Foreigners buying property in Spain contend with real estate agents, property documents and mortgage contracts usually written in Spanish. It’s challenging, and it can also be a complicated and overwhelming process. They might need some help. This article will explain why having a Buyer’s Agent in Barcelona is key to making the process easier, safer, and faster.
We at Spain Advisors know far more about being a Buyer’s Agent than just showing visitors around a property and handing over the keys. Having a trusted Buyer’s Agent in Barcelona is essential to help and guide foreign buyers through finding a new home.
In this regard, Mark Carr is a ‘Buyer’s Agent’ who speaks Spanish and has lived in Barcelona for 21 years. He’s been helping foreigners find and buy property there for eight years and bought an apartment in Barcelona in 2010.
Moreover, Mark Carr offers a profound knowledge of the Barcelona real estate market. He works exclusively according to the interests of the property buyer to help acquire the residence that most interests the future homeowner at the best price and with complete security.
👉🏻 Did you know? In the USA, 88 per cent of buyers hire a buyer’s agent, and 91 per cent say they would again. Why? It’s worth it. A buyer’s agent can make the purchase go much smoother, saving you time, stress and maybe some money.
Let’s explore what agents do and how to choose one.
What is a Buyer’s Agent?
They are an impartial advisor who represents the buyer in a real estate transaction. Their responsibilities include:
- Help find the property.
- Determine the property’s fair market price. There’s no ‘market price’ for property in Barcelona so sellers list for the price they want and hope for the best.
- Negotiate the price.
- Educate the buyer on the process. Knowing what’s going on relieves stress.
- Avoid emotion or nerve-based decisions.
- Handle the paperwork.
- Recommend mortgage banks, surveyors and other professionals.
Having a Buyer’s Agent in Barcelona is critical. They can guide you through the buying process, and they will be able to be the giver of advice, schedule appointments, and explain to you about neighbourhoods and properties. They will also negotiate on your behalf and write up contracts for you.
A Real Estate Agent vs a Buyer’s Agent
A real estate agent represents the property owner, advances their interests during the sale, and of course, owes them a duty of loyalty. A buyer’s agent is duty-bound on the other side of the table to advance the buyer’s interest.
Five Features to Look For in a Buyer’s Agent
1. Effective Communication Skills. Since it’s a foreign country, the agent must clearly explain the procedure, documentation and what could happen. And they must be easily accessible across various communication mediums.
2. Local Expertise. Assessing a property’s listed price requires visiting several similar properties and comparing prices. An agent who has experience doing this can explain the fair price and save you a lot of time.
3. Practical Experience. Only after managing several purchases can an agent effectively warn you of potential problems and pitfalls. See below for a ‘typical pitfall’.
4. Contacts. A purchase could require a mortgage bank, an architect, a surveyor and a renovation specialist. Having an agent with these reliable contacts is invaluable.
5. Passion for the Work. The best agents should know and enjoy the city where they work. They also need a deep-rooted desire to help foreigners find their dream home in the city, perhaps because they already did so themselves.
How to Find a Buyer’s Agent
- Recommendation from a friend or family member. The most popular method for an obvious reason — if an acquaintance had a positive experience with an agent, you’ll likely enjoy the same.
- Social media reviews from previous buyers can shed light on the agents’ pros and cons.
- Avoid hiring the agents from paid ads, or at least check them out first. Agents who advertise heavily might not be getting very many referrals.
A Typical Pitfall – The Mortgage Bank’s Assessment
Spanish mortgage banks assess a property’s value before granting a mortgage and lend a percentage of the lower between their assessment and the purchase price. If their evaluation is lower than the purchase price – the buyer might not be able to borrow enough money to buy.
True Case. The buyer agreed to purchase the property for 300k€ and needed 240k€ minimum (80% of 300k€) to buy. The bank’s assessment returned at 290k€, and they offered to lend 232k€ (80% of 290k€). Unfortunately, 232k€ was not enough, so the buyer couldn’t buy. They already paid the seller a 10% deposit, so they either had to get their deposit back (good luck) or go to another bank, get a new assessment and try again. There’s no guarantee, however, that the second assessment will equal or exceed 300k€. Plus, the buyer pays for them, and they’re not cheap. There are ways to plan for this and other risks, so you can avoid them and safely buy the property.