Purchasing a property in Valencia, Spain for the first time can be not only an exciting process but also occasionally stressful and surprising, especially if you are not familiar with the local customs and the entire process itself yet. We assure you that it can be quite distinct from what you have seen.
Therefore, we have decided to share some of the things that we find intriguing and that might raise an eyebrow.
1. All viewings are arranged individually, there is no open house concept here;
In Valencia, the concept of open houses hasn’t quite taken hold in the market. Instead, all viewings are scheduled specifically and exclusively for you. This often requires extensive coordination among various parties, including the seller’s agent, the owner, yourself, and your agent if you have one. In some cases, even the current tenants may be involved if the property is not vacant. It’s no surprise that arranging a viewing can sometimes span a few days or even weeks. Conclusion? Patience is one of the things you learn.
2. Without a personal representative of your own (buyer’s agent), you’ll engage with the seller’s agent, and this doesn’t raise conflict-of-interest concerns in Spain. The agents are expected to intermediate between the parties and balance out their interests;
That´s right. 95% of the properties available online are listed by the seller’s agent. Adding an extra layer of complexity, the same property might be handled by multiple agencies, all representing the seller. It is up to you to choose with which agency you want to work with but keep in mind that that their priorities could align more with the seller’s interests than yours and you are still expected to pay the agent´s fee.
It’s essential to recognize that not all agencies possess the expertise to effectively assist non-residents or foreigners, so you might consider to have your own buyer´s agent to advocate for your interests.
3. No floor plans or technical reports, or inspection reports provided;
During property viewings, the information you receive largely hinges on what the seller’s side is willing to disclose. The owner may not always offer additional information about the current condition of the property. In a competitive market where lucrative opportunities are swiftly identified, you might not have enough time to set up inspections and wait for official reports.
4. All the viewings are stopped once a prospective buyer pays the reservation fee and prepares to submit an offer.
Though one might expect bidding wars for exceptional properties, in Valencia, agencies uphold the sequence of potential buyers. Once an interested buyer secures the option to submit an offer, no other buyers are involved. Viewings are put on hold as the owner deliberates whether to accept the offer, propose a counteroffer, or decline.
5. If you expect to view clean, empty or nicely decorated property, your chances are relatively low
During viewings, it’s quite common to observe the property in its current state. You might navigate through spaces occupied by existing tenants or owner’s themselves, complete with their belongings and family photographs. In cases where the property is unoccupied, owners often don’t prioritize clearing out old furniture. The concept of staging has yet to make significant inroads in the market; while there are initial attempts, it’s not fully embraced yet.
6. The previous purchase price is not disclosed.
While you might want to use this knowledge for better negotiation, this information is not officially available. Only in recent months has it become possible to estimate prices based on tax-related information However, given the rapid pace of the market, obtaining this data might be time-consuming. Furthermore, even armed with this information, it’s unlikely to significantly impact the price the seller is envisioning.
7. The earnest money, typically amounting to 10% of the purchase price, is directly transferred to the seller’s account and not to an escrow account.
For the most of you, transferring 10% of the purchase price directly to the seller can sound bizarre. However, this practice is indeed a reality. The money forms a part of the purchase price and is a strong commitment from both parties.
8. During the closing process, the seller is physically present, and the atmosphere can become personal and emotionally charged.
The closing takes place before a notary, necessitating the presence of representatives from both parties. It’s a common occurrence for sellers to personally attend and sign the deeds. While the paperwork is prepared, there’s an opportunity for a conversation that provides insight into their motives for selling. This interaction can occasionally evoke emotions, leading to moments of tears or a celebratory glass of cava.
9. The property is not handed over in perfect condition; there is almost always work that needs to be done.
Upon receiving the keys and embarking on your journey to your new home, it’s advisable not to set your expectations too high. Owners are not bound to deliver the property in flawless condition. Often, some level of work is required, which might involve tasks like clearing out old furniture, painting, cleaning, and potentially even refurbishing.
10. Quite interesting – sellers might inquire if you would be open to letting them reside in the property for a certain duration.
It’s a frequent occurrence for owners to sell in order to either upgrade or downsize their living situation. In many cases, the sale provides them with the necessary funds for the down payment on their next property, which they may also plan to finance through a loan. As part of this transition, they might request permission to temporarily remain in the property you’ve just acquired, even for a period extending to a couple of months, before fully vacating it.
If you are about to begin the process of property hunting in Valencia and are looking for expert guidance and support, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with us!