If you are thinking about selling your Spanish property, you´ve come to the right place!
This is how we do it:
a) VALUATION We will visit the property to offer a no-obligation consultation and suggest a sensible price at which to advertise. We will use data about properties we have recently sold in the area to try to make the valuation as realistic as possible. We will listen to your requirements and give you good advice about the way forward.
If we are in agreement on the price, we ask you to provide us with copies of the title deeds, recent bills, NIE and/or passports, and payment for the energy and habitation certificates (these will be valid for 10 years - see https://villasfox.com/index.php/properties/selling/energy-and-habitation-certificate-price-list
) and sign our marketing contract which details our fees (we don´t charge the buyer a finders fee, and we don't charge extra for your choice of solicitor!) If you choose to appoint us as sole agents, our fees are lower, and we will go the extra mile (eg videos and 360º tours if appropriate) but with one months notice you will be able to change to the higher, non-sole-agency rate if you like and appoint additional agents. However if you appoint several different agents, it´s possible that your property will end up being advertised multiple times on the same websites with variable quality of images, and this can be counter-productive (you will possibly look like you are desperate to sell, and you will have less control over how your property is presented). Our fees are only payable upon successful completion of the sale.
We will visit to take a set of professional photos and then edit the photos and write the description. A "For Sale" board is optional (no charge). Prior to the photo shoot, please take into consideration the suggestions about home-staging given at https://villasfox.com/index.php/properties/selling/preparing-for-the-photo-shoot
as it can really help us to provide high quality, professional photos that will attract more buyers. We will also arrange for the architect to visit to do the energy and habitation certificates which you paid for.
We will upload your property details to our Villas Fox websites, and also Idealista, Kyero, Thinkspain, A Place in the Sun, Zoopla, Prime Location, Green-Acres, pisos.com, apired.com, Indomio, spainhouses.net, AIPO.ORG.UK, Yaencontre and Makoo etc in several different languages, to make sure the whole world can see it! We also run social media advertising campaigns (Facebook, Instagram etc) and mail your property details to our mailing list database. Potential buyers can also download our Android app for free
, which will also feature your property.
We will provide you with a link to your own "Owner Dashboard" (https://villasfox.com/index.php/properties/selling/owner-dashboard
) which allows you to monitor all enquiries and viewings that we log on our own system, showing nationality of clients, which website they enquired on etc, total number of hits on our website, and also information about actual selling prices of other similar properties, allowing you to compare the price, number of bedrooms and bathrooms, plot size, average price/m2 etc of properties already sold with your own property. The owners dashboard allows our owners to closely monitor how successful the advertising is, and to make informed decisions about price changes.
f) VIEWINGS We will conduct unlimited viewings on the property, but we try to target the right clients for your property, rather than show it to as many people as possible!
g) OFFERS If a client makes an offer, we will remind them of their obligation to pay the 10% sales tax on top of the offer price, plus the notary and registry fees. However, any architect, registry or notary fees relating to a regularization of the title deeds (eg if a swimming pool needs to be added to the deeds) are borne by the vendor and we can advise about this. We can also give you an approximate estimation of what your proceeds are likely to be, based on the offer, taking into account our fees, solicitor fees, plusvalia tax, 3% non-resident retention, etc. However, your lawyer will be able to give you a more accurate estimation. We will give you advice about whether to accept the offer, or make a counter-offer.
h) RESERVATION Should you decide to accept the offer and the terms (eg timescale for completion, furniture to be included), then we will provide their lawyer with the property documentation for them to check. It is customary to allow the buyer and their lawyer a few days to check that everything is in order, but if additional documents need to be applied for due to some irregularity with the property, additional time will be required. Once the buyer´s lawyer is satisfied with the documentation supplied, the next step is for us to take a deposit from the buyer (5% with a minimum of 3,500 euros unless otherwise agreed between all parties) and we or one of the solicitors will hold that deposit until completion, and a contract will be drawn up (sometimes we do the contract, but sometimes one of the lawyers prefers to do it). The contract usually contains an inventory of the items to be included in the sale, or sometimes this is done separately. It should be signed by all parties.
