Real estate opportunities in Spain? Real estate shopper vs. the traditional agents – which one works better?

There are two ways of finding real-estate opportunities in Spain:

Option 1: The Traditional Real Estate Agent

The first option to locate the best investment opportunities for you is through the traditional means of contacting Spanish real-estate agencies. Unlike in many other countries, it is customary that there is normally only one agency involved – the one contracted by the seller. Buyers’ agent (personal real estate shopper) is a fairly new concept in Spain.

 

PROS of this option:

  • Almost all the properties offered by the real-estate agencies in Spain are listed on the three main property websites in Spain: habitaclia.com, www.idealista.com or www.fotocasa.com, so, it is easy to reach the agencies and on-line.
  • Buying from the agencies directly is in most of the cities in Spain free of additional charges. The agencies have signed sales mandates with the sellers, and the sellers will pay the agency fees (normally between 4% and 6% + VAT). The announced sales prices already include the agency fees. In some locations it is though customary to share the agency fees between the seller and the buyer. Verify this from a local professional so that your purchase budget is up to date.

 

CONTRAS of this option:

  • Most of the traditional agencies only speak Spanish.
  • Each agency represents mainly the apartments they or their MLS (group of agencies that share their listings) have the sales mandate for, so you normally need to contact multiple agencies, which is time and nerve consuming.
  • In Spain the same property can be listed by multiple agencies, so the announcements and chain of communication can be confusing.
  • In most parts of Spain, being a real-estate agent does not require any credentials, registrations, liability insurances or training, so if you are non-experienced property buyer, it is recommendable to do your due diligence not only on the property but also on the agent. Catalonia is one of few communities where a registration is obligatory to practice as realtor. You will recognize a registered agent by his number of AICAT or COAPI.

 

Option 2: Buyers’ Agent (Real Estate Personal Shopper)

The second option to find the perfect investment target for you is through a Spanish Buyers’ Agent (real estate personal shopper):

 

PROS of this option:

  • The Buyers’ Agent gets to know you and your wish list in detail. You only need to explain once all the relevant factors.
  • Your Spanish Buyer’s agent screens the properties of all the agencies and proposes to you the best products in the market (versus the sellers’ agents who present the products they have the sales mandates for). Since you only talk to one English speaking professional, you save lots of time and effort.
  • Through the Buyers’ Agent and his/her local contacts you will also get access to the properties never listed publicly but that are sold “under the table” through local contacts. The prices can be better since the other international investors normally do not have access to these properties.
  • The Buyers’ Agent represents only your own interests. the Agencies get paid by the seller, and in the best-case scenarios are fair and trustworthy middlemen, but never only defending the buyers’ interests.
  • Since the Purchasing Agent has access to many more properties than you can find going through the agencies one-by-one, the properties that are presented to you will be superior by price/quality ratio than the Agencies can offer.

 

CONTRAS of this option:

  • Since the Buyers’ agent does not charge anything from the sellers, and thus is only defending the interests of the buyer, the fees for the service are to be paid for by the buyer.

 

Convinced?

Should you decide to contract the service of the Purchasing Agent from AvaLanding, we would offer you the following:

  1. We seek to understand your search criteria in detail: We send you a detailed questionnaire regarding the location, budget and characteristics of properties you are looking for.
  2. Based on your answers, we make the first screening of the market and present you between 10 -15 properties you can comment on.
  3. Based on your comments, we will then adjust the search criteria.
  4. On the second round, we will present you 5 – 10 properties you might want to visit.
  5. When you arrive to Spain, we will organize the visits to the properties you have pre-approved (or in case they are not anymore on the market, to similar properties, also sent for your approval beforehand).
  6. If you wish to make an offer on some of the selected properties, our conveyancing department would take over, or if not, we’ll continue the search as long as you are ready to make an offer.

 

Shall we start?