This guide explains how to market your property in Spain direct to buyers (otherwise known as For Sale By Owner, or FSBO), cutting out agents and their commissions. It’s easier than you think.
The Spanish property market is recovering – record numbers of sales despite Brexit and global political uncertainty shows that Spain is still one of the most popular destinations for northern Europeans and buyers from across the world.
The Spanish weather, culture, political stability and ease of access have always been a huge attraction for potential buyers, and now you can reach these buyers direct without the help of real estate agent.
The Internet has increased the ease with which you can buy a car, book a holiday, even find a new partner, and now it really is feasible to sell your home privately without the involvement of a broker.
The internet brings For Sale By Owner into its element
Selling privately is not a new idea – many people have tried selling their homes themselves to save money, but with the increased usage of the Internet, this really is now an achievable ambition.
Many buyers considering a property purchase in Spain will start searching online, and the websites they use like Google and property portals are where estate agents do their own marketing to find buyers. There’s no magic to it and private vendors can do exactly the same to market their properties direct to potential buyers.
The only problem is the cost. Google Adwords is expensive, and many portals charge several hundred Euro or more to list properties, even just one property. Estate agents have dozens or even hundreds of properties on their books, and they earn big commissions when they make a sale, so they can afford to pay to market their portfolio of Spanish properties for sale at Google and multiple property portals. And because they have a wide variety of properties for sale, they have a much higher chance of converting an enquiry into a sale because if it turns out you don’t like the property you enquired about, they can offer you something else.
But for a private vendor with just one property to sale, the fixed costs of marketing online are prohibitive, and the probability of converting an enquiry into a sale is lower.
This is where Creative Property Marketing come in. We help you advertise your property at all the main platforms for a fraction of the cost of doing it yourself. If you find a buyer this way you can save you thousands of Euros in commissions.
Spanish property for sale direct from owners
To sell a property in Spain, potential buyers need to know it’s for sale with information and pictures – it is not complicated. The more people who see your property for sale, the more chance you have of finding the buyer.
Getting your property “out there” is key, and having access to more than 120 websites across the globe, Creative Property Marketing provides you with a cost-effective way to publicise your home and sell privately.
It’s not just a matter of advertising your property. We have found that potential buyers love the ability to talk directly to the owners, ask questions, and get a better understanding of what your property offers – a more informed buyer makes a better/quicker decision.
Equally, all of our properties are shown exactly located on Google Maps enabling buyers to understand the precise location of the property and what’s around it. Potential buyers get more interested when they know the exact location of a property.
Presenting your property for sale direct in the best light
Another crucial ingredient of successful marketing is presenting your property in the best light, so that it is competitive with all the other Spanish properties on the market. If the presentation is weak, you’ll get fewer enquiries.
Powerful presentation means detailed and accurate descriptions communicating all the key features and selling points, good photographs, market pricing, and the big issue of paperwork to ensure that, when you do find a buyer, you are able to complete the sale without any delay. Having all your paperwork in order in advance gives you a much better chance of closing a sale.
Here is some advice based on years of experience marketing properties for sale in Spain as to how to present your home for sale in the best light.
Your main photo is vital in capturing the interest from a potential buyer – this is your “curb appeal” and is often the equivalent of someone doing a drive-by viewing of your property. This image must make a potential buyer click on your property and not scroll past to another property. Good quality images will make a huge difference and can make a house really stand out against the competition.
You may need to invest some time and effort getting your home presentable for good photos as well as viewings – this is sometimes called home staging. Most buyers coming to Spain do not want to have to do work to a property. Many of them don’t even want to consider changing décor such as paintwork, light fittings and tiling. Forget about buyers changing bathrooms or kitchens, as this is often seen as “major work” requiring contacts, contracts, even permits from the town hall, and a good command of the Spanish language. Most buyers want a property they can move into as it is.
Another reason why the presentability of your property is more important than ever is because of Spain’s relatively recent ‘Worldwide Asset Declaration’ law (Modelo 720), that forces fiscal residents to declare their assets outside Spain valued at €50,000 or more. This has pushed buyers towards holiday home purchases (as opposed to permanent homes) to avoid ‘fiscal residency’ and having to declare all their assets outside of Spain (with massive fines for failing to do so if caught). If your property needs work, this can deter many holiday home buyers because they will often only use the property a few weeks of the year and equally want to rent it out immediately to holiday makers to ensure the home ‘pays its way’. Nobody wants to spend their 2-week holiday working on DIY jobs so make sure your décor and styling is current and ‘ready to go’ if you don’t want to put off potential buyers.
Priced to sell
It may sound like stating the obvious, but you have to hit the market with the right price or you will miss your best chance of finding a buyer and many vendors get this wrong. There is lots of competition out there, and if your property appears expensive in comparison with others, buyers will move on to a property that looks better value for money. Do you know what you’re competing with? It is vital to know what is available for sale, not just in your specific area but in the wider region. Understanding the competition and how your property rates alongside others will enable you to make a more informed decision about how to set your asking price.
Paperwork for buyer due diligence
We are seeing more and more buyers coming to Spain who understand the key aspects of Spanish property paperwork (thanks to websites like Spanish Property Insight). Buyers will often ask questions about paperwork before considering a viewing, and in many instances they are better informed than sellers! If you are unsure as to how your property is described on the Escritura (Deeds), Catastro (where your IBI/rates are calculated) or the Registro de la Propiedad (where a Nota Simple comes from) you should check these documents immediately. If they show different information – plot size or built size – this can create delays or potentially lose you a sale. If you don’t have these documents to hand or you don’t understand how they describe your property, talk to us and we can help advise and guide you as to how things can be resolved.
All of the above aspects need to be considered as a whole to help you find your buyer – buyers will be coming in numbers during the remainder of this year so make sure that you take advantage of the improving market and secure your private sale during 2017.
David & Sarah Rick
* This article has been written by a third party not owned or controlled by Spanish Property Insight (SPI).
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