agent gets their commission.
For information about how to find an independent English-speaking lawyer in Spain call TBA on 01244 478 911 or email us at email@example.com.
How much are estate agents fees in Spain and who pays them?
A Spanish estate agent will usually earn a commission of between 5 and 10 per cent if they successfully arrange a sale between a buyer and seller. The commission is usually added to the sale price. Sometimes it may be included in the advertised sale price, so it is a good idea to check whether or not this has already been included in the price if this is not clear. Commission charged on new build properties is usually around 10 per cent and on rural properties can be even higher. The commission charged by agents may vary and you may see properties advertised at different prices, which reflect the different amount of commission.
In some areas, many agents belong to a multiple listing service (MLS) whereby agents advertise the same properties and the selling agent splits the fee with the original listing agent (commission in this case is usually between 7 and 10 per cent).
Many estate agents in Spain can be quite ruthless about pushing developments as they tend to pay them the highest commissions. The properties that pay the highest commissions are not necessarily the properties best suited to the client.
However good the Spanish estate agent may be, always remember that they only get paid on the completion of the sale of the property, which means that their aim is to sell a property for the vendor and they are not paid to look after the buyer’s interests.
Are Estate Agents in Spain Regulated?
Spanish estate agents aren’t regulated by law ( this is one of the reasons why there are so many problems with dishonest agents) and anyone can set up a business selling property. Getting a recommendation for a good reputable estate agent can help you to navigate your way through the Spanish property market and save you valuable time.
You must always consult with a good independent Spanish lawyer before paying over any deposit or signing any contracts in order to protect your interests and your investment.
For further information or details of a recommended estate agent in Spain contact Total Buying Abroad on 01244 478 911 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.