Who would you prefer to trust?

1 June, 2019

Finding a property and the role of the Real Estate Agent

Most buyers will use the services of a Real Estate Agent (agente Inmobiliaria) – the Spanish equivalent to an Estate Agent – to help them find a property. Most estate agents in Spain are honest and competent, but, as in most countries, there are some who are not.
A concern is the fact that many people operate as ‘Estate Agents’ in Spain – without any License.

Always use an Estate Agent who operates a proper, licensed, business. Their licenses will be displayed in their premises.

It is likely that the Estate Agent or an Employee of the Estate Agent will accompany you when you visit the property.

Note that it is not usually necessary to find the estate agent who has the ‘mandate’ – the authority from the owner to sell a particular property. Agents cooperate and often know all of the properties for sale in a particular area and so, even if they may not have the property you want on their books, they are likely to be able to introduce you to the estate agent who does and to hold your hand through the process.

Take your time and view as many properties as you wish – a good Agent will want to help you and will have your best interests at heart – if you are satisfied and impressed with their Professionalism then that Agent knows that you may well come back to them at some time in the future or recommend their services to someone else.

Your first property in Spain is invariably not your last property in Spain

It is very common for Spanish estate agents to produce Reservation contracts themselves. Reservation contracts are simply contracts under which the Agent agrees (with the buyer’s consent) to take the property off the market for a certain period of time so that your Lawyer can take the steps needed to check that everything is in order and then sign a “contrato preliminary” or “contrato privado”.

The contract should contain little more than the details of the buyer and seller, the description of the property to be sold, the price agreed for the property and for how long it will be taken off the market to enable your Lawyer to complete the necessary enquiries and sign a proper purchase contract.

A good Agent will insist that the Reservation amount – normally a minimum of 3000€ or 1% of the Agreed purchase price will be paid initially to your Lawyer.

If for any reason your Lawyer finds that there is a problem with the legality or outstanding issues with the property then you are entitled to be refunded the full amount paid as a Reservation.
If everything is in order then that Reservation is normally passed onto the Owner´s Lawyer or to the Owner.

In the case of a New Development and buying from the Promotor, this Reservation will be paid direct to the Promotor via an Escrow account.

Following these steps should ensure you are safeguarding your potential purchase.

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