Offplan Contracts – a valuable lesson

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This topic contains 9 replies, has 6 voices, and was last updated by Profile photo of Anonymous Anonymous 11 years, 4 months ago.

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  • #51150
    Profile photo of Anonymous
    Anonymous
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    Last week we sucessfully signed a contract to purhase on off plan property in Murcia thanks to the information and contacts from this web site.

    Originally we were dealing with an English agency who showed us some properties in the area. When we returned home and made our decision, we fowared our reservation deposit directly to them. They then contacted us and recommended a Spanish lawyer.

    However in the mean time we had discovered this site, took the advise and decided to engage an independant lawyer recommended here – Juan Bertomeu Valles.

    When Juan saw the proposed contract he told me it was a complete joke and no serious lawyer would advise a client to sign it. Designed solely to protect the builder and with no safe guards whatsoever for the client.

    He proposed his amendments, and at this stage the agency decided to start telephoning us directly . Their position being that the contract was not negoitable and we either sign it or lose our property and the resevation fee. We had a week in which to sign and foward the 30%. They tried every trick in the book to convince us.

    We declined this offer and the deadline passed (last we heard of them).

    Within 3 days we heard from Juan that his proposed ammendments were being disscussed, and within a week that all the proposals were agreed. We are now in possesion of all the licences, bank guarantees, and late completion penalty clauses and VERY HAPPY.

    I’m posting here to let any readers know of our experiences and that with a good Spanish lawyer contracts can be arranged that protect your interests. Dont accept anything the selling agent tells you at face value in fact ignore everything they tell you. Contact a good lawyer as recomended on this site, and dont be pressured by the agents their only motivation is a juicy commisson and they will say whatever is needed to get it.

    Finally i would like to say that without Juan’s help we would be in a very exposed position now. He could not have been more helpfull, friendly, professional and it was real pleasure to have met and dealt with him.

  • #58445
    Profile photo of Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Participant

    Hi Hugh,

    We have also bouught off plan and have just begun to experience some problems. Unfortunately we have only just discovered this site but thank goodness. We contacted the lawyer you mentioned at the weekend and he is now acting for us too.

    I agree, a good lawyer is essential and without this site we would have continued to “stab in the dark”. Thanks to all who pointed us in the right direction and good luck with your purchase (and ours!)

  • #58450
    Profile photo of Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Participant

    😀

    After our experiences I’m glad to hear that people are now using independent lawyers and not those recommended by estate agents with a vested interest, and especially not those suggested by the awful agent in P. Banus.

  • #58505
    Profile photo of Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Participant

    Thank you very much for your words, Hugh. It is always very satisfactory and emotive to help the people and that my efforts become recognised, but this time, because of your words in Marks Forum, have made this very special.

    See you at the Notary, to complete the purchase.

  • #58584
    Profile photo of Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Participant

    Very interested to read of your experience. We often come across similar circumstances and, like Juan, its very satifying being able to assist.
    As Chartered Surveyors, in addition to having the legal contracts we also visit the properties. Thus we can check that all that’s written in the contract is being delivered. As we are based here we can easily prepare the snagging list and revisit the property to check that promised work is being carried out. We also know what is and what is not the convention in provision of items and finishing so that we will not be ‘fobbed off’ with, “Well, that’s how its always done here”, if it’s not!
    Same with building surveys on resale properties, where there can be as many problems as found in the UK. Also things like the accuracy of floor sizes can be especially important. Mortgage valuation are usually on a rate pre sq m basis and can only take the lesser of the actual size (usually overwall) or the size recorded in the title deed. Thus if extensions are not recorded they won’t feature in the valuation!
    There are about 180 Chartered Surveyors working in Spain now and as Vice-President of RICS España I’ll be pleased to guide enquiries outside of Andalucía which is where Survey Spain operate. Campbell Ferguson http://www.surveyspain.com

  • #58585
    Profile photo of Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Participant

    Hi glad to hear that things have worked out for Hugh. We are not sure if we have fallen in to the agents /lawyer trap, we think we have an independent lawyer as we found our own. We showed her the contract from the builder at the time and she has told us it is fine. That was last August however we have found that she is not very helpful and as not yet found out when the site actualy started as in the contract it states a twenty four month build but no date when started from so we cant work out any dates, also no dates from our lawyer or agent as to when first registration will be. Our lawyer says that the builder is very good and we should not worry about these things.We have a contract but not sure how good it is.we have no reason to miss trust our lawyer but feel confused at the lack of feed back. Since we paid our 50% No one wants to give anything definate, which effects our financial plans. we understand that the building work is going along ok, however a complex near to ours was finished last year and still remains empty dispite all the units being sold. i must say we had done quite a bit of home work but did not find this site untill after, perhaps we may not have commited our selves to this project.

    Paul

  • #58591
    Profile photo of Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Participant

    Purely out of curiosity, who are your builders and where are you buying?

  • #58604
    Profile photo of Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Participant

    Hi Clare sorry to take so long to get back have not been able to log on due to modem probs, the problems are between the builder promotoqui fuerteventura & the agent Hilton House who have not passed money i have paid to them over to the developer. i have been assured by Hilton House director Mr K McGuinness that this will be resolved on Monday and monies will be paid. i wait with baited breath and will keep you informed, have you bought on this site?

    Regards Smurf

  • #58605
    Profile photo of Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Participant

    I REALLY hope that you are not stung by disreputable people, handling your case! I am afraid that from our experience, we now find it hard to put trust in anybody in the Spanish property field. My advise to you would be to contact your lawyer and the developer on Monday, and check that the money IS being handed over, at what time, and then contact them again to see if it HAS been done. The usual ploy is to say ” oh, the meeting was cancelled.”and they NEVER return calls….you have to be on top of them all of the time. Also ask for proof of the transaction taking place. Why has the agent not paid over this money? Is it being held in an escrow account? How long has he had your funds?

    Like you, had this site been around when we went (into trying )to buy a property in Spain, we would probably not be in the situation we now find ourselves in, sadly it wasn’t. We did attend a few seminars, bought the books etc, but there is nothing like learning from others with first hand experience. Our first mistake was to trust the people we were dealing with!

    The apartment we were supposed to be buying was in Elviria, near Marbella.

    I would love to know how it goes on Monday. GOOD LUCK!!!!

  • #58607
    Profile photo of Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Participant

    😀
    Hello to all you sensible folk who have employed a Spanish Abogado (lawyer).

    We looked to buy both in Mazarron and in Almanzora but our Spanish lawyer advised us that a purchase on either development would be “unsafe” and a big risk.

    We have now bought inland on the Costal del Sol and have found a developer who puts all the paperwork in place “before you buy”. There are still some wrinkles to be ironed out in the sales contract – but these are being dealt with satisfactorily by our lawyer, in negotiation with the developer.

    Our experience with all the developers and Agents’ personnel in the “sales food chain” was the same. They assured us that everything was in order and that we did not need to have own our lawyer. “Things are done differently in Spain” was their favourite quote!

    Our lawyer showed us that legal matters are very important in Spain to safeguard both us and our investments. Even if it costs a few euros more to have peace of mind – it is well worth while!!

    You might find the following websites useful: http://www.lawbird.com and http://www.devwatch.com.

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