Very often homeowners and homebuyers are unaware of the true value of the estate agent with regard to the purchase transaction. Equally estate agents assume the 'behind the scenes' expertise, professional knowledge and hard work that goes into bringing about a successful transaction are understood and appreciated by their clients. This is often not the truth.
Foremost, our personal and professional commitment is to ensure that both the buyer and seller are brought together in an agreement that is fair and equitable to both. This, of course, is easy to understand because we, the agent, usually do not receive any compensation until the sale is completed.
There are firms that offer a limited service for an up-front flat fee or offer a pay-as-you-go menu of options. In these cases the firm receives compensation for the limited service leaving the client to take up the responsibility (and cost) for all the other steps and procedures in the selling service.
Before signing up to any of the above service options the buyer should fully understand exactly which services will or will not be offered.
In Spain, the state regulation of estate agents and other professionals involved in the property sales process is practically non-existent. Additionally it is very difficult for a dissatisfied client, either buyer or seller, to make public his or her complaint if it cannot be resolved by the agent.
So how do you choose a Spanish estate agent? I have outlined a process, which you can follow, click here to learn more. An important factor is whether or not the agent has volunteered to be regulated by one or more of the associations or bodies that enforce a Code of Ethics and/or Standard of Practice. Estate agents who are members of these associations are morally and ethically bound to follow the fair and honest treatment of all the parties involved in a purchase transaction.
The Role of Spanish Inland Properties
Spanish Inland Properties offer a full service in return for the commission paid in the event of a successful sale. Following is a list of the many activities, involved in a successful sales transaction.
Importantly the list reflects the level of skill, knowledge, experience and expertise involved in today's property transactions in Spain. It underlines the importance of having access to help and guidance from a company that fully understands the processes involved.
It should be noted that almost every step requires accurate translation from Spanish to English and vice versa. The list is not comprehensive in that it cannot cover every situation that can arise with a property purchase. The points in each list are not necessarily in the order that they will be carried out.
Before a property is added to our sale listings we must:
- Make an appointment with the seller.
- Answer any pre-appointment questions.
- Visit the property to obtain information required for listing i.e. photographs, descriptions and plans.
- Research and verify ownership and deed type of the property.
- Obtain mortgage details and if information regarding restraints on the property.
- Confirm connections to mains services such as electricity, water and sewerage.
- Confirm if property is occupied, key and access arrangements
- Confirm who is to represent the seller and confirm contact information.
- Explain our roles and the benefits of using our service.
- Draw up and sign Listing Contract.
- Agree sales price with the seller.
- Agree our commission with the seller
- Prepare listing presentation for websites and printed media.
- Compile a property sales file.
Marketing the Property
- Prepare and upload the listing to our website, multi-listing websites, portals and partner agencies.
- Prepare and distribute details of property to database of prospective purchasers.
- Respond to all pre-visit enquiries by prospective purchasers.
- Assist planning of visits by prospective purchasers. Arrange accommodation and property viewing schedule.
- Co-ordinate showings with owners, prospective purchasers and partner agencies.
- Accompany prospective purchasers to view shortlist properties and locality.
- Notify seller of offers and viewers comments.
- Monitor and review competitiveness of property price.
The Offer and Private Sales Contract
In many cases prospective purchasers will not make an offer until they have returned to their home country and so most of the following steps are carried out in the absence of the purchaser.
- Explain purchase procedure and respond to all pre-contract correspondence from prospective purchasers.
- Communicate and advise seller on all offers.
- Communicate offers to partner agents and client finders as appropriate.
Negotiate and agree offers with sellers and buyers. Confirm contract payment schedule.
Discuss and agree special contract terms with buyer, buyer's solicitor and seller. As an example the purchase is subject to a suitable surveyor's report.
- Supply property documentation to prospective purchaser's solicitor and respond to any queries raised.
- Answer questions raised by the purchaser, purchaser's solicitor and seller.
- Fix completion date for sale.
Draw up and translate private sales contract, submit to seller, purchaser and solicitors. Seek agreement and signature by parties.
Draw up and sign Agent's contract, i.e. contract between buyer and Spanish Inland Properties S.L.
- Assist with setting up purchaser bank account and money transfer arrangements as required.
Assist with purchaser accommodation requirements for contract completion.
Mark up property as "Under Offer" on our sales list and advise partner agents of the situation.
Signing at the Notary
- Ensure all paperwork is passed to purchaser's solicitor or notary in adequate time prior to signing.
- Confirm all final arrangements with purchaser, purchaser's solicitor and seller.
- Make arrangements with buyer's Spanish bank to ensure bank cheques, cash, bank certificates are available for the signing date.
- Explain notary procedure to buyers.
Accompany the buyers to the notary for signing.
Arrange for the handover of keys.
In the event of a property resale, arrange for the transfer of the electricity supply account to the new owners name.
If the property has recently been rebuild, arrange with builder to provide a temporary builders supply and commence the collection and submission of appropriate paperwork to ensure connection to permanent mains supply.
- Assist with the purchase of furniture, if required.
Answer buyers questions as appropriate.
Remove property from our sales list.