How to avoid paying too much for your Spanish Property

  How to Avoid Paying Too Much For Your Spanish Property
 
For many reasons people buying homes in Spain are often paying too much for their property and/or services – all of which adds to the cost of purchase and living. Being in a different country where you are unsure of the process, and don’t have the time to compare prices, many providers take advantage of you.
 

So how do you avoid paying

too much for your property?


 

The main problem is buyers set their own prices whereas in the UK you are given a valuation of your property’s worth. Many buyers set their prices too high. This happens for a number of reasons.
1. Negotiating room when a buyer is found
2. A foreigner will buy a property because it is cheaper than a similar property at home.
3. Many people have unrealistic expectations about what their property is worth
 
Most agents in Spain are reliable and honest, but a handful have given the business a bad name. It is especially easy for agents who use coercive trips (wine dine and sign on the line) for those visiting which give the buyer no time to make comparisons with other property in the area. So you need to do some homework to ensure that you don’t overpay for your property.
Research the area you are looking at. This is a lot easier now with the  internet where many properties in the same area can be easily compared
Note important features and compare each property against relevant features (i.e. number of bedrooms, property type etc). Although there is no proven formula you will at least have a better idea as to whether a property is worth the asking price.
Use a good agent. Most agents (regardless of what they tell you) will act on behalf of the seller ourselves included. However we believe our role is to try and achieve a fair price for both the seller and the buyer
 
BEWARE of agents who charge both the seller and the buyer. Regardless of what they tell you THIS IS NOT acceptable practice nor is it common, but they do it because they know they can get away with it with naïve foreigners and it means they can charge double their stated commissions. But the price you see is not the price you then pay.
 
Negotiate. British buyers say very little about prices and will accept the price put in front of them. Generally this is because they are told that it is not like in UK – but if you don't ask you don't get. We are more than happy to advise clients what we believe is a fair and realistic price for a particular property. Remember if you walk away there is no sale – and likely no body behind you either in today’s difficult market conditions.  So ask and negotiate hard.
 
Who is an agent really acting for
Most estate agents in Spain are paid by the seller so there is not much buyers can do to avoid overpaying for a service in this respect. However be aware some agents in Spain add an extra commission if they think they can get away with it -this extra charge can be €000’s, which of course drives up the price you have to pay even though in theory the seller is paying the agent. The best way to avoid paying extra 'hidden' charges is to use a recommended estate agent with a reputation for acting professionally and ethically.
 
Lawyers with self interests at heart
Many foreigners buying property in Spain end up paying 1% - 2% or more (plus VAT) of the value of the property in lawyer's fees. This can be higher if it is an agent recommended lawyer.
On an average property of €250,000 reducing this bill by half can save you around €2,500 – enough to buy a 3 piece suite, or bedroom suite for example.
 
Whilst it is highly recommended that you use a lawyer – in spite of what you may be told by others, what most buyers don't realise is that many property purchases in Spain can be safely carried out with minimal input from a Spanish lawyer. In most the lawyer checks pre-prepared standard contract documents – usually prepared by the agent. The agents have already carried out most of the checks the lawyer is charging you for, and to add salt to the wounds the lawyer will call the agents and ask what checks they have done.
 
Buying Euros – your bank is NOT your friend!
If you do not have the Euros you need to purchase your Spanish property you will have to buy them. Most banks will sell you Euros and charge you a small fortune to do so. Currently it is possible to save €5-6,000 on a €200,000 transfer by using a broker. This is enough to buy a car, or carry out some major repair work.
 
Look out Bank charges about!!
It is often a nasty shock when you find out how much your Spanish bank is charging for basic services – specifically for sending and receiving money abroad. This can amount to some thousands. When dealing with the banks, query the charge and ask for it to be dropped. Most banks will do so, but obviously won’t tell you this beforehand. So ask – you have nothing to lose. So in Short if you wish to avoid paying too much for your property – keep your eyes and ears open, ask lots of questions and if something sounds either too good to be true (it probably is) or doesn’t feel right – walk away.
 
Good luck and enjoy!
 
Written by Vince Barnes For advice about property purchase, rental contracts where to buy and how to go about it – get in touch and we will be happy to advise you – without compromise. 
 

 

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