Now is the time to sell your house in Spain. Here are a few simple steps.
Prices are booming; the British buyers are back and there is a confident feeling in the air in Spain!
Clients ask us every day; “how can I sell my house in Spain”. Estate agents often forget that many of our sellers are looking for options. Perhaps they have inherited a house, or there is a divorce issue. Maybe they wish to sell their Spanish property to release some equity and remain living there.
We think that we are the perfect solution. (you know… Spanish solutions!!).
We can take care of all the legal work that may be required. We ensure all paperwork is ready for the buyer and in many cases we can introduce our sellers to the right Spanish property person who will guarantee them a sale and the maximum return.
First things first, if you are selling your home in Spain you need to avoid the common mistakes. We think we can summarise these errors, costly errors we should say, in the following main categories.
- Overpricing your home.
- Not understanding the costs, fees, taxes, debts etc associated with your property.
- Getting too emotional about your Spanish property.
- Not doing enough prep work before you start the selling process.
- Cutting corners; picking the first agent you meet or picking an agent because they charge a lower commission. Not hiring a photographer, gardener or repair man.
How to sell a house in Spain.
1. Speak to Spanish solutions.
Speaking to a law firm in Spain is the most boring part of the selling process. You want to get the signs up and start accepting viewings, but this is not a clever shortcut. You need to get your paperwork into Spanish Solutions first. No, any old law denim in Spain won’t help because they don’t do the work in advance. They tend to wait until after a deposit has been paid and then they do the paperwork. It is natural because most of these firms are so busy with the latest influx of buyers here.
This is where our clients can really see the advantage of working with Spanish Solutions. Sure, we are cheaper, we offer more value than any other law office but there is more. A seller just last week spent three months negotiating a deal with a private buyer. We represented both buyer and seller in the notary however when we checked, the seller’s deceased husband is still on the deeds, the probate still is not resolved and we can’t allow the sale to happen. Had she spoken to Spanish Solutions FIRST, we’d have saved her time, stress, extra flights to Spain, money and saved the deal.
When you decide it’s time to sell your home in Spain, many sellers ask their friends and neighbours for advice. Why not ask us for free advice instead? Let’s assume that you do engage with Spanish Solutions and pay a small provision of funds, say 500 euro to begin the process. Just like a swan on a lake, our team will be working hard behind the scenes, looking calm, while you then and only then begin the sales and marketing side.
Next step. Please remember that Spanish Solutions can help at each stage. Why do we help our clients to pick a good estate agent, get a deep clean and get the price right? Because it also helps us to create happy clients.
2. Clean your property.
You’ll want your home in Spain to give potential buyers a good first impression. We have professional cleaners who will leave your home like a show house. A dirty home distracts buyers from appreciating your home’s best features. Worse still, it can also give the impression that you have not taken care of bigger maintenance and general upkeep. One hundred euros spent on a cleaner can save you 5,000 on the price.
3. Pre Sale Inspection.
A new trend is that sellers are now paying for an inspection themselves. Our Architect will go to your home and write up a report. Antonio will take a thorough look at your home’s structural components, major systems and appliances. He will then report back on any issues that may be a red flag to potential buyers. This pre-inspection can help you to focus on any repairs that need to be done. Antonio will also help our sellers toward a reasonable sales price. Side story, when we bought our home in Cabo Roig in 2020, Antonio told us that the repairs to the roof could cost up to 50,000 euros. Our seller, rather than do the repairs himself, deducted that amount from the final price.
4. Repair and touch up
It is important to go through your home and complete any minor repairs you’ve been putting off. You need to invest some time patching holes, repairing trim, and repainting, even if you don’t have any major repairs that need to be taken care of.
Spanish Solutions will introduce you to Mick, our clients’ favourite builder. He is the man to talk to here.
5. Appraise and value the property
A huge part of the process of selling a house in Spain is deciding on a list price. We have seen clients lose months and tens of thousands by putting the price too high. You need to get an objective, professional opinion on the value of your home. A company like Tinsa will provide you with a full report of the value as they see it. The report will cost 300 euros or so, but it is a great selling tool. It also gives you clarity of what price we can see the property for.
6. Stage your house.
People assume staging your house involves always having coffee brewing and cakes in the oven! That is not really how to successfully stage your property for sale. We have experts who do this for a living. They tell us that you can simply declutter as a first step. You’ll need to remove personal effects like family photos and arrange furniture in a way that highlights your home’s best attributes. The goal is to help potential buyers picture themselves living in the home.
7. Selling privately or with an agent?
There are pros and cons to going down the “for sale by owner” route when it comes to selling your home in Spain.
You can take care of the photos, virtual tours, uploading to “kyero” and “Daft.ie” etc. Spanish Solutions can take care of the legal side of the operation. Our team will help with a deep clean, basic repairs and we can even advise on social media advertising.
There is more to it than just that, however. What happens when clients randomly show up at your house? How qualified are these “buyers”? Who do they pay the deposit to? Presumably, Spanish Solutions. What happens when they change their minds? Do you have a non-refundable clause on the contract? Do you even have a contract? As we started this article, you need to speak to Spanish solutions before you even think of going down the private selling route in Spain.
Of course, we like estate agents, well most of them.
8. Picking a real estate agent in Spain.
Every agent is the same in Spain. This is 100% untrue.
