This is a testimonial that we got a few weeks ago from an overseas investor in madrid property who started a property search to buy an apartment in Madrid (Spain) by himself in May 2012 so he could move to the Spanish capital with his wife and settle some business.He contacted several local agents and private vendors that he found via internet.
Also, at the end of this article there is a video about two examples of unusual things that could happened during the process. Going along by yourself involve serious risks that you cannot identify by yourself. That is why you need an expert who knows all the insights of the market and also the process. It does not the matter how much experience you have. Spain is a different market. Spain is a distressed property market with many actors involved with different interests.
This testimonial is the proof that finding the ideal property is not an easy job. He did not count with dedicated and professional support and lacked honest support and knowledge about the market from local agents, along with negotiation skills for dealing with unrealistic owners. That could happen when buyers and investors deals directly with commercial vendors (pure agents).
This is his Testimonial:
“These are some of the things I remember. Needless to say it all has been an expensive experience in money and time.
My experience of purchasing a property in Madrid has not been an enjoyable one. The main problem is that properties are advertised as being in quiet areas when they are not. Also, getting real information and good floor plans is hard.
I did not buy in my ideal location as firstly planned, however, I bought this place as a starting point and once I consolidate my finances, I will purchase my ideal property and rent this property. However, this is a great central location, close to all amenities.
The purchase price was 290,000 euros + tax + cost of major reform (converting a 4 bedroom apartment into a 2 bedroom + suite, windows, doors, walls, plumbing, electricity, …)
I made an offer on several properties and these were the results:
1. The owners changed their mind and decided to wait another 6 months.
2. I had a call 5 minutes after I accepted the price and the owner decided to raise the price by 60K
3. The owner changed their mind and raised the price
4. I decided not to purchase as the owner was 94 years old and she was not present. The owner had a son and a daughter who wanted to sell the property for their mother. The owner was living in Barcelona and her son, a lawyer, was based in Madrid. After visiting the lawyer in Madrid, we noticed that the signature on the contract was not exactly the same as the owner. We asked the lawyer to allow us to go to Barcelona and give the deposit cheque directly to the owner and get her signature on the contract. The lawyer was nervous and over excited, it was obvious that something was wrong. The lawyer tried to contact the children of the owner but did not succeed. It was agreed that they would phone us to arrange a visit to Barcelona, but we had no call from them.
5. The deed was not clear and the documentation was poor.
6. The size of property as it was advertised varied a lot from the actual property.
7. The owner had financial problems and the bank had taken over the property.
8. The property was rented and the owner had problems with getting the property vacant.
9. The people in the building had problems and no one was paying the service charges.
These are some of the things I remember”.
In the end the client bought in Madrid, Goya district a two bedrooms apartment that he is refurbishing and converting into a high end 2 bedrooms and 2 bathrooms apartment.
He has mentioned to make two great mistakes during the process, which costs him a few extra thousand Pounds that he should not spend. The main reason was not had relied on a Property Finder, which would have saved him also several extra thousand pounds in flights and accommodation… apart from many days spending time in viewings. The second reason was to appoint an expensive lawyer at a very early stage.
Watch this video about a couple of examples of the problems that any buyer could face in a distressed property market as the Spanish one is.
This video also shows why it is important working with the right support in Spain when buying a property.