Selling a Property without using a Estate Agent

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rymanskid
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Selling a Property without using a Estate Agent

Postby rymanskid » Fri Apr 18, 2008 10:08 am

just wondering has anybody sold or brought a property without using an estate agent, most to sell want about 7% commission which seems a rip off for what they do, I just don't trust them, if you have sold by not using an agent was it easy or did you have a lot of hassle.
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ICCSL
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Estate agents

Postby ICCSL » Fri Apr 18, 2008 10:45 am

If you ready the information on Decreto 218 which all estate agents have to comply with you will be able to see that estate agents are doing most of the conveyancing on a property. However, a couple of years ago we contacted all our owners and asked them if they would like to go on an "owner's direct" page for which we would charge 100 euros per year. Our commission rates are 5% on most properties so as you can imagine this would be a huge saving. The clients would be sent directly to the owner, they would have thier email addresses and contact numbers etc so we though that their would be considerable interest, especially since Brits tend to moan so much about the commission rates. However, not one of our 600 owners wanted to participate in this.

The Decreto 218 law requires estate agents to have an up to date nota simple for all properties. The Nota Simple is the equivalent of a UK property search. A Nota Simple can cost anything between 9 euros + IVA and 20 euros + IVA depending on how much information is contained in it. We have 600 properties listed which means that it is going to cost a very minimum 6,264 euros every three months (because a nota simple runs out in three months) to comply with the law. Most vendors have their properties listed with at least 20 agents and vendors do not want to pay for their nota simples to be up to date hence I would imagine that there won't be many agents left before long. If a property is exclusively with our agency, I have no problem paying for the nota simple but I am certainly not going to do it for people who have their properties listed with dozens of agents. Hence I foresee our list diminishing rapidly over the next month or so because the vast majority of Brit vendors do not want to pay for their nota simples. We are not having any problem getting the Germans, Dutch, Norwegians or Spaniards to pay and nor do other nationalities question our commission rates so maybe soon we will not have very many British properties on our books in any event.

This topic has been covered many times within these forums but I will state again that the reason commission rates are higher in Spain is because agents here do far more work on a sale than their UK counterparts (this assumes that you are dealing with a REAL, fully registered estate agent). Our advertising costs run into thousands per year and our petrol / diesel / telephone costs would stagger most people.

In terms of selling direct, as long as you know all of the paperwork you have to supply and can wait for a prospective purchaser to see a "FOR SALE" sign outside your house, spend money on advertising whether on the web or via newspapers / magazines etc., employ a lawyer to act on your behalf or go to a notary who will advise you of what you have to do, you should not have too much difficulty in effecting your own sale. This presumes that your escritura and catastral registry is in order, which you will only know if you have had it translated into English or can speak fluent Spanish. If it isn't in order, as most aren't even if your conveyancing was done by a lawyer at the time of purchase, you will probably accrue a hefty bill and a lot of time getting it in order.

Mr. Bean is trying to diminish the amount of Brits in Spain by confiscating or knocking down their houses at present and at the same time making it almost impossible for British estate agents to function here. Hence your initial topic about selling your house direct may soon be the only option that you have.
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Postby katy » Fri Apr 18, 2008 10:58 am

It is very difficult to sell privately, not sure why :? but most people seem to prefer to use an agent when buying. We have bought 3 houses privately, 2 from Sur in English ads. When we tried to sell though always had to use an agent even though we would have offered a large discount to sell privately.

Tina your listing idea sounds a bit like the Viva "offer" to advertise in their property book. Theirs is a snip at 400+ euros :shock:

I did have a thought that given the amount of agents closing down we may find that some sort of charge may come for listing properties in the future. I remember once selling in the UK and we had to pay for newspaper ads as an extra (although they did only charge 1% comm.)

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Postby Beachcomber » Fri Apr 18, 2008 12:09 pm

I may have been lucky but I have bought six properties in Spain and sold three of them without ever using an estate agent and especially not a lawyer.

It can be done but you need to know exactly what you are doing and have a good command of the language.

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Postby Mickyg » Fri Apr 18, 2008 12:21 pm

Interesting as we have wondered about how safe it is to buy privately and how we know who the 'safe' estate agents are. Perhaps Tina could answer the latter part?
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Postby Jool » Fri Apr 18, 2008 2:10 pm

7% for a resale property is exorbitant. Around my way its 3 to 5% these days. You can check an Estate Agent is legal by asking for their CIF (company registration number) and asking any gestor to check they are indeed registered at the tax office.

A good legal Agent will want to be able to issue an invoice plus VAT for the commission they earn on your sale, the iffy ones will want cash.

Look up their website. If they are members of an professional association look up that association and see if its worth the paper its printed on etc...

Phone up different agents and see how they respond to you on the phone. Do they ask you for all the paperwork as Tina describes?

Hope this helps

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Postby scarlet » Fri Apr 18, 2008 2:21 pm

My son is going to be setting me up a website to sell our house, if you want too sell yours send me details and I shall put them on, will be seen all over the world, and hopfully top of search engines.

