Selling A Property
The intent of this guide is to help you better understand the steps and decisions you will need to make as you sell your home.
Marbella is not a big city like London with a captive market within 50 miles of the center, but a much smaller city with a seasonal population and a market spread out all over Europe and the rest of the world. It should also be considered that the majority of buyers in Marbella will not be looking for a permanent residence, but a second home, even a third or potentially rent out as an extra income.
There are also buyers who will be looking for an investment home and there has not been a better time to buy in Marbella with house prices at their lowest level in over a decade. This makes Marbella real estate less of a need and more of a luxury in which people are drawn to the quality of life a property can offer them.
Desirable areas in the Marbella area are practically void of new products. This is a good sign for owners of quality properties in good locations that wish to sell their property on the resales market.
PRICING YOUR PROPERTY
In Marbella there are a comparatively small number of properties in ten main areas, so buyers who have done their homework will already have a good idea of what the price should be.
Experienced agencies will of course be an extremely valuable source of market information, and will help you reach a conclusion as to a proper valuation and a correct asking price for your property.
At the end of the day you must be convinced that you are asking as much as you possibly can, without the property appearing overpriced in the market place. If you ask too much for your property, people will not even bother to view it and the result is that you won’t even reach the market place. Ask too little for your property, and you are potentially giving away part of your assets.
If an owner is not satisfied with an asking price that the current market would suggest, he or she can always put the property on the market at a higher price, and hope that an improving market will eventually increase the value of the property towards those higher expectations.
A seller of this nature should be prepared for a lot less interest from both agents and clients, resulting in fewer showings of the property and a waiting game of sorts. Owners can always lower their asking price if they want to accelerate sales activity.
One thing to avoid, if you intend to use agents to market your property, is listing on a net basis, where you want a fixed sum with the agent’s commission added on top. What will happen is that you can end up with a property marketed at several different prices, leading to confusion among potential buyers.
It is highly recommended to include your agent’s commission in an asking price. Agents in a resort area such as Marbella will usually ask between 5 and 10% commission.
In Marbella it is not uncommon for competing agents to work together, ultimately sharing any potential commission. While this certainly helps in many areas, it is also important that the network of agents used are trustworthy and fully vetted.
A good agent will network your property with other colleagues, both local and foreign, and will share his commission with his colleagues, sometimes up to 70%, resulting in better exposure and more viewings
EXCLUSIVITY OR NOT
Should you give an exclusive sales agreement to an agency? If you are an absentee owner of a property, if you don’t feel like playing a co-ordination role among several real estate agencies of varying talent, or if you think your property could benefit from a significant level of marketing exposure, granting a “sole agency” can make your job a lot easier.
The motivation factor that a buyer gives a real estate agency by granting it a sole agency makes the agency in question feel much more responsible to the seller than it might be with the non-exclusive properties it has for sale.
It is especially important for an agency to report to you regularly on sales activity. In other words, you have the right to demand a lot more service and effort from a sole agent than by listing your property with several agents.
FIRST VIEWING ON A PROPERTY
It has been proven that if Seller or a Tenant is in the house during a viewing it can make buyers feel like they are intruding.
There is a right time for the two parties to meet, but it may not be at first viewing. The Buyer needs to be able to visualize your house as their home. This can be difficult when you are around reminding them it is still your property.
Location Moves will be pleased to show people around your home and will know when to leave them alone to look and talk by themselves. Work with Location Moves to approach negotiations positively and with a win-win frame of mind.
RECEIVING AN OFFER
When receiving an offer, there are some buyers who will negotiate with a seller to the very end and others who will be less difficult.
An asking price is not necessarily going to be the sales price at the end of the day. It is considered suicide for a seller to ask his last price, due to the fact that most buyers want to feel they are winning in a negotiation to purchase, regardless of the asking price.
So, experience dictates that the intelligent seller should build a reasonable margin for negotiation into his asking price.
Competent, honest, professional help by reputable agents, lawyers and tax advisors can go a long way to help you manage a sale objectively and more easily.
DOCUMENTS TO HAVE AT HAND
Each of these documents should be available for a buyer to see when an offer has been made on the property
- The Escritura
- A recent Nota Simple from the Property Register (no older than 3 months)
- Catastral entry for the property The Catastral is the second public registry within Spain (the Property Register being the first).
- Energy Performance Certificate (EPC)
COSTS WHEN SELLING A PROPERTY – Municipal Added Value Tax (Plus Valia)
This is a tax by the town hall based upon the increase in the index value of a property between the years of purchase to the year of sale.
In other words, it only applies to the increase in value of the land upon which urban properties are built, and that is levied at the time of transfer of such properties. It is calculated on the basis of the valor catastral (an administrative value that is usually lower than the market value, sometimes considerably so) of the property.
The amount to be paid will depend on how long the seller has owned the property: the longer the period of time during which the seller has owned the property, the higher the amount of tax.
The tax corresponds by its nature to the vendor who is responsible for its payment. Unless otherwise negotiated this can range from a few hundred Euros up to thousands of Euros on a property that has not changed hands in many years with lots of land.
If the seller is not a Spanish resident, the buyer has to withhold 3% of the purchase price and pay it to the tax authorities.