Let’s be honest: Summer is not a good time for viewings or for buying properties, and it’s probably not the cheapest time of the year either.
The heat factor
It’s true… it is too hot in Spain, and for viewings in Valencia, Alicante, Murcia and Andalusia the daily window for enjoying viewings is really small: either in the morning or in the evening. From 12 AM to 2 PM, it is a really tough time. Additionally, local estate agents are closed half the day in August and to coordinate viewings with vendors on holidays is not often easy if you are coming just for a few days.
During holiday times viewings increase
Nevertheless, for reasons like summer holidays, viewing and inspection trips to Spain are more frequent during late spring and summer. This does not necessarily increase the conversion rate, but keeps expectations high.
More people coming around does not necessarily mean more sales, and even if it means you will be more likely to close a sale, it does not guarantee transactions or the desired owner’s sale. But it could be true is that as many potential buyers are coming over, expectations are rising for vendors and it’s less likely that a negotiation margin would be as good as when demands are low. Spanish distressed properties and sellers.
The best time for buying at this stage of the property crisis
It is always a good time to buy when the opportunity is there, any year or month. But from my perspective as a Spaniard surrounded by many distressed sellers (including family and friends of course -who does not know distressed sellers in Spain, plus more than 900 vendors coming from property provider sources), the best time to buy could be the end of October, November, and first half of December (February is also good).
What is the reason for this? It is because sellers who have not succeeded with their mission of selling the apartment in the previous months are keen to sell in the last quarter of the year.
Not only because cash is a must during these times of crisis, but also because the house for sale has become a problem, a burden, that needs a solution. To start the new year without the “house for sale” issue is the best start that any distressed seller can have.
This is our insight now, but this does not necessarily mean that sellers are going to sell you their house at an asking price of €120k for €80k, just because the buyer thinks that the sellers are desperate.
Sellers will consider a reasonable offer and will be generous at negotiation due to the fact that they have not sold for a while. At this stage, September 2013, it is a fact that owners start thinking about reducing the asking price.
The right way to deal with the situation would probably be to place a counter offer and wait for the psychological factor to kick in… but do not tell the seller to reduce their property by 25% or 20%, because the chance of losing the bargain could be high. From our experience, the seller is the one who must be ready to reduce the asking price if they are experiencing a stalemate. The property finder can play a key role in this matter. Psychology and understanding sellers are a key factor, especially now.
CONCLUSION: We are in the crucial moments of sealing win-win deals in the Spanish property market. Timing is important and cash is king… but with prices already reaching rock-bottom, a sensible offer could seal the deal… a ridiculous offer will keep you away from getting a bargain.