You are about to become the happy owner of a beautiful Spanish property, but then the doubt strikes. A large portion of your savings is invested in real estate. If you have the right factual information that justifies the purchase, this is a good decision. However, you don’t want to pay more than necessary. How do you address this?
Make sure you have your finances in place before making an offer. This saves all parties a lot of hassle. You can nail down and make an offer that will allow you to move quickly. In most cases, this is a decisive argument for the seller to accept a la(a)g(er) offer.
Do not assume that your bid will be accepted blindly. It is common in Spain for there to be some back and forth negotiation. Also remember that there are lots of salespeople of lots of nationalities here, each with their own negotiating culture. A real estate agent with experience who has been established in the zone for several years can deal with this much more easily than a foreigner who does not know the customs and habits of Spain.Even though the market in Spain is picking up, it is still advisable to make an offer lower than the asking price. ‘No you have and yes you can get’.
On the Costa’s, according to statistics*, the average bid is about 23 percent lower than the asking price. Note; that is the average! There are, of course, many factors that influence this average. I know of cases where a 50 percent offer was accepted, but also where the seller sternly stuck to his price and only wanted to give a token discount. The outcome of the bidding certainly also depends on the seller’s need to sell.
- Check the prices of recently sold comparable homes in the immediate area;
- As a potential buyer, you can have an appraisal done by an appraisal firm.
- What did the seller pay for the property at the time? (to get a feel for his purchase price, profit tax payable, etc.).
- Why does one sell? (divorce, inheritance, bought another house, returned to homeland, financial problems, etc.);
With that knowledge, a good offer can be determined which ultimately has a chance of success. As a real estate agent, we try to look through the eyes of the seller to then assess what we can do for both seller, and buyer, with a win/win situation. In addition, think about the tax structure; put it in your name, or (partially) in the name of the children with the usufruct for yourself, etc.