These are the 6 biggest pitfalls for buyers in Spain
1. The emotion
It is so obvious, but still… It is not without reason that emotion is number one. Once you have found your Spanish dreamhouse, passion and emotion begin to take over your healthy rational thinking. Decide for yourself if you choose certainty or if you are willing to take a risk. See What type of buyer are you?
España Olé! We often think that in Spain, a modern Western-European country, it is all not that bad. The relaxed Mediterranean environment gives us the feeling that in Spain everything is allowed. ‘’This is Spain’’, ‘’That is normal here’’, “It is tolerated’’, “Thousands of properties are being sold, right?’’ are slogans used to convince buyers not to worry. But you are not a Spaniard, you remain a foreigner, and that a feeling of integration doesn’t apply to you. Moreover, the Spain of today is different than Spain was back in the days when you could arrange things amongst yourselves. It is randomness or luck that determines whether you or your neighbor will not get into trouble if something is wrong.
3. Legal uncertainty
Laws and rules in Spain are often open to multiple interpretations which can create confusion and uncertainty. The ‘’professionals’’ make good use of this when selling properties. The regulation regarding compliance with the law is limited, but you’re going to have to deal with it someday. It is like driving without a license, it can go well for a long time, but sooner or later you will be in trouble. Have you ever heard the lawyers say ‘’A bad settlement is always better than a good trial’’? Referring to the uncertain Spanish jurisdiction, any consequences and problems are entirely your own responsibility.
The fact that illegal houses and buildings are registered in the Housing Register and Land Registry, together with the lack of enforcement, plus laws and regulations that are vague, are a pitfall. This facilitates deception and is also the reason why ‘’problem houses’’, in any category, are sold to buyers who believe they have been fully informed in good faith. This paves the way for real estate agents, lawyers and notaries to give it their own free interpretation without ever being held liable. The result is that only you as a buyer are at risk, and you cannot recover damages.
A real estate agent does not act for the buyer and lawyers are not the right person to check homes for legality. According to a survey among members, an estate agent who speaks English is no better or more reliable. The way it works at the moment is too much in the interest of the seller and not for the buyer who wants to know and mitigate the risks. Lawyers and notaries assume that everything on paper is a reality instead of the actual reality and that is not wise in Spain. In order to put an end to wrong information and interpretations, Casa Propia has developed a bespoke purchase inspection for your safety.
6. Recommendations and advice
Professionals are often recommended via Facebook or acquaintances. This makes sense, because If you don’t know any professionals, you ask for the opinion of others to be more certain. A good experience for one person does not guarantee the same experience for another. If you gather some more information, you will find out that a certain professional is highly recommended by one, while another strongly advised against them.
As a buyer, therefore, make use of the knowledge and experience of our members incorporated in the Purchase Inspection