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ICCSL
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Buying privately

Postby ICCSL » Sat Apr 19, 2008 11:39 am

Mickyg wrote:Interesting as we have wondered about how safe it is to buy privately and how we know who the 'safe' estate agents are. Perhaps Tina could answer the latter part?


When and if eventually my book is finished (which I have been writing for around 15 years) it will contain some examples of what happened to some people who bought privately from Spaniards, two examples of which are the following:-

Around 7 years ago I was in a bar with some friends and we saw three couples talking to a well known Spanish woman. This woman had tried to sell me a plot of "building" land some months before and having checked it out with our lawyer and architect, it was clear that the land was not ever likely to get planning permission because it was less than 30,000m2 (the rule was that you could build one house in 30,000m2 of secano land at the time) and also that it had a large mortgage on it. She was telling the three couples that there were three plots and that by the time they came back in September (this was around April) there would be full planning permission on the land and they could commence building their houses on the plots. My colleague asked me if we should warn these couples about dealing with this woman. I said I doubted it because the couples would just think that it was sour grapes because they were not using an agent. When I left, my colleague did go over and warn them, to which they said that they did not need the assistance of an estate agent, they were dealing direct with the Spanish. Since then two of those couples have communicated with me via my website to say that they had paid deposits, for which they did not obtain receipts and the land never did get the promised planning permission. I cannot believe that anyone could be so crassly stupid as to a)deal with someone in a bar and b)part with cash without a receipt.

The second example is about another couple who met a Spaniard in a bar. The couple had spent most of a week viewing properties with estate agents and hadn't found anything that matched their criteria. A "nice" Spanish man came over having overheard them talking and said that he knew where there was a house for sale. He took them to see it and they loved it. They paid him a 10% deposit (10,000 euros) and he told them that if they came back in 3 months time he would have the new title deeds ready for them to sign. They did return in 3 months and the Spaniards produced "new title deeds" in their name and they paid him the balance of the money in cash as he had requested (90,000 euros). He handed over the keys and they had a drink to celebrate. He then got a call on his mobile telephone (they only ever had a mobile telephone for him) and he said that one of his children had been taken to the hospital so he had to go - did they remember where the house was? They said that they did and they waved him a fond farewell before going to their "new home". When they got there they found that the keys did not fit and after some time attempting to get into the house, someone British opened the door and asked what they were doing. They explained that they had just purchased the house and the real owner produced his title deeds to prove that he was actually the owner. The mobile phone belonging to the Spaniard was never answered again and naturally he was never seen again.

It never ceases to amaze me how so many Brits leave their brains at the airport when in Spain. Obviously this type of thing wouldn't happen as a norm but the fact that it can happen would be sufficient for anyone to make sure that they know exactly what they are doing, speak the language fluently or have an independent interpreter before embarking on a course of buying direct. Beachcomber has been very successful in buying direct as I have but then we both know everything that needs to be known.

In terms of trustworty estate agents I really don't know how you can ever be sure but if they have a CIF number they are registered which means that they have a responsibility to provide information as required by Decreto 218/2005, are subject to consumer law and can be prosecuted and fined if found to be in contravention of the regulations. If an agent does not have a CIF number it probably means he/she is self employed or more likely working in the black economy. A CIF number never begins with an X so do not confuse the CIF number with an NIE number. If they belong to an association it probably carries a little kudos in that they are also answerable to that association but mainly the only qualification for belonging to these associations is the payment of around 600 euros a year. Most associations are limited companies and have equally as much chance of going bust as anyone else. We actually belong to the FBEAS which does not charge an annual fee and you have to meet pretty strict criteria to be able to join. You could ask for references from previous clients but then an agent is only going to give you those clients who have been happy with his/her service.

Another way of finding out something about an agent is through his/her website. For example if an agent tells you that they have been around for several years and you check how long the website has been up, you might find that the website is only three months old, in which case you know to a degree that you have been lied to. Just one lie is enough to break your trust. You can check website on www.register.com through their WHOIS search.
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Postby toyotadesigner » Sat Apr 19, 2008 12:02 pm

Well, you can always buy some dentist tools and pull your teeth. And you can change the cylinder head of your car or drill a well or build your own aircraft.

Small and large companies contract professionals (ad, pr and marketing agencies) to propel their sales. There is no law in this world that really forces you to contract an agent, but sometimes it's better to have a professional at your side.

Look at the many agents who had to close down the last months (Granada: more than 40% over the last 3 months). Besides of the economy going down many of them sported the attitude: I can do it all, so why hire a professional photographer to present the homes in the best light? They grabbed their *beep* digicams, shot some very lousy pictures (not photographs) and added a price tag of some 1.5 million Euros to it. Now they are broke, and it looked sooooo simple :mrgreen:

In short words: if your agent will charge 7% but can sell your home for 100.000 more than you can do it yourself, what the heck, that's peanuts from your pockets, really.

