Buying and selling property in Spain involves a unique procedure with which the majority of foreigners will be unfamiliar. Mistakes are often easy to make if you don’t use the services of a lawyer with experience in conveyancing. They’re even easier when you go it alone. Plus there’s the added obstacle of the current pandemic that has brought with it some particular issues worth bearing in mind.
Read on for our checklist of dos and don’ts when buying and selling property in Spain during Covid.
Main Errors When Selling
Financial difficulties or the urge to move away from Spain mean many owners are thinking of selling. If that is your case, take the following on board to avoid making mistakes.
Setting unrealistic prices
Property analysts agree that 2021 will be yet another year for adjustment in property values, particularly for resale homes. Before setting the price for your property, take advice from an expert and look at trends in your area. This will help you set a realistic market value for your home.
Top tip – compare square metre prices in your area on online property portals.
Poor online presentation of the property
Travel restrictions make it difficult for prospective buyers to visit a property in person. This means that the online presentation is vital so that the future owners can get the best idea of what your home is like without seeing it.
To present your home in the best possible virtual light:
- Create a virtual tour.
- Use 360º images.
- Have a chatbot to respond to queries.
- Add a personalised tour for a particular client.
Top tip – highlight the strengths of your property in your photos and videos, e.g. communal areas, gardens and homeworking spaces.
Lack of independent legal advice
Before you put your house on the market, ask an independent lawyer to take a look at all the documentation. This will avoid problems before they arise such as:
- Issues with building licences.
- Inaccuracies in the Property Registry certificate
- Possible need for a permit from the Spanish military.
- Energy efficiency certificate.
- Cancellation clauses in your mortgage.
A good lawyer will also guide you to the right real estate professional and supervise the whole process for you.
Top tip – with a Power of Attorney, your lawyer will be able to act on your behalf throughout the entire process if you cannot be physically present in Spain.
Lack of refurbishment
If your home could do with some tender loving care or some refurbishment work, do it before you put it on the market. Buyers want to see the property in the best possible light and a coat of paint can make all the difference!
Top tip – spending a small amount on refurbishment could add significant value to your home.
Lack of commitment from buyers
The services of an independent lawyer are also important here. An efficient professional will ensure you make the right reservation agreement with prospective buyers so that their level of commitment is clear from the very beginning.
Top tip – if you’re selling your home in Spain, get in touch with Costaluz Lawyers for a free consultation on our conveyancing services.
Main Errors When Buying
It’s just as easy to make mistakes when you’re buying. Read on for our checklist of how to avoid them.
Rushing to bag a bargain
Just because a property is cheap it doesn’t mean that it’s good value or that the low price isn’t hiding a multitude of problems. Before you rush to buy a property that looks like a bargain, do your research on market prices and quality of construction and finishes.
Top tip – get your independent lawyer to check all the paperwork too. Cheaper properties often have issues with planning permission and building licences. These are expensive to fix further down the line.
Choosing a real estate agent before you get a lawyer
The estate agent will be only too happy to get you to sign a reservation agreement as soon as you say you like a property. But they won’t help you when it comes to sorting out possible problems.
Top tip – contract the services of an independent property lawyer before you start looking for a property. And as soon as you find one you like, ask your lawyer to do the necessary legal, market and physical checks.
Lack of independent legal advice
Don’t let the pandemic or a bargain price rush you into buying a property without having the proper legal checks. A good independent lawyer will carry out the essential preliminary searches on planning status, property registry information, loans, encumbrances, unpaid taxes or Community of Owners fees, existence of sanctioning proceedings over the property… And all from a totally independent angle.
Top tip – leave all the paperwork in the capable hands of your lawyer so that you have absolute peace of mind.
Not using a surveyor
This especially applies if you’re buying a rural property or one that is over 10 years old. Before you commit to a purchase, get an independent surveyor to check the building for structural issues and to make quality controls. Your surveyor can also provide an independent energy efficiency certificate.
Top tip – if the surveyor finds issues, this gives you bargaining power with the owner.
Not checking out the neighbourhood
Buying the right property is all about finding the location that suits you. When looking for a home, find out all you can about the neighbourhood, its characteristics, facilities and amenities including public transport. Do your research before you make an offer on a property.
Top tip – if you’re buying in a resort area popular with tourists, check it in high and low season. You might discover it’s far too busy in the summer for you or much too quiet in the winter.
Get the right advice
To avoid making any of the above mistakes when buying or selling property in Spain, use the right experts. Find out why you should choose Costaluz Lawyers as yours.