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Estate Agent / Property Broker or Buyers Agent or DIY?

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Now is a great time to buy a property in Spain because prices have fallen substantially since the peak of 2007 and there are some excellent bargains about. But how do you know which regions and area is best for you and how can you be sure you have chosen the best value for your budget?

This wide choice presents the buyer with a lot of research work to do, however these days buyers can do much of the research on the internet but in the end a visit or sometimes several visits have to be made to find the right property for you. 

There are three main ways to buy a property in Spain.

If you have the time you can chose to come over to Spain and rent a property for a couple of months and make all the viewing appointments yourself.  The advantages are that you will have the time to get to know different areas and market valuations. The disadvantages are that this will take time and money and you are very much on your own.

As in the UK the majority of sales in Spain are made through an estate agent. The advantages are that the estate agent will know the area and valuations and be able to suggest properties that best fit your requirements. They will also collect you from where you are staying and transport you to view all your chosen properties. They should be able to answer all your questions regarding the properties and also supply you with the facts and figures of living in that particular area of Spain.

As in the UK the estate agent is employed by the vendor who will pay the agent a sales commission which will be included in the sales price. But Spanish estate agents have higher costs than their UK equivalents and so their sales commission is higher than the UK which is included in the sales price. So the disadvantage of using an estate agent is that their main loyalty is to the seller and not you the buyer.

The buyers agent is a less well know alternative for the property buyer but is becoming increasingly popular in both the UK and Spain. The most obvious advantage is that the buyers agent is working only for you and you are employing him to find a short list of properties that best meet your exact criteria. Secondly the buyers agent will be able to negotiate a lower price for you partly because they work for a lower commission than the estate agent but also beacuse they are professionally negotiators and understand the real market values.

If you decide to use a buyers agent to find your new Spanish property you should expect to pay a fee of around 2% of the sale price. This fee is smaller than the estate agents commission that will now not be included in the sale which together with the lower sale price that the buyers agent will negotiate for you will effectively make his services free. You should expect to pay a small part of the buyers agent's fee as a retainer with the main balance due on exchange of contracts.

We can offer you a choice of either full estate agency services which include lower commissions than normal and which are published on our website. Or we can offer you are services as a buyers agent with many years experience. Offering you this choice of either estate agent or buyers agent services to find your new Spanish home does not mean we will have a conflict of interest because every aspect of our service is transparent.

Where we are acting for the vendor as an estate agent our policy is only to list properties at their lowest advertised price with some of the lowest sales commissions in Spain, eg 1.5%. Our sales commission is published for all to see. So if you choose a property we have in our portfolio you can be sure you are buying at the right price.

For the same reason when we act as a buyers agent the estate agents fees (either ours or the other estate agents) are discounted from the price. The cost of our Personal Property Finding Service is very low and much less than estate agents commission that is built into the sales price if you buy that way. We guarantee to save the buyer considerably more than our low fee which makes our service free.

Since 2002 we have successfully offered a unique Personal Property Finding Service tailored to the buyer's exact requirements and with a guarantee to find a selection of properties that match the buyer's criteria at a lower price than could have been achieved using other estate agents. The benefits and cost savings of using our Personal Property Finding Service are as follows:

Based on your wish list and stated property requirements we conduct a thorough search to produce a short list of suitable properties. We then email these details and photos to you for your approval and repeat this process if necessary. Only when you are satisfied that we have found a good choice do you make a visit to Spain to view. If on this visit the short list of properties contains the right one for you then all well and good. However if our short list does not have just the right property for you then we will conduct a further seach (or searches) at no further cost to you until we do find the right one.

Once we have found the property that meets your approval we then hold your hand all the way through the buying process. From finding you an independent English speaking solicitor and bank with English speaking staff. We will be there for you or with you right up and beyond when you get the keys at the Notary. We are proud of our reputation as an ethical agent who "goes that extra mile" to ensure we offer a truly first class service. If the property is new we attend site meetings with the builders on your behalf and regularly send you photos of the progress of the build.