/ Spanish Property query

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robw007 - on 06 Nov 2012
We own a small one bedroom flat in El Verger in the Xalon Valley, Costa Blanca.

We have had the property for a number of years and up to now have just used it for personal use - however now we want to explore the full range of possibilities for the property, including:

Holiday Rent

If anyone has any advice, contacts, numbers etc for any relevant estate agents, advisory groups etc it would be much appreciated.

mike123 - on 06 Nov 2012
In reply to robw007: was talking to my sister yesterday about this because a friend asked me to ask her (she is an estate agent and has owned a few properties in spain) . a couple of things about selling that might help :
1. fees for selling in spain are much greater than here. nowt you can do.
2. they encourage you to use multiple agents. when you sell each agent gets their full fee, very clever small print at play.
3. if you have a spainish mortgage, talk to your lender. up to last year they would have generally been very inflexible, good chance that they will now be more open to discussions. however some lenders not so, i dont know which but google might help.
hope this helps.
Trangia on 06 Nov 2012
In reply to robw007:

I've just sold my property in Spain. It took a year, but at the end went really quickly, just over a month from offer to completion. I was very lucky - some of my neighbours have had their properties on for several years now, always chasing the market down and being above the value rather than below it.

You can use as many agents as you like, but watch the small print of their contract. Some claim sole selling rights which means you still have to pay them commission even if another agent sells it, most however are fine so far as this is concerned - but do check!

As has been said commission rates are much higher than in the UK. Look for pro-active agents. Most are useless and just list the property and sit on it. Most are not very good at valuing either and just tell you what they think you want to hear, which is usually too much.

Make certain that all your legal work is in order - the agent will need to see all this and copy it. Most agents won't touch "illegal" builds. They will also need to see up to date water and electricity accounts.

Depending on when you bought expect to take a huge hit on the price. I bought at the height of the boom in 2005 and lost just under 50% on what I paid. It was painful, but I think the situation is getting worse as more and more aging ex pats flood the market in Spain's struggling economy, and prices have continued to fall since I sold. You need to substantially undercut the prices being asked by other similar property to have any chance of selling.

The agent draws up the contract and takes the 10% deposit which they pay into your account, first deducting their commission from it, before completion!!

Be prepared to have a percentage of the purchase price withheld back by your solicitor against outstanding taxes, including rubbish tax, non-resident tax and capital gains tax. It can take up to 4/5 years before the Spanish tax office agree for this to be paid to you. Too many ex pats have left the country owing tax.

Good luck
robw007 - on 06 Nov 2012
In reply to robw007:

This is really helpful stuff - thanks.

What about renting though? Does anyone have any advice on how best to set this up in this area?

Nic on 06 Nov 2012
In reply to robw007:

I got out of Spanish property in 2004, I wish I could say I read the market but actually it was other circumstances which made it the right time. I still keep an eye on it though (mainly Andalucía) but I suspect the Costa Blanca is not dissimilar.

In summary there is a massive oversupply of property for sale, and no finance for people to buy it. The result is only the best properties will sell, and even then at a huge discount to what they might be worth in a normal market (whatever that is). I am still watching my former neighbour's house which remains on the market after 5 years having been discounted from €1.1m to €750k...and he'd probably bite my hand off if I offered him €500k!

Anyway, the net of all this is: take a long hard look at your one-bedroom flat. How many others are there like it in the area, also for sale or rent. How many others are there nicer, selling or renting for less than you want? You have to be (very) realistic - on the Costas especially the property market is fcuked, to put it was a long, hard party but it's one hell of a hangover.

Sorry I can't be more positive, and I have no idea who the local agents are for renting, but I'm sure you can find them on a quick websearch, but don't be surprised if they show no interest whatsoever. In the meantime there are many, many articles for you to read, this is a reasonably summary of the current position:

...and this website is usually fairly objective:
robw007 - on 06 Nov 2012
In reply to robw007:

So if we were to rent it to friends and the climbing community only lets say - where do we find cleaners etc?
Trangia on 06 Nov 2012
In reply to robw007:
> (In reply to robw007)
> So if we were to rent it to friends and the climbing community only lets say - where do we find cleaners etc?

That is the problem, it can be very hit or miss. Neighbours of mine tried it, and it turned out to be a nightmare. The biggest problem was tenants partying, trashing the flat and upsetting the neighbours. Even if you take a deposit, it won't always cover damage.
Sam Mayfield - on 10 Nov 2012
In reply to robw007:

we have a very active Facebook page over here which you would be able to list the flat for rent, at the right price for long term it would rent, depends if you want to come and stay in it though, if you want holiday let, then agents will see the post on facebook and get in touch. Cleaners will also be quick to let you know about their services.

Sam Orange House

PS shame its not closer to me as I could fill it for you when we are full!

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