For Sale By Owner Direct in Spain (FSBO) – How to do it

spanish property for sale direct from owner FSBO Spain

Finca for sale direct from owner in Andalucia

Some owners want or need to market and sell their homes in Spain direct. But finding a buyer on your own is not easy. Here’s the best way to go about selling direct  in Spain, also know as FSBO.

A lot of owners have contacted me over the years asking how to go about marketing and selling their homes themselves, often asking if they can advertise here. In many cases they just don’t have a good estate agent to help them.

Here’s an example of the kind of request I get, in this case from Barry in Andalucia.

“My wife and I want to sell our villa in Chiclana de la Frontera, Cadiz province, and buy another. The agent market is very fragmented, and none seem individually effective. Do you know of a website which will advertise on RightMove, ThinkSpain, Kyero, and similar in many northern European countries. We are prepared to pay 6 or even 12 months up-front for a worthwhile offering. All advice will be much appreciated.”

Private owners have a variety of reasons for wanting to handle the marketing and sale of their properties themselves. In some cases, like Barry in Chiclana, they may not be able to find a good agent. This is often the case in rural and remote areas. In other cases I’ve heard complaints about agents charging astronomical commissions for doing very little. Some estate agents are great and earn their commission, but some do not. And sometimes I find that owners work with agents but want to do something to boost their chance of finding a buyer. They reach an agreement with an agent to handle the sale for a lower commission if the owner finds the buyer.

But marketing a property direct is not easy. A FSBO section of my forum lets owners advertise their homes for sale, and I’ve seen how many private vendors just don’t have the time or knowledge to create effective adverts. And if you want to get results you have to advertise on all the main portals, not just here, and that costs a lot of time and money. Just to advertise a private property for sale on Rightmove, for example, costs between £29 and £99/month depending on property price.

Creative Property Marketing

Creative Property Marketing

I’ve found a company called Creative Property Marketing that can help owners market and sell direct. Run by a husband and wife team David and Sarah Rick, who used to work as estate agents, they know the ins and outs of the business.

In return for a one-off fee, David and Sarah can help you create a powerful advert for your property, with good photos and a detailed description, and then advertise it globally on many portals, not to mention the For Sale By Owner Direct section of Spanish Property Insight. They pay me a monthly fee to advertise here.

I asked David a few questions about the challenge of marketing and selling a property in Spain direct.

Why do people market their own property in Spain, and what are the benefits of doing so?

The rise in Internet usage over the last 10 years has increased the opportunities for people to market their own property – creating a website and dealing with enquiries from buyers has become the norm.

There are the obvious benefits in terms of saving money compared to paying an estate agent but there are many more benefits, control being the greatest. Nobody knows a property as well as the owner, and selling privately enables a homeowner to control their marketing. Targeting the right type of buyer, highlighting the key features of a property, and sharing the reasons why they bought can help to strike a relationship with buyers. Buyers can be nervous when venturing abroad, and often dealing directly with the owner creates a less “salesy” environment. Estate agents can pressurize buyers when a fee is at stake.

What percentage of your clients handle the sale themselves, compared to those who just do the marketing?

90% of our clients are selling directly – they will communicate with buyers, answer questions, build a relationship, and handle the viewings – this can often take weeks or even months from the point where a buyer first enquires about a property till the point when they actually visit.

The remaining 10% will often have a friend, neighbour or property manager who show the house if it is a holiday home or they cannot be there. Many of our clients may advertise with us to see if they can sell privately whilst, at the same time, advertising with an agent. The clever ones tend to have a lower price with us which reflects the saving that they are making by not having to pay a fee. This immediately shows buyers an incentive to buy directly from the owner – they can often share the benefit of not paying a fee, reducing the costs for both.

How do you help your clients?

Our primary benefit is the level of understanding we have for selling property – we have been selling property since 1986 and in Spain since 2006, so we understand the Spanish property market, but we also have a wealth of experience with the motivation for buyers and the marketing of properties.

Buying a home can be a very emotional and personal process, often with lots of stress, and we find that being able to reassure sellers and buyers throughout the process gives us an edge. Equally, the fact that we are not receiving a fee from the sale gives us an independent view without any bias, which also gives buyers a sense of comfort.

One of the main benefits we can offer sellers is the huge range of websites we can place their property on – more than 120 websites across nearly 60 countries. Many of these websites are not available to private sellers.

We also show the exact location for a property – we are unique in this respect within the whole of Spain. Buyers want to know where a property is, what’s around it, and where it is in relation to local villages, services etc. You can see a lot with the use of Google Maps as well as Street View, and this can save buyers and sellers a huge amount of wasted time. It also means that viewers who come to a property know the location, which improves the chances of selling. We have heard so many stories of buyers taken to houses which simply are not of interest and this can be very annoying for everyone involved.

How do you manage to get good pictures and descriptions?

Sellers are often not given the credit they are due – with a little bit of direction, they can be excellent photographers – and given that they are there all day and night, they are in the best position to take great pictures that show the property off at its best, no matter what time of day. Early morning panoramic shots to a dramatic sunrise, and pictures when the weather is nice, are important

We give guidance as to the best way to take photos, what to watch out for, what to try and capture and in many, many instances the homeowners do a better job than most estate agents we encounter.

With regards to descriptions, we work very hard on this – we use whatever the homeowner can provide us with and adapt the description to highlight the best aspects of the property. Buyers want lots of information and often, agent’s descriptions can be limited. Also, we try not to bore people – keeping on message and highlighting the key benefits is vital.

Buy or Sell Spanish Property Direct

Some owners prefer to control the marketing and sale of their property themselves, and some buyers prefer to deal directly with the owners. If you want to sell direct I recommend you contact Creative Property Marketing as I believe they can help you get the best results.

And if you want to buy from a vendor direct, check out my Spanish property for sale by owner direct (FSBO) section, where Creative Property Marketing advertise properties on behalf of owners selling direct.

Country House (Cortijo, Masia) for sale in Alfarnatejo, Malaga province, Andalucia €549,000 . Advertised by Creative Property Marketing on behalf of the owner direct

Country House (Cortijo, Masia) for sale in Alfarnatejo, Malaga province, Andalucia €549,000 . Advertised by Creative Property Marketing

About Mark Stücklin

Mark Stücklin is a Barcelona-based Spanish property market analyst, and author of the 'Spanish Property Doctor' column in the Sunday Times (2005 - 2008).

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