Real Estate Agents
The purchase of property through real estate agents is highly recommendable. They will find the property of your dreams, since this is the real estate agent’s job – additionally, they have access to data bases and offers of all kinds. That professional pre-selection is something you will hardly achieve alone, as the offers are simply too varied.
So, although they are necessary, you should be aware of the fact that real estate agents want to sell something to you in the first place. That’s why, to many of the real estate agents, we as Home Inspectors often represent a disturbance, as they fear our home buyer reports. We have still managed to collaborate successfully with real estate agents who have realised that only a client who is well looked after will recommend them to others. And a recommendation equals another client. This is how a competent agent’s service is very successful in connection with our expertise.
The range of types of Spanish real estate agents is varied and non-transparent. From honest and professional top agents to crooks – unfortunately, everything is possible. Still, real estate agents also have some duties:
- They have to give truthful and accurate information.
- Every property has to be documented abundantly, through a building description, valid plans, compilation of m², etc.
- Since June 1st, 2013, every real estate seller has to own an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC), issued by an architect or “aparejador”. The EPC has to be registered; information on this matter is provided by the government.
- They have to examine reductions and other legal requirements.
- They have to hand over a land registry excerpt no older than 6 months.
- They have to advise the potential purchaser.
- They shall carry out valuations.
This is what the full job description of real estate agents contains. However, control over the fact that an agent actually fulfils their registered responsibilities is completely up to the market itself. This area – as many others –works with the American self-cleaning principle: what’s bad will be ruled out by the market sooner or later. So far, I haven’t heard of any cases in which a real estate agent had been seriously made accountable for anything after purchase. That’s why a potential buyer should always consult Home Inspector Spain, even if there are real estate agents involved in the purchase. Only we talk clearly and advise you in worst-case scenario NOT to buy a property. Our many years of experience as architects and chartered surveyors are useful when it comes to examining property with a fine-tooth comb. We know all the tricks in real estate!
The ideal areas are, in Spain or elsewhere, holiday regions, medium-sized towns, areas close to the city or directly in the city centre. By “close” to the city, a good property environment with connection to public transport is meant. Attractive properties can also be rented as holiday homes, and contribute to the fact that you can use your property yourself and also rent it from time to time. The property should have an appropriate and usable floor plan; outdoor areas or even pools are advantages (although hard to find in city apartments).
Peculiarities of the Spanish real estate market: proximity to shopping centres makes prices go up and real estate right on the beach is – no matter the crisis – priceless.