i) OBLIGATIONS You will remain responsible for the upkeep of the property, to keep it in its current state until completion, even if completion is delayed for some reason. During this time you remain owners of the property and are free to use it as you normally would. However, we advise against renting the property during the reservation period. You must ensure that the utility supplies (water, electricity and gas if applicable) remain connected, continue the maintenance of the swimming pool and garden if applicable and the payment of any community fees or bills for the property during the reservation period.
j) PREPARING FOR COMPLETION The completion date has to take place within the deadline given on the contract (unless both parties agree to extend it), but the exact date is decided in discussion with all parties. If you are unable to attend the notary on the suggested date of completion, then you will have to give power of attorney to your lawyer. This can be done at the notary at any time prior to the completion, and many owners find it to be a lot more convenient than having to attend the notary in person. Once you have given power of attorney to your lawyer, there is no need for you to attend the notary again in person on the day of completion. However, make sure that the power of attorney includes the power to endorse the cheque, so that your solicitor can sign the bankers draft if needed to give to a currency company or bank. If you are a Spanish resident for tax purposes (ie if you are a "residente fiscal" and you do an income tax return in Spain each year), then you must obtain up-to-date certificates to prove this (your lawyer or accountant can apply for these if you give them plenty of notice about the sale), because otherwise 3% of the sale price will be retained by the Spanish tax authorities. If you are not a Spanish tax resident then the 3% will definitely be retained. Your lawyer or accountant can help you to claim this 3% back if you can demonstrate that you don´t owe that amount in any unpaid taxes (eg capital gains taxes on the sale). It can take up to a year to claim this money back.
k) THE COMPLETION DATE The buyers may inspect the property at any time up to and immediately prior to the completion, or appoint somebody to do this on their behalf, in order to check that the property is still in a satisfactory condition, and that the items in the inventory remain in the property.
You must vacate the property prior to the appointment at the notary for the completion, and provide all sets of keys to the property to us or your solicitor.
Payment is normally made in the form of a bankers draft in your name (the funds are guaranteed). Most UK-based vendors use a currency company to send the funds to their UK account, bypassing the Spanish banks and avoiding the hefty bank fees that the Spanish banks charge to process cheques. We have a currency expert called David Evans from Lumon who is based locally and can explain the process to you in simple terms when you first put the property on the market, so that everything will be in place for when you find a buyer.
We (Villas Fox) don´t normally attend the notary ourselves, as by that time your lawyer will be in full control of the sale. However, we will make ourselves available to assist with anything throughout the sales process, to make sure that everything goes smoothly!
l) THE SALE IS COMPLETE! After the sale, it is normally the buyer´s lawyer who ensures that future community fees, water, electricity and SUMA bills will be charged to the new owner. However, we advise that once the sale is complete that you cancel any direct debits or standing orders related to the property (eg water, electricity, gas, community fees, and also house insurance). Remember to ask your lawyer about claiming back the 3% retention for non-Spanish tax residents if you think you are entitled to claim this back.
We are often asked how long it will take to sell the property. If the property is advertised at the correct price for current market conditions, the sale should take less than a year, and ideally less than 6 months. However, in Spain even if the price is right, it can take longer to sell a property here than it would in your home country. One mistake owners often make is to advertise at a higher-than-market-value price because they are "not in a hurry". This is a mistake since you are highly unlikely to find a buyer willing to pay such a price, and by the time you realise this and reduce the price, the property will already have gone stale by being on the shelf for too long, and you have lost the "honeymoon" period where buyers will get excited about a property that is new to the market and offered at a sensible price.
Although the British market is still strong, we see an increasing number of French-speaking clients buying in the area, and being able to speak French and Spanish as well as English helps us to communicate with most of our buyers in their own native language.
We are members of the AIPP (Association of International Property Professionals), and Andy holds diplomas in estate agency, property valuations and property marketing with Tago Estudios.
So, give us a call and let´s have a chat about selling your Spanish property!