Few things can be worse than trying to sell a Spanish property during the current Spanish property crash. Competition for the few available buyers is ferocious and, all too often, your only obvious selling tool is price. And the only way that price makes any difference is when it is much lower than the competition - which makes it a very crude weapon. So, what else can you do to sell your property in Spain?
1. Control the price at all times. In Spain, it is quite common to tell Spanish estate agents the price that you want and to then allow them to place whatever commission they want on top of the minimum price you require. Thus your Spanish property can end up being marketed for a bewildering number of different prices (depending upon the differing commission structures of the Spanish estate agents concerned). This can mean that potential buyers, tracking your property on a number of web sites, will lose confidence in your property (and you, as the seller!). Much worse - should you want to change the price of your Spanish property, you cannot guarantee that this will be reflected accurately by your Spanish estate agents. So, always make sure that the market price/advertised price of your property is the same for all estate agents and includes their commission.
2. Market widely - unless a sole estate agent can deliver a high profile marketing package. Use as many Spanish estate agents to market your Spanish property as you can find - over a wide geographic area. Buyers coming to Spain are often not particularly location sensitive and, if they like the look of your property and (importantly) the price, will often travel some distance from their initial 'preferred' area. Using a sole estate agent can be advantageous only if the Spanish estate agents can offer a very aggressive marketing plan - that is consistently activated over a long period.
3. Native Spanish property market. Make sure that you also use native Spanish estate agents - after all the biggest buying market in Spain will always be the Spanish themselves. So, do not just exclusively use British or North European agents to market your property in Spain
4. Be prepared to pay a high commission. In the current Spanish property crash, with Spanish property prices falling, many sellers understandably try to negotiate down the commission of Spanish estate agents. This is a mistake. If you are desperate to sell, offer your Spanish estate agents a higher commission than is standard to ensure that they prioritize the sale of your Spanish property above and beyond all others on their 'books'. This will also encourage them to collaborate with other Spanish real estate agents, where they will have to split the commission on any sale made. They will do this willingly, if they still earn well from any sale of your property.
5. Never lose an opportunity to show your Spanish property to a potential buyer. Sometimes, Spanish estate agents have little time to give advance warning of a viewing appointment. This can be extremely inconvenient - but always accommodate a viewing, even if your property in Spain is not in 'tip top' order or you are about to eat etc. It may be the only chance for a given potential buyer to see your property before he moves elsewhere - and he may just be your long sought after buyer!
6. Make the best of your Spanish property. Keep it tidy, smelling fresh and always clean. Get rid of all clutter, as 'less is always more' when it comes to displaying a property. Lots of furniture and trinkets can make a house look smaller and darker than it is and no-one is likely to buy your property in Spain because they are attracted by a display of your personal possessions. Equally, open all shutters/persianas and curtains - particularly the heavy Vellum curtains so beloved of the Spanish, to prevent the sun coming in.
7. Make sure your property in Spain looks well maintained. Buyers are always wary when a Spanish property looks as though it will require high maintenance or needs a lot of intial work to bring it up to standard. Fix dripping taps, damp patches and flaking paint etc. These may be small items but they will indicate to a buyer that probably greater problems exist - whilst another similar house to yours may look trouble free. Always give yourself the edge!
8. Be relaxed and confident when a buyer comes to see your property. Do not over-sell your Spanish property to a potential buyer. Normally, buyers have made up their minds, one way or another, within the first five minutes of seeing a property in Spain - and neither an estate agent nor yourself will be able to bludgeon a buyer into changing their minds. Usually, it is best to leave professional Spanish estate agents to show clients around your Spanish property. They will be able to 'read' the potential buyers best and will then direct them to you - if the clients have any relevant questions or the estate agents think that you can contribute to making the sale. It is, of course, in their best interest!
9. Remember 'buyers are liars'. Rarely will you, or even your Spanish estate agents, be told the truth by buyers - whether it is about their personal circumstances, their true likes and dislikes, their real budget or their actual readiness to buy. So, do not take seriously what buyers say when they are looking at your property in Spain - whether it is is positive or negative. Rely only upon whether they want to return for a second viewing or wish to make an offer. Anything else is largely irrelevant and should never be taken personally.
10. Treat the selling of your Spanish property as you would a job of work. Put simply, selling property in Spain is a number's game. Unfortunately, in today's Spanish property crash, selling a property in Spain is all getting a lot of potential buyers to physically come and see your property. If few people come - then the likelihood of selling it is minuscule. Network relentlessly, enthuse, charm and incentivize your Spanish estate agents and always make sure that your property in Spain is better than anything else on the market that is comparable in price and condition. Prioritize getting people to come and look at your property above everything else - however unlikely they may seem as potential buyers. Work at selling all the time...
Finally, do not be downhearted. Everything always sells - even in a Spanish property crash! So, be enthusiastic, retain your optimism, relax as best you can and try, wherever possible, to give yourself an edge against the competition. GOOD LUCK!