Reasons to buy your newbuild through a real estate agent
The share of newbuild properties in purchases of second homes in Spain has increased considerably the last ten years.
More and more buyers prefer the straight lines and the modern comfort of a newbuild flat, house or villa with large windows over the traditional Spanish architecture, which nevertheless still has a good share of fans.
One of the key questions that arise when you are considering to buy a newbuild property, is through which channel you would better buy: straight from the building promoter or from a real estate agent.
In the home country of most buyers, newbuild projects are offered as well by building promoters as by real estate agents. When a building promoter himself exclusively sells his projects, he should also be a real estate agent in most countries.
This is quite different in Spain, as the profession of real estate agent is not regulated. Therefore you have to be extra careful when buying real estate in general, but also particularly when buying newbuild.
In essence any building promoter will want to recover his investment in land and materials as soon as possible, cover his costs and, in this ever-growing market, use his profit to realize new projects. There is nothing wrong with that and there are a good number of building promoters that work correctly.
The cautious buyer however, will have to be vigilant for a number of stumbling blocks.
Providing bank guarantee
The first one is that building promoters, even well reputed ones, often try to sign purchase contracts with buyers without bank guarantee, although this is a legal obligation. For them it’s a way to save the costs of these bank guarantees. Quite often these promoters argue that they are on the market for many years and/or that they are too big to go bankrupt.
During the crisis of 2008 however, building promoters that no one expected to fail, went bankrupt. When you have invested more than you can pay back and the market slows down considerably or worse, comes to a complete stop, then the story ends, however big you are… and the buyers – without bank guarantee – lose their money.
Another stumbling block that pops up regularly is that buyers are dissuaded to call on a solicitor. Many a building promoter will argue that with his reputation, experience, professional knowledge and size of his company it would be a waste of money to have a solicitor checking whether everything is ok (ownership of the land, building permits, legal obligations, etc.).
If everything really is ok, then a building promoter has nothing to fear from the research of a solicitor. If, however, not all is handled according to the book, then the buyer has little or no recourse afterwards!
It happens that building permits are not respected strictly (on purpose or by mistake) or that a promoter, estimating that he will obtain the building permits without any problem, starts building before having the permits delivered to him.
If then problems arise, the buyer is the first victim, having spent already a lot of money and having to wait for an eternity for a solution, if it ever comes.
A good follow up
A stumbling stone every buyer finds on his path when buying a newbuild property in a foreign country, is the follow up of the construction process and, at the delivery, the follow up of small corrections (e.g. a small repair of plasterwork, repainting a wall, replacing a faulty appliance, etc.).
When you decide to have a new house built in your home country, in most cases it is perfectly possible to go by the construction site regularly and check the evolution from nearby.
It is a lot less obvious to hop on a plane to Spain on a random evening to go and see the status of your new house or apartment.
These are 3 good reasons to call on a well reputed and experienced real estate agent with an office in the area, who will make sure a bank guarantee is delivered, a lawyer does the necessary research, who will follow up on the construction process for you and who will make sure that possible small repairs are done at the delivery of the property, so you can enjoy your new apartment or house 100% at your next stay in Spain.
Real estate agent guidance
Another important reason is that a good experienced real estate agent will be selective in his collaboration with building promoters and, based on his knowledge and experience, he will only propose building projects to you from bona fide promoters that offer a good ratio of price and quality.
A real estate agent for whom customer satisfaction is an absolute priority, knows that he will be the first point of contact when a buyer would be confronted to any problem. Even people who have experience with real estate and or construction in their home country, will recognize soon that buying and building in Spain is quite different than at home. Even for them, calling on a specialist on site is not an exaggerated luxury.
When you are buying with good real estate agent, you will get an extensive guidance and service for the same price, even after you have bought, which will allow you to experience the construction process and the delivery in full peace of mind and security and to start enjoying your new house, apartment or villa without any worries.