What are my first steps?
It might be as easy as a breeze to sell your property if you do it right. It is important to consider the timing and to understand the real estate market. Another thing is to be prepared with the legal side of the matter and last but not least – to be able to present your property to the end buyer.
Choose your real estate agent
Make sure you talk to a few companies before choosing one you feel comfortable with to sell your property. There’s nothing to stop you using more than one estate agent but we do recommend an exclusive contract in order to prevent the property be advertised by many agencies repeatedly at the same real estate portals which doesn´t look good to the end buyer.
Set a time limit (usually 6 months) on any exclusivity clause so that you don’t get tied in to a relationship that isn’t working. If you go with more than one estate agent, make sure they all put the property on the market at the same price to avoid confusing buyers.
What is your home worth? Make sure to price your property right
Your agent will do a detailed research comparing properties with similar characteristics and location and will recommend a price that is relevant for the current market situation. Of course the final decision is in your hands but it is good to keep in mind the supply, demand and average prices in your area. An overpriced property might slow down the sale and attract less potential buyers which overall will waste your time and the time of your agent. Makes sure you have clarity and time expectations. A well-priced property could sell fairly quickly.
Documents you will need
- The title deed to the property;
- Receipts for the local municipal property tax (IBI);
- Copies of utility bills;
- Details of the community statutes and paid monthly fees;
- A list of any items of furniture which will be included in the sale;
- Your residency card if you have residency status.
Attract more buyers
The presentation of your property is essential for attracting more buyers. Even the most skilled agent cannot get clients for viewings if the property is not presented in the proper way.
The photos should be realistic and presenting the best features of the property. Make sure to have 2 to 3 hours’ time to allow the photographer to do their job. Clean the apartment well and keep all personal belongings hidden to avoid clutter in the images. Make sure to have at least 2 photographs of every room and the outside view is seen from the interior. Don´t forget to take photos of the communal areas if any.
(Check our property presentations here)
Make a virtual tour of your home. This is the easiest way to show your property in the most realistic way online and reach buyers who cannot travel due to the pandemic or personal reasons.
Create an attractive video presenting the best features of your home in detail including the surrounding areas, communal gardens and pools. This will give your potential clients the feel of actually being there and will help them visualize their dream. (Check our video presentations here)
Spare no detail in describing your home in the best way possible being objective at the same time. If you describe your home as close to amenities and yet it is located 10 km inland it might not work in your favor. Being honest about the pluses and minuses of your home goes a long way and will save time to everyone involved. If your property is located further inland focus on peacefulness, tranquility and views rather than proximity to restaurants for example.
What is the selling process?
Most of the documentation will be organized by the buyer and their lawyer. To sell your property you will need to provide the buyer, however, with all the documentation in the section above and have all bills paid including community fees, utility bills etc.
In order to take the property off the market you will need to receive a receipt with a deposit paid by the buyer to their lawyer´s bank account. The amount is usually between 6.000 and 10.000EUR. The deposit at this stage is refundable in case there is an issue with the property when the lawyer does all due diligence.
Having done the necessary due diligence, and being satisfied with the outcome, the lawyer will prepare a deposit contract for both parties to sign. This is when a payment of a deposit is made (usually 10% of the agreed sale price) and you specify a date for the purchase. If the buyer decides not to proceed with the sale, they will lose the deposit. If you as the seller renege on the commitment, you might be obliged to pay twice the amount of the deposit as a compensation.
The closing of the transaction comes when the buyer, their legal representatives and the notary will all be present. If you are unable to attend, you could make a power of attorney to a legal representative so that complete the sale on your behalf. The notary will inform the Land Registry of the sale and send them a copy of the title deed.
Taxes and costs
All purchase taxes are paid by the buyer, however, there are a few extra costs to consider when you are selling your property in Spain.
When selling a property in Spain you need to be aware of the payment of Plusvalia and Capital Gains Tax. The payment of Capital Gains Tax is between 19% and 24% and Plusvalia would be a percentage of the sale. You have 30 days from the date of sale to pay the Plusvalia to the town hall.
If you as a seller are not resident in Spain the buyer may insist on withholding funds to pay the Plusvalia on your behalf, as the new owner would become liable for the it in the event of non-payment.
In case you don´t have a valid energy certificate you will need to issue a new one which can cost between 150 and 500 EUR.
If you choose to work with a real estate agent you will need to pay their commission. On Costa del Sol a standard agent commission is 5% which will be applied on top of the agreed sales price. All marketing material such as photos, videos, virtual tours, description and publications will be included in the commission % in case of exclusivity.