If you pick the wrong agent you will lose money. In La Zenia, Comaskey Properties were the top estate agents (3,500 deals) between 2002 and 2018. Since we sold the company in 2018, our clients no longer have any guarantee that they will be protected. SunWorld-Comaskey has nothing, absolutely nothing to do with Ian Comaskey. Our only connection is the legal case that will be resolved in courts this spring. Sunworld has put in writing and lodged it in the courts that they are in breach of contract and have no right to use the Comaskey name. However, they continue to do so. They expressed their determination to use and abuse the Comaskey brand until instructed to stop by the Orihuela courts.
Why I’m sharing this story is to explain that picking the right agent is key. Let’s say you can overlook the moral situation of a company that appears to not pay their debts, taxes or staff. What other problems can engaging a company like that ultimately result in? Can you afford to deal with a company currently in a mess like this?
Who should you deal with?
On the other hand, you could deal with Home Espana, Vista Casas and Spanish Homes Online to name just three. You never need to worry about your money being embargoed by the state. Our clients can trust these professionals when they tell you what their intention is. You know they will still be in business and allowed to trade in the months ahead. By choosing a legal agent, you will not get dragged into a legal case you know nothing about. Also, you know that the buyer is not being ripped off by paying too much commission on top of your asking price.
Picking the wrong agent can be costly and stressful. If you take nothing else from this article, please do research on the agent. You need to know they are paying their tax in Spain. You’ll also be better positioned to sell your property if you make sure they have no impending legal cases hanging over them.
9. Marketing your Spanish home
Regardless of whether you are going down the recommended route of using a Spanish estate agent or going it alone, there are some key marketing steps.
Before you talk to a salesperson, your house will be cleaned, tidied and benefitting from small repair work and maintenance as described above. Spanish Solutions can assure any interested cleints in advance that the paperwork is all under control.
We recommend professional photography. We have a number of photographers, videographers and drone operators who will help. They will make your property look great often for a discounted rate. Once you have the photos done, your agent should go full steam ahead. They will get the word out on social media, Kyero/daft.ie etc via word of mouth, and around the local neighbourhood. Agents who are well liked by their peers are important as they often share listings.
Private sellers: The marketing is all up to you if you go on your own. You’ll still probably want to get professional photos and videos taken. There are many websites where you could list directly to try and attract a buyer. Local facebook groups in Spain are good. Idealista is good for the Spanish market, but really you should try to get listed on portals all across Europe. Be ready to deal with enquiries like “How far is the house from the nearest McDonalds?”
Good estate agents in Spain really do earn their commission!
How long does it take to sell a house in Spain?
First, the more uncommon approach.
We’ve sold houses in 2021 in as little as 8 days (viewing, offer to completion) and 18 months (with a rent to buy option).
Quick sales usually involve a problem that we must fix. This quick sale can suit a family caught up in an inheritance or probate matter. A regular buyer won’t be able to see past the legal problem but our investors certainly can. Spanish Solutions offers them confidence that we can rectify the seller’s situation, leaving our sellers free to get their cash out of the property, quickly.
We have investors who can act now, I mean right now, today on your property. If you can show that the paperwork is all in place, there are no ownership issues or planning concerns, then we can offer it to a cash buyer without the property ever going to the market. We’ve bought and sold houses where the investor has never even seen it. They just trust us to deliver the property in the legal situation it needs to be in. In some cases our investors will buy your property, spend money doing it up and immediately flip it.
Some property owners in Spain need cash now, however they do not want to move out. In this Equity release situation again our investors do not even view the property and these deals, if the paperwork is correct can be done in weeks.
How long will a more “normal” property sale take?
If you’re thinking of selling your Spanish home and your moving timeline allows for it, take your time. Give yourself up to two months to get the paperwork, the repairs and the maintenance set up before you offer it for sale to an agent.
If you wish to work with a number of agents, you can leave the keys with us in our Spanish Solutions office and we’ll coordinate viewings for you.
We’ll take care of the offers too.
In Alicante and specifically Cabo Roig/La Zenia/ Playa Flamenca, our local market is hot moving into 2022. Even so, you should expect to start receiving offers in a month or so. The average Spanish home was on the market for 55-70 days in 2020. The length of time it takes to go from viewing, to offer, to completion has dropped due to the pandemic and the lack of resale property for sale. Clients can’t afford multiple viewings and they know if they miss out on a good deal, it may be some time before they see another one.
Final Checklist: What you need to do to sell your house in Spain?
- Decide you absolutely want to sell.It is frustrating for everyone if at the last minute, you change your mind.
- Speak to Spanish Solutions. Get your legalities all sorted out and be ready to go to the notary.
- Complete a deep cleaning of the entire home.
- Get a pre-inspection and then start speaking to Spanish estate agents.
- Do any repairs and touch-ups that are needed.
- Order an appraisal through Tinsa.
- Declutter and stage your Spanish home.
- Decide on your list price. Find a good respected agent. (ideally not one who is involved in a number of legal cases, especially against us, a law firm!!)
- Take photos and work with your agent to plan your marketing.
- Get it sold!
If you’d like help to sell your Spanish property, as always we are here to help.
We’ve closed thousands of deals since 2005.
Our USP back then was and still is. “Yes, we can”.
My solicitor has taken a small deposit from a buyer but I don’t want to sell as I know the property is worth more
Can I annul the contract ?