Your Spanish estate agent will be one of the key players in making your dream of a home in this sunny country a reality. But, if you’re not careful, they could also be a roadblock to your progress – so how do you find yourself a good one and how do you get the most out of them?
Finding your Spanish estate agent
First off is finding yourself the right estate agent. In Spain, unlike in some countries like France, being an estate agent is not a regulated profession as such. However, they should be accredited in the API/Colegio Oficial de Agentes de la Propriedad Inmobilaria and will likely be part of an association like the MLS, ACI or AIM.
Once you’ve eliminated those who aren’t accredited, then concentrate on their professional experience. We always recommend a locally based Spanish estate agent who is bilingual. They don’t need to actually be Spanish – there are plenty of Britons plying their trade, for instance – but a knowledge of the language is key. This means they know how the local market operates, which is part of the knowledge gap you’re paying them to fill!
Secondly, you want someone with experience in dealing with expats. Moving abroad to Spain can be a significant undertaking, and the considerations are different to someone moving within the country. For example, you’ll need to organise currency before your purchase – and a good agent will be able to take that into account. For more information about planning your currency transfers, don’t miss the Property Buyer’s Guide to Currency.
Briefing your Spanish estate agent
Then, once you’ve found your perfect agente, it’s time to go over your requirements with them. Explain not just what you’re looking for (three bedrooms, a pool) but how you intend to use it. Knowing the sort of lifestyle you want will help your Spanish estate agent in narrowing down their list of properties – they may well have many that fit your specs, but don’t fit how you’d want to use it. Equally, it’s a good idea to have a clear list of ‘must-haves’ and ‘nice-to-haves’. That way, they know where you’re willing to compromise and where your red lines are.
Going on a viewing trip
Once you’ve found those properties, the next key step is to go out on your viewing trip. You have to ways of going about this. Firstly, you could use a single agent and have them organise it. This is generally quite cost-effective – the standard price among most agencies is £99 for a two- or three-day viewing trip, including flights and accommodation. If you like the style of that agency’s properties, it is also a great idea to dedicate your time to that.
Alternatively, you could fly out yourself and arrange your own appointments with various different estate agents. This is a bit more a juggle, and means you see less of an individual portfolio, but can be a great option if aren’t as set on one style or type of property.
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