Now firstly, before reading this, don’t get me wrong. We love what we do at Valencia Property. There is nothing more satisfying than finding the right property for our clients at a great price and helping them to complete and settle into Valencia. However, there are little things that frustrate us, maybe even irritate us and sometimes, yes… there are things that absolutely drive us up the wall. Today, we thought we would have a rant… just so you can have a laugh at our pain, our misfortune, our suffering. And yes, we know we are fortunate to be able to do what we do in such a beautiful place as Valencia and we are not really complaining…
Well, maybe just a bit!
Like everyone we are sick and tired of Covid19 messing up people’s plans for flights, visits and more. We are sick of governments who ban trips to Valencia because it’s considered to be dangerous (Despite having some of the lowest Covid rates in Europe), sick of embassies who ask for invitation letters then reject applicants for a similar letter to that which they approved another person the week before (Looking in the direction of the Spanish Embassy in Miami here), outbreaks of variants because certain populist governments let the virus rip through the population in the early stages giving it a chance to create those variants (Looking at cretins like Johnson, Trump, Modhi and Bolsonaro here)
Yes, Covid is sickening in more ways than one and we are really sick of hand sanitizer.
It doesn’t rain much in Valencia but this year has been rainier than most, the dams are almost overflowing, and taking somebody out to see properties under the Spanish sun while sheltering from grey skies and slanted rain isn’t much fun. However, it’s about 30-40 days a year. As one client said though, “why does it always coincide with me being here?“
They know who they are. We know who they are. And when somebody has already contracted their lawyer before coming to Valencia and then tells us one of a select group of names, our heads drop, a few expletives are released and we know it’s going to be a disaster.
This isn’t because they are thorough, not at all, we like that, we applaud thoroughness. We cannot do all of the due diligence required on every house and if a lawyer says “don’t buy because of…” then we are happy. The client has dodged a bullet.
In order of dislikes, what we really hate are the lawyers who refuse to use whatsapp or any messaging app because their time is too valuable to spend messaging plebs like us (making communications, let’s just say, less fluid), lawyers who are totally up themselves because they “always know better” even when they don’t (and this is proved “Every. Single. Time“), lawyers that never answer their clients’ questions or even acknowledge that the question has been asked, those who never admit they are wrong, (this is a major weakness), those who go fishing for clients on Facebook claiming they speak excellent English and have loads of experience when they don’t… those who stick their oar in on things that have nothing to do with their job and make our life more difficult (Phone and alarm contracts anyone) and so many other things…
Owners Who Are “Especial”
The number of times we get told by an agent that a particular owner is “un poco especial” is astounding. What does “un poco especial” mean? Well, in theory it’s “a little strange” but in practice in means they are “absolutely hatstand“! These owners tend to be those who “No tiene prisa” too. Meaning they are in no rush to sell supposedly. TAKE IT OFF THE MARKET THEN!
Agents Who Haven’t Got A Clue
Over the years we have worked with countless agents representing sellers and properties and many of them are excellent, we continue to work with them as a result. However there are some genuine cases where we finish up wondering how they manage to walk in a straight line and chew gum at the same time and even more pertinently how did they convince the owners to entrust the sale of their property to this person! There are more of these people than you would think but luckily we manage to avoid them mostly and by doing that we save you the time needed to discover this fact.
Agents/Valuers Who Can’t Tell The Time
I want to make an admission here, I’m British (Yes, I’m pretty sorry about that at the moment too) and one of the things that I most worry about in life is arriving late somewhere. I have lived in Spain for well over half of my life and still I can’t rid myself of the horror of even imagining that I might perhaps arrive somewhere even one minute late! However, agents who turn up late, valuers who say “I’m on my way” when they are already half an hour late and that famous Spanish phrase “Cinco Minutos” which can mean anything from five minutes to… tomorrow… they really drive us crazy, especially when it’s at the start of a day of visits and it puts everything out of sync!
Each town hall is an island and each civil servant working in a town hall is a sharp intake of breath waiting to happen. You know the one, that sharp intake of breath you hear when you ask a perfectly reasonable question about the possibilities of extending your property, painting the facade, getting some paperwork, are looking for a licence or want to simply register your presence.
Now let’s dial this back a bit, Covid has made the appointments much more difficult, you cannot generally just walk into the town hall at the moment and sort something out in a few minutes, you need a “Cita Previa” but once you are in many civil servants are extra helpful at the moment as they know they haven’t got an unlimited number of appointments available.
When you buy a property you get to inherit the electric, water and gas bills for example. Either your lawyer or your agent changes the utilities for you, you can do it yourself if you want, we are quite happy with you doing it. I am not sure which is the worst company to deal with. Usually electric is relatively painless as it can be done with a phone call but at times, depending on the contract and company, this can be more difficult. Gas companies are the same. Water companies are the major pain in our life. They often require a reading of the meter or they won’t change anything. They often require both the seller and the buyer to turn up at an office which only opens for a couple of hours per week, together. They require documentation in duplicate, signed contracts with the devil… they require blood. Lucky we get it sorted for you, isn’t it!
