Okay, so you may not have any views to speak of and a terrace the size of a postage stamp but this doesn’t mean that you won’t be able to sell it. Even if the development bears no resemblance to the picture in the brochure that it was sold from and there isn’t a blade of grass for miles despite promises of ‘tropical gardens’, your apartment is bound to have something going for it, at least from the perspective of the Spanish.
I am not saying that the Spanish don’t have specific desires or low standards in any way. It’s just that when the Brits are looking for a holiday or retirement home in Spain they are usually working with a set criteria in mind which is more idealistic than the average young Spanish couple desperate to get their foot on the first rung on the Spanish property ladder.
It has to be said that the Brits are crazy about their views and even the mere sniff of digger diesel sends them into a frenzy as they panic over the inevitable loss of their most treasured asset. Young Spanish buyers just fail to appreciate the fuss about views, not surprising since their working day starts at 9 or 10 and can often go on until 8 or 9 in the evening. Any free time they do have will be spent meeting friends in bars or cafes or hanging out watching TV and eating at their respective families home. This doesn’t free up a lot of time for walking around heavily cultivated gardens or sitting on a terrace taking in views.
You have to remember that unlike in the UK, estate agents aren’t interested in décor when valuing your property. Here, it’s all about metre squared. The more metres, the better it is for the buyers especially when trying to get a mortgage without a hefty deposit. So, if you have an apartment to shake off and you are willing to let it go at a realistic price, maybe even to break even, think about targeting the Spanish market.
You can do this in two ways. You can either put your own “Se Vende” sign at the window and get your dictionary out when the calls come flooding in or showcase your property around some local Spanish agents. As an English speaker, you will naturally be drawn to the ‘friendly’ English faces that you frequently see behind the windows of British estate agents. However, on this occasion you must go against your natural instinct of heading for your comfort zone and head for what were up until recently smoke filled dens full of buzz and Spanish cackle. In fact, you would be surprised at how many of these agents are English speaking and are waiting for property like yours to have on their books.
Although, you can relax a bit about the exterior of your apartment, that doesn’t mean that you should let standards slip inside. On the contrary, the same rules apply when targeting the Spanish and in addition, optimum hygiene levels must be obtained. Bear in mind that little Jose or Maria will be leaving behind shrine-like levels of cleanliness back at mum and dad’s who inevitably will want to put their half euros worth of opinion in since it’s likely that they will be footing most of the deposit if not all of it. So impress mama with a floor that you can see your face in and a sparkling hob and you’re half way there.
Whatever you do don’t let your beloved pooch be seen anywhere near the kitchen or on the bed, a real turn off for the Spanish, especially if you were hoping to sell it furnished!