Buying or selling a property in Spain: 7 mistakes to avoid

During my professional career I have been asked many questions on buying or selling properties, however most of the time the questions are asked once the property has been bought or sold and therefore the questions are somewhat rhetorical, desiring a slap on the back rather than a truthful reply. 

When selling or purchasing a property in Spain, there are aspects that are not what they seem. Not to be able to identify these anomalies or incongruities are linked to ignorance or what is even worse to neglect.

Discover in this article the seven most common mistakes you should avoid if you are going to purchase or sell a home.


Error 1: The price of property never goes down.

Well, we have learned the lesson haven’t we? The most basic of mistakes when buying and selling is to think that the price of housing cannot go down. For many years we believed most profoundly that the price of housing never decline, however many people included yours truly believed it so, however during the past crisis, the value of properties in Spain plumbed 50%, in some areas. This can be seen in some areas of the periphery of cities or in coastal areas. It is true that this event only happens every ten years or so when prices do halt for a period but I have never experience a collapse in prices as we did see in 2007-2008. So, beware, prices can go up (most of the time) but sometimes it may descend.


Error 2: The price will drop even more.

Life is not that simple my friends. When you thought that you have the marketplace under control the market goes and spoils all.


The price will drop even more or vice versa, the opposite may also happen. When an eventual buyer sees an advertisement, the buyer may think: "This property will go down even further, I will wait". Well that will depends. Before making a decision it is advisable to analyse the area in greater detail because it may be one in which the price has touched its threshold of descent due to lack of supply and there is an increase in demand. And this means losing the opportunity to have your dream house. It occurs in central areas of major cities where supply is scarce or in some areas on the coast, where there is a lot of interest and the price of an apartment or villa comes to the market at a reasonable price. 


Error 3: We can pay it.

Before, you could think that the bank would provide what was needed and that the bank evaluation would adjust to the value of the purchase. Things have changed and banks estimates on mortgages are now lower than they used to be (they also learned their lesson) Factors such as age, length of time you have been working with the bank, a low level of savings or family burdens may cause the bank not to lend the money that is needed or expected. The bank`s offer may not get close enough to the price of the purchase and the operation will go awry. This is probably one of the most common mistakes in the sale.


Error 4: Put a high price and then lower it.

Here we have another extended myth. Many think that the buyer is going to ask for a rebate therefore it is better to be prepare and raise the price and then lower it during the negotiations. The overvaluation drives interested parties to look somewhere else in the first months and the precious time when the property comes out into the market is misused.

So no offers are made on the property and obviously the price of the property have to be adjusted during the time is on the market and too much time is lost. The property is "burned out".

In short, the price should be fair, with a correct valuation of the house. A value above that prevailing in the area will drive away good potential buyers and purchasers will lose interest. A property that is too long in the market make makes people suspicious and cautious.


Error 5: Ideal moment for the sale.

Experts say that there are no better or worse times. There are always buyers looking all year round for your property somewhere. Focusing on summer or spring closes the door to potential applicants. Now is always the best time.


Error 6: Purchase Offers.

Before accepting an offer, it is always better to talk to the buyer and analyse their concerns. A buyer`s offer may be ruled out because it is too low, and at first sight the offer he has presented does not meet your expectations, but after talking to the buyer, an agreement may be reached. Negotiation is important so don`t lose the opportunity of meeting the buyer. It is very important. You may have important information for the purchaser that may tip the balance to you side. No one knows the area or your property better than you.


Error 7: The inside is the important thing

As important is the exterior of the house as the interior. Many sellers only take care of the interior of their homes when it comes to sale, but the exterior is also vital as it is the first impression that the potential buyer will have.

With the interiors try to have as few furniture as possible, it will make the spaces look larger.


Good luck.

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As it is impossible to know in detail every case asked in this blog, all our replies are given in good faith but we strongly suggest that you obtain private advice from a solicitor /and /or  architect who will be able to study in depth your own particular case.

Al ser imposible conocer en profundidad cada caso, todos los consejos y contestaciones a la preguntas realizadas en este blog, los consejos dados son propiciado en términos generales por lo que se deberá contrastar con el asesoramiento privado de un abogado  y/o un arquitecto para estudiar en profundidad su caso.