A “personal shopper inmobiliario” (PSI) is a real estate professional who acts exclusively on behalf of the buyer, protecting their interests. This is a ‘Spanglish’ term that everyone now understands in Spain, blending personal shopper with the Spanish word inmobiliario, which translates as real estate. In effect a personal house hunter.
The job of a PSI (also known as buyer’s agent or buyer’s broker), is to select from amongst a range of properties available in the market the one that best matches your the needs, and to provide you with custom-made advice – before and after the acquisition – and by doing so, help you avoid the usual problems that result from not engaging professional advice.
A PSI is not associated with any particular real estate agent, and is therefore not required to market a predetermined list of specific products in a particular location at the highest possible price. Their decisions, when identifying the list of properties that meet the needs of their customer, are completely objective.
The Spanish real estate market works in an unusual way when it comes to buying a property. Until recently, the buyer only had two options; either to approach a professional hired to act for the vendor, or to negotiate directly with the seller whom, in many cases, is eager to sell the property rather than solving any potential problems. To give you a more clear example, it’s like being represented at a trial by the other parties lawyer or, believing you know how to take care of the entire process, you choose to act as your own legal representative without being legally trained. On a daily basis in Spain, something as important as the acquisition of your home is transacted this way.
Wouldn’t you prefer to use someone who knows the Spanish real estate market peculiarities in detail? Who will give you technical advice about the state of the house you wish to buy, and the building within which it is located? Who helps you with the acquisition process and with the management of the funding negotiations? Who assists you during the conveyancing and gives you a post-acquisition service – including advice on possible building reforms to be carried out?
A PSI is a professional who is able to save you time and money and remove worries over conflicts of interest in the whole process. These are some of the things that a PSI could do for you:
- Provide you with a detailed questionnaire that allows the PSI to determine exactly what you are looking for.
- Identify the locations and properties that best meet your needs. The PSI may even have access to properties that are for sale privately and, therefore, don’t appear in real estate agent listings.
- Visit the properties that fit your needs on your behalf, and write a report for the most appropriate, detailing any improvements that might be required, meet the necessary legal requirements, permits, and licenses that might be required or rules which must be met.
- Accompany you during the visits of selected properties, helping you with any linguistic obstacles that may emerge.
- Negotiate with the seller or their representatives, review the terms and conditions of sale and verify the documentation.
- Help you find the most suitable professionals, lawyers, notaries, surveyors, or tax advisors.
- Explain the costs associated with the purchase of the property.
- Guide you in any proceeding relating to the possible funding of the purchase.
- Advise you on the most appropriate way to maintain and increase the value of the property you buy.
- Manage projects of renovation, refurbishment and development, and even new construction.
The purchase of your home is one of largest financial and emotional investments that you will make in your lifetime, so make sure you get the best advice.