People Changing Their Minds
No, not you, you can change your mind about buying a place, after all it’s a big step. Here we are talking about owners who accept an offer then we start all of the work involved in putting together a contract, getting all of the terms in place, getting funds ready and a deposit and more and then three days later the owner changes their mind because “I found out I will have to pay some tax“. Is tax a new thing in their world? Maybe… Or this pearler, “If the client offered me what I was asking I must have priced it too low“. So, you are going to put it at a price that nobody will pay and then complain that nobody is coming round to see it? Or my least favourite, “I’m not ready to sell yet, come back in three or four months“. No. And when you come back to us to sell it for you in three or four months because suddenly you need money you may well ask why the phone isn’t being answered.
People Who Have Never Been To Spain Telling Us How Bad the Spanish Economy Is Because Their Business In Another Country Was Destroyed By Covid and They Know Two Spanish Blokes Somewhere
This happened this week. It really did.
People Who Know Better
See above. We have been doing work in the Valencia Property market for 20 odd years. We know what we are doing, we give people facts about the situation here, about the market and about everything to do with moving to Valencia and living here. You may have noticed a few posts about it on the blog perhaps? We demonstrate knowledge and when we are wrong (because the facts change) we tell you how things have now changed and what the new situation is.
But some people know better don’t they.
They know that owners will accept lowball offers (See below) because they need money and need to sell. They know that such and such a property is overpriced, they know that their money is better than other people’s money, they know that Spain is a poor country and they know they can get whatever they want at the price they offer.
Let’s face it they know everything.
Nevertheless there is one thing they don’t know, they don’t know that we don’t need them as clients. We wish them luck on their visit to Valencia and wave them goodbye with a short email because we will never be able to satisfy their immense knowledge.
The truth is you may know much more than me and the people who work with me but between us at Valencia Property we have over a century of living and working in Spain, we are all fluent Spanish speakers and we have been there and done that. If you know more then cool., demonstrate it, don’t just come over with a fixed idea which is invariably false.
This is the province of the know it all from the previous point. When you tell us that you will only be making offers that knock at least 20-30% off the asking price because… well, just because… then we usually concentrate on other clients. We’ll let you know what an owner is likely to accept and what will be considered a decent offer even if not accepted. We have said this before but if you obviously lowball the owner will do one of two things, stand their ground and not drop even one Euro or politely (Or not) tell you to take your money and spend it elsewhere.
The Inability to Use Whatsapp/Google Maps/A Phone…
In Spain, Whatsapp is King and when in Spain you bow down to the King and make use of what the King offers you.
If you are coming to Spain from another country it will likely cost you a fortune to make calls to Spanish numbers via a normal phone call but even if this is not the case remember that Whatsapp is much more than just a messaging service. We use it for locations to meet, especially during Covid times when you will be asked to provide your own transport and follow us from property to property. We use it for conversations, to send links to properties, to give information and sometimes even to make calls.
These days virtually everyone has a smartphone, I know of one client who hasn’t over the last few years, and the link to Maps from Whatsapp and GPS positions is extremely important when looking to meet up at a random roundabout near a property in the countryside.
One thing though, sometimes Whatsapp and Google Maps send the wrong location sometimes and that is the most wall climbing thing there is. Always check first.
Owners Pointing Out The Obvious…
“These are my cupboards where I keep my pasta, this is the toilet, this is the kitchen…”
Yeah we know. We have them at home too. Just let us do our work of showing the house rather than a totally different job of translating the bleeding obvious. Owners who do this in a different language are so frustrating. We do this for a living so if we think something is worthy of pointing out we will do it. The fact that a house has a toilet isn’t a major selling point although the opposite might be true.
“You could have tidied up a bit…”
It’s becoming less common but walking into a place that looks like thieves have been in overnight and left the place as a tip is a depressing phenomena. At times owners don’t seem to want to maximise the chances of the property being sold and at its best price. They would rather demand that a buyer make a lower offer as the mess is similar to a (my) teenage daughter’s bedroom.
The Reality Deniers
“You get used to it straight away and hardly notice it“.
“What? The flightpath over your house”.
“After a while you don’t see them“
“Pardon me, you mean those high tension wires passing right over your house?”
Many owners contact us to list their properties and we have talked in the past about why we don’t list everything we are offered. Some owners refuse to accept an inescapable reality, some properties cannot be sold, or rather, some properties cannot be sold to our clients because we won’t be visiting or listing them.
“We Are Leaving All The Furniture”
Always stated as a positive but usually just an imposition. OK, if you have Airbnb’d the property with the best IKEA can offer then maybe, but the junk that you have removed from your apartment in the city and dumped at your country house isn’t too attractive. We have actually got to a stage where some charities have refused to empty houses and take the furniture for free because there was no value to them.
There Are Plenty of Others…
But they can wait for another day perhaps.
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