I've had several clients who hired me to make a documentation of their homes. One of them told me: Well, let's look at it this way: If I want to sell a 2 million home, the photographs must bring the message across. For more than 17 months I've had a bunch of agents here, running around with digicams, and look what they've done - my estate looks more like a tiny garage than like a real big estate.

He sold his estate a couple of weeks later because the buyer stumbled over the perfect photographs and documentation.

Would you buy a house or car or parfume based on a lousy noisy narrow angled under- or overexposed digicam image?

Yes, you are right, there is no need for professionals in this world.
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Re: Buying privately

Postby hillybilly » Sat Apr 19, 2008 12:14 pm

ICCSL wrote:Another way of finding out something about an agent is through his/her website. For example if an agent tells you that they have been around for several years and you check how long the website has been up, you might find that the website is only three months old, in which case you know to a degree that you have been lied to. Just one lie is enough to break your trust. You can check website on www.register.com through their WHOIS search.

I also find the Wayback machine a very useful tool...you can find out exactly how long properties have been on sites, price changes etc.

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Re: Buying privately

Postby mirandamac » Sat Apr 19, 2008 12:59 pm

hillybilly wrote:I also find the Wayback machine a very useful tool...you can find out exactly how long properties have been on sites, price changes etc.

Excuse my techyphobia here but can you please explain to this idiot how you do that???? Thanks in advance.

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Postby Beachcomber » Sat Apr 19, 2008 1:56 pm


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Postby Paula » Sat Apr 19, 2008 2:08 pm

We have (fingers crossed) just sold an apartment without an Estate Agent! Without any form of advertising! OH was in a queue in a bank in UK last month and got chatting as he is prone to do to the guy behind him. Conversation led from the weather, to Spain, to this guy wanting to buy an apartment. He and his wife flew out to see it, had a look around at a couple of others then gave us a deposit and it's all going through now with our trusted gestor. Can't believe our luck :shock:
I've had to make a solemn promise to stop moaning about him talking to everyone in queues in the futue.

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Postby mirandamac » Sat Apr 19, 2008 2:26 pm

[quote="Beachcomber"]Have a look here:

http://www.archive.org/web/web.php
Thanks for those - easier to admit my stupidity on here than confess to son, daughter or even worse, our granddaughter! Thank you

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Postby Wicksey » Sat Apr 19, 2008 2:38 pm

We have tried selling privately here and in France in the past but got little interest - through Friday Ads, newspapers etc, ads in shops and on internet sites. I also think 7% is way OTT - we've sold here for around 3% in the past and have never been quoted more than 5%. (For the first time ever I have just sold a property in the UK privately to a friend, but it hasn't made the conveyancing procedure any easier or quicker unfortunately. I never 'saved' on the agents fees as the price was reduced to take acount of the private sale.)

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re selling your house

Postby johnwp » Sun Apr 20, 2008 2:22 pm

I have found that the estate agents fee go from 2.5 to 5 % and not 7%, however the market is so depressed better to hang onto your property.

Time will tell if its going to get worse or better and as the media in UK enjoy showing all the wrong goings on and the Spanish Gov still drags its feet over streamlining the land process or designation of building land, we must all wait and hope things change.

I also read the reports by EU officials who visited out area and Junta with regard to possible destruction of houses built on farming land, Lake Vinuela being one of the areas, I still do not understand why local town halls agree but have not agreed with the Junta, may the Junta should be the sole issuer of permission's rather than the town halls.

apart from that looking forward to pleasanter weather as I live over 1000 meter up..........................

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Selling a House

Postby J Cooke » Fri Apr 25, 2008 7:28 pm

I am just about to start trying to sell my house myself not a lot of interest from Estate agents I am afraid a lot of Estate agents I have met are now so frustrated because people are not buying so they are waiting for the market to pick up, I want to target the Dutch Swedish Norwegion and German househunters but where will the best place be to place my adverts is it the SUR IN ENGLISH ??????

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Postby Jool » Fri Apr 25, 2008 8:10 pm

Try looking online for portals or agents in those countries

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Postby karandjon » Fri Apr 25, 2008 8:11 pm

try putting it on thinkspain.com (i have no tie/link to this company, just when we were selling ours, we got a lot of interest from here).
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Property portals

Postby angelmouse » Wed Apr 30, 2008 4:41 pm

The three top property portals are InSpain, Think Spain and Kyero...good luck with selling your property. Save 5-10% by trying to do it yourself on the portals. No point in trying to get your own website to sell a property( it won't rank for at least 6 months with Google so nobody will see it) You can use Google click ads which will work out more expensive than advertising on the portals as they only get people onto your website and that doesn't mean they will make an enquiry. For that reason I think the portals are a better bet. All the above 3 are on the first page of google for sale expressions eg apartment in Velez for sale or townhouse in Marbella for sale. I know you can sell directly with InSpain but I'm not sure about Think Spain and Kyero.


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