Guide to Selling Property in Spain

People have different reasons for selling. From disposing of an investment property to simply moving home, the decision of selling your home can be daunting and it can either save or cost you many thousands of euros. We strongly recommend sellers use the services of a REAS accredited agency.

With all of the complexities of the current Spanish property market, this guide aims to help you at each step of your sale process. At REAS, together with our accredited real estate agencies and data scientists, we have worked hard to study every part of the home-selling process to find out what can help you sell your Spanish home faster, for more money and with less risk.

Once you have decided to sell, these are the main steps you should consider to follow:

1. Figure out your finances

Get a general idea of how much your house is worth. In case you owe money to a mortgage lender, find out how big your outstanding mortgage is, then calculate how much money you will be left with after you have paid off the mortgage. You should also notify your mortgage lender that you are planning to sell your home to find out if there are any early redemption penalties.

2. Preparing your home so it’s attractive to buyers

Remember that first impressions are crucial! Overall, homebuyers and real state investors seek for the best property they can afford at the cheapest prices. That’s why home improvements, particularly if they address the anticipated needs of buyers, can boost your home’s saleability and the sale price. So, before you determine marketing your home, it´s essential some improvements take place.

Depending on your home’s condition, there are three kinds of improvements that can impress buyers and help you sell for top market value: renovations, upgrades and repairs, reorganization and maintenance. We believe that at the right time, a small investment can give you a big edge over your competition and generate a faster sale at a higher price. Just don’t over-improve! Remember that may not be recovered from the sale!

3. Decide the right market price to sell it for

Pricing a home is like art, there’s no magic formula. The “art” part comes in with the agents perception and knowledge of the local real estate market, down to your neighborhood. Things like, is your neighborhood in high demand? What have other houses sold for within a mile of your property? What are comparable properties selling for throughout your area?

REAS accredited agents know determining the best asking price for your home is one of the most challenging aspects of selling it. That´s why we encourage you not to set a too high price that can disincenstivize prospestive buyers or either set a price that’s too low, since it can attract interest from a lot of prospective buyers who will make offers and negotiations lower than the real market price.

So, what´s your home really worth?

Your home’s value is not just determined by you. It is more determined by the fair market value which is the value a prospective buyer is willing to pay for your property at a given time. To reasonable price your home, you should do plenty of research and seek for experienced advisor´s opinion to determine what´s the fair market value of your home.

Get a Comparative Market Analysis (CMA)

Before putting a home on the market or listing with a real estate agent, savvy home sellers obtain a comparative market analysis, also referred to in the industry as a CMA. A comparative market analysis should include recently sold similar nearby homes, active listings currently for sale and properties that are under contract. Looking and analyzing these three factors will help you price your home closer to the real fair market price. Although reports can vary, from a one-page list of comparable home sales to a 10-page comprehensive guide, the length and complexity of the report depends on the agent’s business practice.

Price your home to sell

The single most important factor to consider when selling a house is pricing the house correctly. The dynamics of attracting qualified and motivated buyers who will pay top market value for your home is a little complex. Timing is crucial. You’re more likely to get top market value if you sell during a certain moment, called the “golden window of opportunity”. So, determining your home’s listing price should be done in consultation with an experienced estate agent. It is critical to price your home correctly from the beginning and get it sold quickly and at the best price.

The consequences of overpricing

Overpricing your home above its fair market value, might think to make sense at first glance. However, prospective buyers and real estate investors will compare your home unfavorably against recent comparable sales and listings. The consequence is you can end getting a lower price than if you´d priced your home correctly from the beginning. This happens because, among other things, the right buyers for your home may never see it due to its high price. Besides, some real state agents may never show your home knowing it´s overpriced. Research shows that overpricing your home and then dropping the price several times while it languishes on the market usually leads to selling it at a much lower price than what you originally should have asked for it.

4. Marketing your house to maximize exposure

Once you’ve established a list price, it’s time to market your property so it sells as quickly as possible. The successful marketing of a home is a process that includes every activity involved in getting it sold: home preparation, pricing, presentation, strategic advertising, etc. Don’t forget your main goal will be selling for the top market value, so it’s essential that you maximize the exposure of your home. Find an expert on real state business and ask him to implement a plan that will effectively coordinate all of these activities. Use all the channels that are at your disposal and market your house in multiple ways.

5. Negotiating the best possible deal

Negotiating is one of the most complex part of selling a house, if not the most. You are negotiating to reach an agreement in principle on the key issues such as price, contents, and dates of completion. You must keep in mind your situation, priorities and needs, trying to understand and respect the priorities of the buyer, but without giving away your own needs and desires. When a buyer makes an offer, you should review every detail of it and take a decision. You can either accept the offer, reject it, or counter it to initiate the negotiation process. You must have in mind that every situation is different, but everytime, both buyer and seller want to feel that the outcome favors them.

6. Completion of the sale

A sale is formally completed in Spain when the public title deeds of purchase are signed. Completion for a property sale is undertaken in the offices of Notaria Publica. On the completion day the buyer takes legal possession of the property you´re selling so legal ownership of your property will be transferred to him. The notary reviews the sales agreement and receive the funds for the sale from the buyer to provide you with a statement of adjustments. Don’t forget this fund will be used to discharge your mortgage, if applicable, with any remaining proceeds transferred to you in the form of a bank draft. After signing at completion, a copy of the deeds are given to the buyer or their legal representative by the Notary. The originals are sent to land registry to be registered.