Choosing an Estate Agent
If you are currently looking to appoint an estate agent then you should seek an estate agent that uses sole agency or preferably multiple agency contracts this will allow a number of agents to work on your behalf, plus give you the freedom to find a buyer yourself through your own social network.
When choosing an estate agent think about the size of the agency and how much commission they intend to get. How much exposure will your property get? What active marketing will they be doing? If it’s simply a brochure in their shop window, then the chances of the right buyer (if they were already here in Spain) of walking past that one window is particularly slim.
Do they have a web site?
If so is it linked with the big estate agency advertising portals such as:
If not how are buyers in the UK or other overseas countries going to find where your property is advertised?
Do they do newspaper or magazine advertising, if so how often will your property appear in these ads and how often do they run their advertising campaigns.
What qualifications do they have? Increasingly more and more people are coming to Spain and opening up estate agencies with no industry qualifications, experience or recognition at all.
Look for membership of professional organisations such as:
- The National Association of Estate Agents
- The Gild of Professional Estate Agents
- International Real Estate Federation
- Association of International Estate Agents
- The Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors
- The Property Ombudsman
Then of course there’s commission levels, commissions range from about 3% up to as much as 25%, what you have to bear in mind here is the more commission they add to your property the more expensive the asking price will appear to your buyer, sometimes too much commission will price a house right out of the market and make in undesirable.
What you are looking for is a professional agent, who knows his industry and is prepared to charge a fair commission for the work he will be doing. Ideally he will subscribe to a least one of the above property search engines and be a member of at least one of the above professional associations. His office should be easily located and he should advertise regularly in local publications. His commission should be somewhere close to the lower end of the scale shown above.
You should also check how much contact your agent is prepared to have with you, really you should expect at least one telephone call every few months to update you on the advertising and marketing of you property and to discuss the market in general. Plus a telephone call after each viewing to give you feedback from the people who viewed you property.