Spain Explained

Putting in an offer

Last updated on October 28th, 2019 at 04:14 pm.

OK. You’ve found your ideal Spanish home. The price is pretty reasonable but we all know it’s a buyers’ market at the moment. So what should you do if you really want to buy that property in Spain?

It can be a little confusing when you want to buy a property in another country. What are the rules there? How far can you push the seller, if at all?

You don’t want to lose the property whilst negotiating but you also don’t want to seem naïve by offering the asking price immediately. After all, a few thousand sliced off the cost of the property can mean a little more to spend inside it.

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Priced to sell

To begin with, it is important to recognise that properties are being put on the market by estate agents at a price to sell. Estate agents want houses to flow through their books not stagnate because they are priced too high.

Therefore, in any locality, the estate agent in Spain will have already done his research. He will have identified what a reasonable asking price is for the type of dwelling, the area and condition it is in. When first looking for a property do keep this in mind. You may be able to negotiate a little but it is unlikely that you will secure a property at a vastly reduced price.

First steps

You’ve found your house in Spain and the asking price is within reach of your budget. What then? It is worth negotiating and the seller might be receptive to offers. This will depend on the level of interest already shown in the property and how urgently they need to sell.

Begin by putting in a reasonably ‘cheeky’ offer but be prepared to increase. Do your own research. Take a good look at property in the area and how much is being asked, offered and agreed on. You might start by offering 10 to 12% less than the asking price but be prepared to settle for a reduction of 5%.

Do not put in a ridiculously low offer on the basis that you might be lucky – this wastes everybody’s time. Be aware – it is almost impossible to negotiate a reduction on bank repossessions as they are already offered at a rick bottom price. Estate agents and sellers in Spain might be keen to sell but they also become very frustrated by time wasters.

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Don’t be a time waster

Only put in an offer if you really want to buy. There have been cases where an offer has been made below the asking price and is eventually accepted by the sellers who then see the purchasers withdraw.

Perhaps they were just testing the waters and had no real commitment to buy. A situation that leaves people feeling let down and casts doubt on genuinely prospective purchasers.

It is a good time to buy in Spain. There is plenty on the market and sellers are usually prepared to negotiate a little. However, just because it’s a buyers’ market doesn’t mean that it’s a free-for-all.

If you really want that property do negotiate but don’t take the mickey and always balance the saving you might make with the risk of losing the property you want.

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8 May, 2023 9:03 am

When putting in an offer, is there a process to make the offer? Is it ok to do so over the phone or by WhatsApp, or is a more official stream of communication required?

Oscar Paoli

8 May, 2023 9:08 am

It will depend on the agency, but phone, whatsapp, email, etc are usually accepted. Nevertheless once an agreement has been made a contract should be signed by all parties.

With kind regards,

Ábaco Advisers