I think you will agree that selling a property in Spain is a long-term process.
The outbreak of the coronavirus in Spain threatens to tip the Spanish property market into a downturn. Spanish Property analysts like Ismael Kardoudi of Fotocasa estimates a 60% decrease in property sales in Spain for the coming months.
According to a study conducted by Rightmove, the UK’s leading property portal, the average “time to sell” for UK property is 2 months.
If you think that this is also true for Spain, you are WRONG.
On average it takes more than 8 months to sell a property in Spain.
According to a recent study conducted by Spain’s most known property valuation company, TINSA, in 2019 it took an average of more than 8 months to sell a property in Spain.
For example, in the Costa Blanca (Alicante) the average time to sell on is of 9.7 months and for the Costa del Sol (Málaga) it is 7.6 months.
On the other hand, in Madrid properties are sold the fastest in Spain, with a time to sell of only 3.7 months.
Here is the updated infographic showing the average time in months to sell a property in Spain :
How can you sell your property in Spain FAST
Here are some tips that drastically increase your chances to sell your property in Spain faster:
Home staging your property
Home staging is a practice that has been around for several years and consists of preparing your property for it to appeal to the highest number of potential buyers.
It is a practice that originated in the US and is already widely being adopted by agents and professionals in Spain.
A survey by Coldwell Banker Real Estate found that staged homes sold in half the time than non-staged homes.
The first step in home staging is to make your house look clean and not cluttered.
Then it is all about adding and redecorating the property so that it looks tidy, bright and warm.
Here are some Low Budget Home Staging Hacks you can do yourself:
- Pimp up your entrance by getting a new doormat and some nice looking plants
- Remove personal photos and replace them with artwork
- Place some nice mirrors in strategic places
- Set the tables
- Place some natural fiber baskets with neatly arranged towels in the bathroom
- Arrange rooms with some decorative vignettes
Always try to keep it simple and neutral and don’t overdo it.
Price it right
Many sellers think that because property prices are picking up again, they will get as much money as before the property bubble. Well, they are WRONG again!
Spanish property prices are still almost 35% lower than they were at their highest peak of 2007.
If you want to sell your property within a reasonable time frame you have to be realistic about your asking price.
In the chart below you can see the average property price in euros per m2 in Spain compared to the province of Alicante.
If you overprice your property with the idea that the asking price is negotiable, then my friend you are in for the long haul. Pricing your property above average will most probably scare off potential buyers and you will probably end up with no visits.
Beware, some agents might use the old “Your property is worth gold” trick for the purpose of being able to sell your property with them. So don´t get fooled by high valuations from estate agents.
Having your property valued by a professional valuation company like TINSA could be a good starting point before you market your property.
If you do not want to spend money on a professional property valuation report and you want to find out what your home is worth, it is a good idea to check out the prices of similar properties in the area and or do a search of any of the leading property portals in Spain.
Advertise it smartly
To be able to reach the highest number of potential buyers you need to explore what works in your area.
In coastal regions, for example, your potential buyers might look for property in traditional media like magazines or newspapers while sitting on a terrace. So you might want to check out which media publications have a large distribution and are the most popular.
Of course, the internet offers a large variety of property portals. The most popular national property portals are idealista.com and fotocasa.com.
You have also quite a big range of portals that focus more on international buyers. Our Privacasa network of international property portals, for example, has 6 different portals each tailored to a different country and as a private advertiser, you can also list for sale by owner ads.
Facebook, is also a great alternative for advertising your property. Imagine the networking impact of sharing your property with 300 friends and each of these friends to their own network of friends.
Facebook groups are also a very powerful medium to list your home for sale. Search for groups such as properties for sale in “your area”.
If you are not a good photographer or do not have the right camera and lens, it is advisable to have professional photographs taken of your property.
Nowadays, there are many innovative Spanish Proptech companies that offer virtual reality tours, which might give you an advantage over other advertised properties.
