Should You Use The Solicitor your Agent Recommends?
When purchasing or selling a property in Spain, usually a client is dealing with the estate agent first, so very often it is the agent who suggests a particular solicitor for the clients to use often offering an incentive (or even including the legal service within their fees).
Is this a problem? Well, the British Consulate’s advice is to use an independent solicitor entirely.
Really it comes down to whether there is a possible conflict. Many estate agents and solictor firms in Spain can be owned by the same group but adhere still to the laws regarding data protection and data sharing and practise completely legally, properly and separately. In essence it comes down to how professional a firm is. We have always operated separately to Comaskey Properties and other agents who recommended us.
In fact, isn’t this what it is all about when you are buying a property (or selling); professionalism. Can you trust a solicitor or firm to take care of, and protect your interests, to find out all of the information,that needs to be checked (do not forget in Spain when you purchase a property you inherit debts if they are not settled) and ensure that all the paperwork is done properly.
Very often (not always) professionalism is reflected in price. Above all things, cheapest is not always best in the long run when purchasing a property in Spain and paying for legal assistance and can come back to bite the client.
If a firm is doing a job at a cut price, it is more possibly unlikely that they are going to go the extra mile to ensure that everything is done properly and they may only carry out the minimum to get the job done.
Spanish Solutions are not the cheapest and neither are we the most expensive, but if you take a look at our reviews on facebook it is very clear that we care about our clients and as an extension of that, our reputation.
We are experienced, we are detailists and included within our conveyancing package are the services that the cheapest advisers around are not going to help you with; changing utilities and ensuring bills are paid of the sellers, and also dealing with capital gains tax etc.
One word of advice, do not ever feel pressurised when buying a property in Spain; not to put down a deposit prior to discussing matters with a legal firm, nor to sign anything, nor to be pressed to use an agent’s own solicitor. It doesn¡t mean that you shouldn’t; there may be good reasons for the suggestion. If your agent is a good professional one (of which there are many), they may know a firm that they are used to dealing with to work towards completions, and they are aware that they do things properly and professionally.
But do not be afraid to ask to meet them, go with your gut feeling and how much detailed information they give you(and how much they seem to care) and do not be afraid to see an alternative adviser.
Pease also feel free to ask us any questions to do with the legal work associated with buying a property in Spain. Finally, please never try to do things by yourself. That usually ends up a very expensive mistake as the legal system and requirements are very different from other countries.