The 5 questions that most concern home sellers in Spain... and their solutions

Frequently asked questions about dealing with Spanish real estate agents when selling your house / Gtres
Frequently asked questions about dealing with Spanish real estate agents when selling your house / Gtres
4 June 2018, Redaction

When you decide to sell your house, it’s normal to have doubts about how the real estate agency that you’ve entrusted with the sale will manage your home. The experts at Alfa Inmobiliaria have heard all the main concerns of sellers in Spain before, such as who pays the fees, whether you are obliged to give exclusivity to the agency or how long it will take them to sell it. These are the problems people often have and the solutions that will help you successfully sell your Spanish home.

Who pays the fees and how much does the agency ask for?

The payment of the fees is the responsibility of the seller, "who selects the agency they trust the most and with whom they sign the contract to sell their property," says Jesús Duque, vice-president of Alfa Inmobiliaria.

In Spain, this percentage is around 3% to 5% of the final purchase price, an amount to which VAT must be added, although each agency is free to apply variations to this percentage. Also, in some areas of Spain, these fees are often shared between buyer and seller, even though there is nothing obliging the buyer to pay them.

Will they have clients for my house?

Real estate agencies have a wide knowledge of the area in which they operate. This allows them to share the house with multiple clients. "In the specific case of Alfa Inmobiliaria," says Duque, "we have a portfolio of more than 35,000 homes and nearly 5,000 customers annually, which allows us to reduce the time it takes to sell a house.”

How much should I ask for my house?

This is perhaps the biggest question people ask themselves when they want to sell their property. According to information gathered by Alfa Inmobiliaria, "80% of clients arrive with a very definite idea of how much they want to ask for their house", but this valuation is subject to a comparison with nearby properties. "It is only an approximation and usually requires correction in many cases," explains Duque.

What will get your home a more defined estimate will be aspects such as the orientation (whether it is north- or south-facing), the general state of the building, the refurbishment work that has been done, which floor it is on if it’s an apartment building. These kinds of features could alter the value that you first had in mind by up to 20%.

How long will it take to sell my property?

In Duque's opinion, the answer varies depending on a number of aspects, like the province of Spain or the area in which the property is located. For example, while properties in large cities such as Madrid and Barcelona may take less than three months to sell, the waiting time in smaller municipalities may be twice as long.

The Alfa Inmobiliaria employee explains that the price/time ratio is crucial: "The higher the price of a home is raised compared to the price of a similar one, the longer it will take to sell," he warns.

Should I give the exclusivity of sale to a single real estate agency?

Using the sale time as a barometer, if you think that your property is not going to sell within this timeframe, you may want to avoid granting just one real estate agency the rights to sell it for you and try your luck with others, or doing it yourself in order to complete the transaction faster.

On the other hand, allowing full and total control to one agent could inspire them with the confidence to sell your house faster, as well as give them the chance to get to know your property inside out and upsell its best qualities to their clients. At the end of the day, it depends on the personal preferences of each seller, and how involved you want to be in the sale process, or to what extent you want someone else to take the reins.

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