The Big Red Flags For Property Buyers

Here at Valencia Property we like to feel that we help to make the buying process as painless as possible for our clients looking to purchase property here. We prepare things, talk with our clients before their visit and answer as many questions as they may come up with in order to get them prepared, then work hand in hand with them to a successful conclusion. We generally avoid the major problems that can come up when buying a Spanish property but now and again we are faced with situations that require experience and advice and this week we had one of those situations. Let's take a look at that one and then tell you about the other big red flags that you should keep an eye out for when buying in Valencia or even when buying Spanish Property in general.

We have been onboarding lots of new clients with our consultation calls, face to face meetings and more recently and usually after a first meeting with us they decide to work with us. However, we were surprised last week when we were overlooked by a potential client who chose a different realtor to work with because, and I quote, "The agency has an in-house lawyer so it looks like our costs will be lower"

And that is a huge red flag.

Remember that the traditional estate agents are working for the seller not you, the buyer, and if they have an in-house lawyer then that lawyer is definitely working for the seller who is represented by the agency. Don't expect any protection for the buyer there.

It's not a bitter thing, they may have preferred the suited and booted agent rather than our more "relaxed" way of working (Think shorts, sandals and T-Shirts from us), but we still gave them advice. We told them to work with the agent by all means but make sure to get an independent lawyer to defend their interests on purchase. Even when people decide not to use us it would be sad to see them get scammed or ripped off of course. 

Other Big Red Flags

Price is Too Good To Be True

If a property price looks too good to be true then it generally is. There are times when a property price is excellent value of course and it maybe that the owner needs to sell quickly to raise funds for whatever reason but it is unusual when something is well out of line with the market that there is a legitimate reason, especially in a buoyant market where virtually everything sells. See our post here about the scammers. Other reasons apart from someone trying to scam you might be the legality of the property, the supposed owner not being the owner and off plan properties not yet having licences and a defined timeline for building. There can be so many but they all generally fall into the careful of scammers area.

Pressure Selling

We were introduced to a guy a few weeks ago who was potentially interested in buying a property. He had been to see an agent already and they had pressured him to sign a contract, place a reserve and go through with a purchase on his first visit to a totally unsuitable property essentially in the middle of nowhere considering he didn't have a car and had no intention of buying one. I don't think it is wrong to say that this was despicable by the agency and yes, we know which one it was.

The man had been recently widowed, had come over to Valencia on a flying visit because he had been told it was nice, was obviously still in mourning and had been told Valencia, where he knew nobody, was a good place to live. Truth is it is.

However, for someone confused about the rest of his life so recently after losing a loved one it was definitely the wrong time to be making a life changing decision like purchasing a property using all of his available funds. We told him to enjoy his holiday as well as he could, get to know the area and if he really thought it was a place for him to spend a few months here to search out his ideal area before committing to buying*.

*Last news we had of him was that he had returned to the UK and was buying somewhere on the East coast. Somewhat different to Valencia.

Quick Deposits

Some agencies will tell you that you need to place a deposit to reserve the property before someone else snaps it up. That may be true but it usually isn't. Never place a deposit until your legal representative tells you to. A reserve payment is OK but not the full deposit. There could be any number of problems with a property that you have not been informed about or haven't yet come to light. Good luck with trying to recover a deposit when you are not covered by a good contract drawn up by your lawyer because problems come up in the conveyancing process.

Agreeing a Purchase Before Funding is in Place

"No! The owner will not wait around while you get your mortgage in place. Therefore you need to put a deposit down now!" (Random Agent)

And if you don't get your funding you are going to lose your deposit (Valencia Property).

It's always better to get pre-approval for your mortgage. We receommend getting this through Mortgage Direct. Once you have this then it's the time to start your search for a property, not before. There's no point falling in love with a place before knowing that you will be able to buy it as it will probably be sold if you don't have your ducks in a row in time.

Paperwork Lacking or Just Plain Wrong

The number of times we get told by sellers that they don't need to change their paperwork which states that they have a 50m2 house on it and you are currently standing in a 300m2 house looking at that paperwork (Or even worse there is no house on the deeds just a plot of land) still surprises us regularly. The responsibility of the seller is to sell what is there.

Oftentimes it's an easy process as the property can be legalised fully without a problem as it has been there for decades but has never actually been fully declared. However, at times there are reasons it has never been fully declared and one of them is because it is totally illegal.

We don't sell those properties. Other agents might.

When the property registry and the catastro don't match (And they almost never match when talking about villas) and both of those don't match the reality of the property you are interested in then "Houston, we have a problem!".

These are the biggest red flags but there are others of course. Check out our post about the mistakes buyers make when looking for properties here. Buying property in Valencia and Spain can be a super stressful thing to do. What we do here at Valencia Property is take away the majority, if not all of that stress and make the process enjoyable even. Work with us and find your own perfect property and we'll make those red flags disappear.

The Valencia Property Podcast July 2022

We are please to announce that the next episode of the podcast will be out this Friday. Bookmark our page here and you will be one of the first to see it when we release it. This month we talk about the Top Tips our clients would give you as potential Valencia Property buyers when looking to purchase here.

These are tips from those who have been here, searched and found what they are looking for using our services and most of them are very recent too so they are up to date in their tips. We got a lot of voice notes which I will be using in the podcast and we also got a lot of written answers. Just to give you an idea of what will be in the podcast here are some of the written answers.

