Choosing an estate agent in Spain
You will find that most of the estate agents selling property in Spain to foreigners are actually foreign owned and run. This means that you will not have a problem finding an agent that can take care of you in your own language.
Having said that some of these companies may lack the professionalism and quality of service. You need a highly professional company that protects your interests both through its own standards and its market expertise.
Look for companies that focus on what you need rather than what they have to sell, that provide you with detailed information and expertise, that have professional customer-service procedures and documentation, and that NEVER attempt to pressurise you.
Bear in mind that big is not necessarily beautiful.
Some agencies try to make a virtue out of the great number of properties on their books, arguing that many properties equal greater choice. In reality, this is only partially true. You probably don’t want to see 500 properties, you just want to see the 5 that suits you. So you may be better off with a smaller agency that focuses on quality rather than quantity, that focuses on your needs, and that gives you a better service. After a while, you realise that all the agents you talk to are handling many of the same properties. So at the end of the day, it all boils down to service, and this should be the determining factor in your choice of agent.
There is no good reason in this day and age of information technology why you should not have selected one or more agents before you visit Spain. This allows you to focus on looking for property when in Spain rather than looking for agents.
How do you identify the good real estate agents from the bad ones?
The agents’ website is a good start although it must be said that you should not let this be a deciding factor. It is extremely easy these days to produce a professional and slick looking real estate website. This is no guarantee anymore as to the quality of its service. Ideally, you want to try out at least a handful of agents. Make some enquiries about properties that interest you on their website and then see what the response is like.
Are they friendly, attentive, responsive, timely? What is their local knowledge like – of the area and the properties themselves? Local knowledge cannot be underestimated. If you seek a property in Mijas Costa try to find a well-established agent in Mijas. If Marbella, an agent in Marbella, etc. Agents with in-depth knowledge of the area are also more likely to know about other issues that you should possibly be aware of, particularly matters where the local town hall and planning permissions are concerned.
If its a holiday home in Spain that you want to buy, consider how much time you can devote to Spain to viewing property. Maybe you don’t need to see hundreds of properties, just a handful that suits your needs and your budget. Again, the real estate agent’s local knowledge can help you to manage the amount of time you can devote to viewing properties.
Its a really good idea that once you’ve selected a handful of agents to look at some reviews or spend a little time researching the background of the company. Check to make sure that the company is registered and has a permanent office.
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