Foreigner buying in Barcelona : can a local 3rd party help?

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This topic contains 11 replies, has 7 voices, and was last updated by Profile photo of Anonymous Anonymous 3 years, 2 months ago.

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  • #57781
    Profile photo of Ntel
    Ntel
    Participant

    Hi everyone,

    I am a foreigner (from France) looking to buy an apartment in the historical center of Barcelona. This forum has answered many of my questions (thanks!), yet I am still struggling with one particular point.

    I plan to resort to a local third party to help with the purchase and the supervision of refurbishment works. Precisely, its task would entail 1) Finding a bargained deal, 2) negotiating the terms and making sure they comply with local laws, and 3) Finding and supervising workers to refurbish the apartment according to the client’s wishes (me).

    These tasks, that involve quite a lot more than what I understand an abogado does, are sometimes taken care of together by the same agency and/or professional in other countries where foreigners invest in real estate, like Portugal. However, after some web research, I haven’t been able to find any agency and/or professional such « service package » in Barcelona. I have two questions :

    1. Is there a particularly spanish term for this service?
    2. Has anyone any contact to share? (I speak Spanish)

    Anything that can help would be much, much appreciated. Thanks a lot!

  • #118149
    Profile photo of Chopera
    Chopera
    Participant

    That’s a good question. Normally I think estate agents try to offer the buying service in Spain, however there is an obvious conflict of interest there, and the poor regulatory structure of the Spanish property market has left many Spanish people distrusting of estate agents. I did see someone trying to recruit buyer’s agents in Madrid recently, sounded as if he was trying to start up a buyer’s agency (the job basically involved trawling through idealista) but I haven’t heard of anyone who offers the complete “turnkey” package of buying and refurbishment. Maybe you have spotted a gap in the market?

  • #118152
    Profile photo of Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Participant

    Ntel, I know someone who offers this service pack in Barcelona. Send me a PM or an email and I’ll put you in touch. They do, of course, charge for the service, which is the only way to make sure they are working for you (you are paying them).

  • #118154
    Profile photo of Ntel
    Ntel
    Participant

    Chopera, Mark, thank you very much for your inputs.

    Chopera : you’re definitely right, hiring someone even remotely linked with real estate agents would entail a conflict of interest, which I want to stay away from in order to get the best possible deal. Thanks for the term “Buyer’s agent”, which I ignored and sums up pretty well what I am looking for. I do think there’s a real opportunity for such agents in countries like Spain and Portugal, and even France : I’ll keep you posted on that as I’m sure I’m not the only one interested.

    Mark : I just sent you an email. It’s only natural that they charge for the service, the idea being that you save on the deal and on refurbishment work (as they know efficient local teams and can make them work), and offload some of the risk to them (contract, delays on refurbishment works).

    I am still very much interested in anyone’s input on the subject… Thanks a lot!

  • #118157
    Profile photo of katy
    katy
    Spectator

    No guarantee a buyers agent will be any good. They have links with Estate agents who may not be Ok either. Not only will you probably get steered towards properties they get a kick back from the Agent, you are paying for it as well…and they don’t come cheap. Seen them trying to operate in Marbella. Doubt if Barcelona will be any different.

  • #118158
    Profile photo of angie
    angie
    Spectator

    I believe many buyers agents charge a registration fee of around 1000 euros non refundable, and roughly 2-2.5% of contract price. So, assuming property value of 200k, the fee would likely be around 6000 euros. There will be variations no doubt.

    I would therefore expect an agent to negotiate hard and get a larger discount than an individual might manage, making their fee worthwhile. Also, that they would come up with properties not necessarily on advertised websites and ask for historical price comparisons in that area.

    As katy says I would be wary of those with agent links, but assume Mark will know of some to trust, especially in Barcelona area 😉

  • #118162
    Profile photo of GarySFBCN
    GarySFBCN
    Participant

    Ntel, I needed help with a purchase in Barcelona last year. Mark recommended someone who did a great job. He was able to get us a mortgage and also assisted with most aspects of the sale. We couldn’t have done it without him.

    I trust Mark’s recommendations and I just realized that I never thanked him.

    Mark, thanks for the recommendation – it was the only way that I kept my sanity throughout the agonizing process. Do you have a customer ‘testimonials’ page? I’d be happy to write an endorsement.

  • #118163
    Profile photo of Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Participant

    That’s very kind Gary. 😀

    I don’t have a testimonials page, but feel free to start a thread with your feedback. 😉

  • #118168
    Profile photo of GarySFBCN
    GarySFBCN
    Participant

    @mark wrote:

    That’s very kind Gary. 😀

    I don’t have a testimonials page, but feel free to start a thread with your feedback. 😉

    Will do! I’ve never mentioned it, but I have a certificate in Social Media Marketing from San Francisco State University. Let me think about what kind of thread is should be so it doesn’t look like you are bragging but is easy to find. I struggle with websites that require the user to be familiar with geocaching to find what they need.

    PS: I get your Facebook feeds and they are great, if not too few in number. My recommendation is to motivate interaction using surveys, etc.

  • #118182
    Profile photo of Ntel
    Ntel
    Participant

    Hi everyone, thanks a lot for your insights.

    Gary : Thanks for vouching for Mark’s contact person (I reckon it’s the same he gave me).

    Katy : definitely. At this point however, there is not much I can think of to make sure they’re not bound to any specific real estate agent. It’s definitely better if the person is recommended by someone of trust yet, so if anyone besides Mark has any tips, I’ll gladly take them.

    Another problem is the following : if buyer’s agents are keeping a certain percentage of the contract price, aren’t they incentivized to push towards higher prices (more stuff, or more expensive stuff)? I understand that there are no perfect solutions, but are there any mechanisms I can employ to help mitigate this risk, in addition to choosing the right person?

    Thanks a lot!

  • #118169
    Profile photo of katy
    katy
    Spectator

    I will just say there is one agency advertising on this site I wouldn’t touch with a bargepole. May as well chuck your 1% to 2.5% commission paid to the beggar outside Mercadona 🙄

  • #118200
    Profile photo of Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Participant

    Hi Ntel,

    A full turn key service for property buying, design, renovation and project management, does exist here in Barcelona. But it is rare.

    If you are still interested, I’d happily answer questions you have. I recently posted under the thread ‘Barcelona Buying Process’, some of your questions may be answered here also.

    Kind regards,

    Mike.

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