You can also shoot a video of your house
- Make sure to open the windows and/or turn on the lights of all rooms if needed.
- Plan the path and walk through the house and/or premisses before you starting to shooting.
- Shoot only in landscape mode by holding your phone horizontally. If you shoot it tight spaces like a bathroom try to tilt your phone up and down to capture it.
- Filming from a corner of a room will give a broader view of the space.
- Hold your phone close to your body at chest height and keep your elbows tucked in for a smoother video shoot. If you really want to go pro, you can use a gimbal for a more stable shoot.
- And finally, keep your fingers from the lens.
Using an agent to sell your property
In Spain, you are not bound to advertise your property through an agent. You can advertise and sell your property as an owner if you are confident to do so. Otherwise, we can use an agent a solicitor, or a Spanish bookkeeper, in Spain called “gestoría” to handle the sale for you.
If you use an estate agent to market your property, ask them in which portals your home will appear.
You are free to go to any number of agents you choose.
Don’t over expose your property by listing it with more than 5 agents, since that might have a counterproductive effect.
If you choose to advertise your property through several estate agents always make sure they all have the same listing price, regardless of their commission percentage, since otherwise, that might scare off potential buyers.
Agents prefer to have your property exclusively advertised through them, since then they are assured they will get their commission.
If you do advertise your property exclusively through one agent, make sure your property gets advertised smartly and set a time limit to this exclusivity.
Agent fees vary on the area. Agents in Marbella, for example, might charge higher fees than inland agents.
Standard commission fees in Spain vary between 3%-6% of the selling price.
Do not be alarmed by these high commission fees. If you have a trusted agent you will receive a proper invoice for the commission fee with their tax number (CIF or NIF) on it, which in some cases you can use that to deduct it from your capitals gains tax.
In 2019 on-line estates agencies have also made their way through in Spain, just like Purplebricks and Doorsteps.co.uk did in The UK. Online agents promise to sell your property in record time and normally charging a fixed feed that is generally lower than a traditional estate agent. In our Proptech Map of Spain, we have identified more than 35 on-line agents in Spain so make sure to check their them out.
Read more about the costs involved in buying and selling a property in Spain.
Using a solicitor or lawyer to sell your property
If you find a buyer and you agree on the selling price, you will normally need to make an option contract for your and the seller’s security.
If you and the buyer use a solicitor to carry out the purchase, beware that sometimes solicitors can argue indefinitely about every little detail. Although solicitors have to make sure everything is correct, they sometimes take longer than needed.
A good strategy to speed things up is to ask your solicitor for a fixed fee or at least a fixed price bracket to carry out the completion.
Just as the agents’ commission, the solicitors’ invoice can also be deducted from your capital gains tax.
Most solicitors will charge between 1% to 1.5% to do the paperwork.
Selling your property privately
Selling your property privately can save you thousands of euros.
I get asked many times if it is possible to sell a property privately.
My answer is, Yes you can.
These are the papers you need to make it happen:
- The existing deeds stating the ownership of the property.
- Passport and or ID card from the seller and buyer.
- If you or the seller are not Spanish you will need a NIE number, which is a Spanish id number for foreigners. Most of the time you can apply for it at a local Spanish police station.
- Energy certificate
- The Registry note or “nota simple” as it is called in Spain. The nota simple is just like a passport for the property. It tells who the owner or owners are, describes briefly the characteristics and location of the property and also states if there are any debts or mortgages on it. Here is an example of how it looks.
- Reservation or option contract signed by the buyer and seller
- Bank proof or receipt of any money that already has been transferred as part of having signed the option contract.
- The municipal plusvalía.
- Last receipt of the IBI of the property. Which is the yearly property tax. There might also be an IBI for garbage disposal or sewage available.
- If the property is in a complex or community, you will need a certificate from the administrator stating that all communal costs have been paid for.
- Latest utility bills if available.