Secret 1 – I am not an established, fully professional real estate agent
None of the many “side show” – “would be” real estate agents will tell you this of course.
As interested buyer, you need to be able to rely on a real real estate professional, who embraces the ethics and the knowledge of the trade and who can give you the best advice to find the best solutions for your needs and wishes. With his experience and knowledge of the region, the local real estate, the market and the rules and procedures.
Any real “pro” will have at least all of the following: an easy to use, clear detailed and customer friendly website, with numerous, genuine testimonials, with full staff names, phone numbers, mail addresses and, above all, a real fixed address where you can find your real estate agent during normal business hours.
As new owner of a property in a foreign country you should be able to rely on a trustworthy partner you can reach easily for after sales service, advice and help with al the new issues you will encounter.
Try to find out if your agent has made the effort of composing his own portfolio with own listings and mandates and thus is able to negotiate directly with owners. This also should ensure that he disposes of own keys to show you the properties, without having to rely on other agents.
Secret 2 – No need for a bank guarantee
Although according to Spanish law a bank guarantee issued by the builder is compulsory for new build real estate, many project developers will try to avoid this cost and many real estate agents will attempt to convince not to demand a bank guarantee.
The reasons they will give you: the project developer is well established and so big, he will not go bankrupt, the project, although not finished, has already advanced, etc. This is all complete nonsense of course.
What these agents will not tell you, is that they are prepared to expose you to the financial risk of losing your savings, because when they convince you to buy without a bank guarantee, they will get their commission at the first payment you make.
A real estate agent who takes the interests of his buyer at heart, will want to protect you with a bank guarantee, but he has to wait for his commission until the delivery of your property after the signature of the deed at the notary. For a new build property this may take more than a year …
Secret 3 – Next year you can take a flight home from your garden
Some might even sell you this as an advantage. But seriously, a professional real estate agent who has knowledge of future developments that might have an impact on your property should be straightforward about this.
Whether it is a new airport that is planned in the proximity or a new building phase of a project that will obstruct the open view of a property you want to buy, you should be informed about it.
Any agent that goes for the quick win will be tempted not to tell you.
A real professional will not only consider you as a buyer for today, but also as a potential seller or, who knows, a potential buyer again for the future and will always make your interests a top priority.
Secret 4 – You are in love with this holiday home, but it’s not the one for you
Again, the temptation for the quick win might motivate some agents to convince you to buy any property you show more than average interest for and if you really fall in love with some features of a property, these will consider you as easy game.
A good real estate agent will ask you questions to know what you wish for and what you want in order to be able to advise you properly on the most suitable area and the best properties for your needs. In the first place, this will avoid numerous useless and time-consuming viewings.
He will even dare to tell you that a property is not the one for you if he knows, based on what you told him, that you might regret your purchase sooner or later.
Secret 5 – An extraordinary deal and a great property never go together in real life
A great property has its market value and all participants to the real estate market (sellers, buyers, real estate agents) will be aware of this value.
Only if a seller, for whatever reason, might be under some pressure to sell, he might be inclined to accept a lower price than the actual market value. Chances are though you will never know, because intelligent sellers will not divulge this knowledge.
If you are presented with an extraordinary deal, you may end up with a property you regret having bought. In many cases there will be a catch, like a planned development in the neighbourhood, necessary and important refurbishments, hidden vices, etc.
A good real estate agent will not withhold any secrets from you and give you complete and correct information, so you can decide in full knowledge if you really want this particular property in this particular location and if you really want to go through an extensive and possibly costly refurbishment.
If you want to avoid regrets and you want to end up with the holiday home you wished for yourself, do check if a deal is really that extraordinary.