Spain has always been a popular destination for the English, for retirement or a holiday home where they can escape the cold and clammy climate of the UK. You will find an array of local and major commercial agents working throughout Spain. From the front window, one real estate office can seem very much like the next one. However, the level of customer care and commissions they charge can vary quite considerably.
One of the biggest bonuses of dealing with a local office, situated where you intend to buy, is that they invariably know the area. Dealing with a big property agent with offices all over Spain can be less helpful with regards to finding out about local amenities and schools. Somewhat akin to local shops v major supermarkets, when it comes to that personal touch the local shop will win hands up, just about always. Most local agents will be more than happy to go that extra yard to find the answers to your questions. Whether that is bus times or the best beaches, they can save you a lot of time and hassle which can be invaluable when you are trying to settle in.
There can be big differences in commissions charged on the sale of Spanish properties. It can be anywhere between five and ten percent so shop around. In addition, some agents offer more support with regards to getting your paperwork in order. Others will provide the help although it can carry a hefty price tag. Negotiate! Make sure you know exactly what services and costs are included in the price of the property. What is their role? You will find some agents play a very active role from start to finish with regards to ensuring the purchase of your property runs smoothly. Others simply inform your solicitor and disappear into the sunset with a Margarita…
Read the Small Print
In Spain any legal contract must be in Spanish to be valid. Do not take their word for it with regards to what that contract says. If you do not understand it get a translator. Be aware that the price of the property is not where the costs end. Read the small print to make sure there are no hidden costs. However, there will be other costs, transfer taxes, legal fees, notary fees etc what is very important is that you are only signing up to these regular costs and taxes.
Of course, some people decide to skip past the real estate office and go directly to owner. Without doubt, this can reduce the price of the property as well as costs quite considerably. However, there are a mass of minefields that can go off if you go ahead and do this. Without doubt, unless you are well researched with the laws in Spain this is a dangerous path to follow. Shop around and ask questions. Do not rush into anything or sign anything until you are sure what you are signing. Start off on the right foot and buying a property in Spain can be the best thing you ever did.