Jan and Robyn: "Graham has already emphasized the importance of location, because that's something you can't renovate your way out of if you make a bad choice. We'd just add that for us, "location" didn't just mean a certain neighborhood, because there were several neighborhoods that would have worked really well for us. It was really a block by block, building by building search process. Our tip would be to not get your hopes up about a prospective property until you've thoroughly walked the area where it's located, or if you're not in town, to make sure you're working with well-informed local realtors (like Graham and David), so they can advise you of possible problems with the specific block you're thinking about. If they are picky and opinionated, all the better! (NOTE: We are very opinionated) Had we just gone by the idealista listings without investigating, we could have easily ended up with a place with loud traffic, or overlooking a rowdy bar open til all hours, or a place on the ground floor with trash bins right outside the window, or on a narrow street with practically no sunlight, or way too far from supermarkets or from the parks and plazas and sights that make Valencia so special. We wanted to be near the fun stuff but avoid the noise, which was no easy feat, as there aren't as many places as you'd think that would fit the bill. Fortunately the right place eventually came along and we're very happy with it."

Rob P: "The main things for us was getting the right area to live in - one we felt comfortable in now and would still do in the future. i.e somewhere like Nazaret that clearly has potential in the future wouldn't feel as comfortable for us now with 2 young kids. That's why we were between Cabanyal and Monte Olivete. 2nd thing was the cost of the 'extras' in the Spanish system so we had to aim a bit lower than we thought/would have done in the UK. Lastly, finding estate agents you trust/ are honest- there is a lot out there who from the off you are uncomfortable with (when they try and make you sign something within the first 2 mins!)

Adam: "As weird as it sounds it actually would be to use your service. I did a little research on my own (as dangerous as that today sounds ?). Everything you said, matched, You made it risk-free, quick and easy. For a very fair and reasonable price."

Richard:  "Don’t try to go it alone.  Get the right people around you who charge you a reasonable price for their expertise.  It may seem expensive or you think you don’t have to pay that amount BUT you should.  It reduces the stress and it potentially works out cheaper in the long run."

Valerie:  "Listen to your head a bit when deciding on the property.  All the value for money, square footage, location stuff.  Valencia is beautiful and it’s easy to listen to your heart telling you to buy a beautiful wreck of an apartment because it’s ‘romantic’ or ‘iconic’ architecture."

Amanda: "Good question!  I think my number 1 tip (other than using Valencia Property, of course) would be to have some realistic timelines in mind and then double them. The amount of time it's taken to go through things with the banks, notaries, lawyers has taken much longer than it was 'supposed' to, not to mention the actual work on the house. The other tip would really be to spend time in the area.  I'm super lucky that my house is in exactly where I would have bought if I were looking now, a year later...but that could easily have gone the other way in terms of certain streets that have more noise, etc.  

All standard tips, but the timing one...I knew it would take a long time, but the 'temporary' solution I'm in is driving me mental as 'temporary' has now been a year plus" (VP Note: Amanda bought a place that had a project started on it and wanted to change a few things, quite rightly. Therefore new licences and plans were required which took a long time as the building had certain levels of protection)

The Valencia Property Summer Quiz Results

We had plenty of entries for the Valencia Property Summer Quiz 2022 and you can see the questions in the linked post. In most of the entries the vast majority of the questions were answered correctly too. However we only had three fully correct answers with 15 out of 15. So Mathias, Maria and David were competing for the prize. We gave Mathias Number 1, Maria Number 2 and David Number 3 because this was the order that the entries came in from most recent to first in and we went into Google's random number generator.

And the winner was Mathias Kruck as you can see in the video above.

Don't worry though. The other all correct answers both win a copy of the book and we have decided to give consolation prizes of 100 Euros to spend in their choice of restaurant from the book to them both so congratulations Maria Gonzales and David Carter (Who you may recognise as having previously won our last competition). We will be contacting you all today to set up the handover of your prizes.

We will also be getting a couple of final copies of the book (as we mentioned in the original post there would be prizes for other entries) In this case the two winners are Jeffery Azulay and David Ogando. I'm really happy that Jeffrey was selected as he almost got 15/15 too. His two wrong answers were essentially right but from the wrong sources. David got the question about the most popular podcast episode wrong but was correct in the rest. We will be searching the bookshops of Valencia this week for our two other prizes as we currently have three left and we had three winners.

August Plans

We are mostly closed in August as is normal. Some of us will be around during the month to hand over keys, meet up with people for introductory meetings and in certain cases even to see properties where we can but we are mostly closed. Mails will be answered, mostly by me when on a train somewhere in Europe, and we will be preparing a lot of things for the large numbers of clients already booked in for September. Remember you can let us know what you are looking for and when you will be coming over by filling in the form on the post here and sending it to us before the end of the month.

Property of the Week

Apartments for sale in Ruzafa don't tend to hang around for long, mostly because they get snapped up by the Dutch. They're all tall you see, they see the 'For Sale' signs on the balconies quicker than the rest of us. But here's a chance to get in before them and own a big chunk of real estate in prime hipster-land (unless you, dear reader, are Dutch, in which case it's your chance to join your brethren down in little Haarlem or whatever you lot call this area).

A duplex with really nice renovation work, exposed brick wall and the wooden roof beams, open-plan living/kitchen area and 3 good-size bedrooms ( 1 even has a full-size pool table for god's sake!) and located on the “good” side of Ruzafa IMO. What I mean by that is the quieter side, all the restaurants and bars are within walking distance but not right below you.

If you like what you see then do get in touch quick, I can hear their clog-steps getting closer…

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