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Buyer's agent in Barcelona

What is a buyer's agent

As a foreigner, the Barcelona real estate market can be difficult. If you’re looking to buy a new home or invest in some real estate (post: Real Estate as Inflation Hedge) in this beautiful city, hiring a buyer’s agent might be suitable for you.

As the name suggests, this agent will only represent the interests of the buyer. They’ll offer a big variety of services, always protecting their client. Helping them overcome the cultural and language barriers, with local market expertise.

Here we wish to elaborate on what a real estate buyer’s agent can do for you, and why it might be a good idea to hire them for your next property purchase.

According to the “National association of realtors” in the USA, 86% of buyers bought their property via a buyer’s agent. They feel that thanks to the help of this agent, the process was made easier, stress-free, and much safer.

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Listing agents vs buyer agents

In case you’re wondering what the difference between agents is:

The listing agent will only represent the interests of the seller of the property. He’ll try to get the highest price, and will try to sell the property as fast as possible. It sometimes doesn’t matter if that property is not the right fit for the buyer. In short, the listing agent has no obligation to “care” about the buyer.

The buyer’s agent on the other hand will dedicate all of his attention to the buyer. He’ll protect his client every step of the way. Avoiding shady situations, negotiating the lowest price possible, and bringing his full expertise to the table. When buying property in an unknown foreign country, a buyer’s agent is a very smart idea. If they are good they’ll save you more money than they’d earn, making the entire operation much safer in the process.

Post of interest: How to buy an apartment in Barcelona (a 10 step guide!)

immobilien scout vs verkaufmakler

The services they offer

Pre-purchase:

  • Local market knowledge: They will  have extensive knowledge of the local market. Also, they should be familiar with real estate regulations and purchase procedures. You should feel in good hands from the get-go
  • Financing: They should have connections with banks and mortgage brokers in case you need financing. Post of interest: Mortgage in Spain (a guide)
  • Overcoming the language barrier: They’ll either be proficient in English or speak your local language. It’s important to have excellent communication during a real estate deal, and your buyer’s agent should help extensively with this.
  • Property search: A good buyer’s agent will not only search through the published properties you can find online. He’ll have connections with private vendors, other real estate agencies, and real estate developers. 
  • Fair price: In Barcelona sellers publish at the desired price and hope for the best. It will be your agent’s job to determine if that price is fair or if heavy negotiation is in order.
  • Visits: They’ll either accompany you to all visits to the properties or set up virtual visits for you if you’re not in the country. They’ll ask the right questions, trying to find any weak points which might help with potential negotiations.
 
During the purchase:

  • Negotiation process: He’ll negotiate the property price for you, trying to get the lowest possible price.
  • Connections: If needed the buyer’s agent will be able to put you in touch with architects, engineers, real estate lawyers, mortgage banks, and any other professionals required during the purchase of the property.
  • Due diligence: They will request all necessary documents from the vendors, and go over them very carefully. They need to ensure that you’re purchasing safely avoiding any future inconveniences.
  • Contracts: The buyer’s agent will be able to draft or revise the downpayment contract (considered by many the most important document of the operation). He’ll also hire a notary and oversee the property deed signing. 
 
Post-purchase:
 
  • Renovation: If needed they’ll be able to put you in touch with a renovation crew and get you a specific renovation budget. Some of them might even oversee the renovation process for you.
  • Property management: Same goes for property management. They should be able to put you in touch with a trusted property management company.

Buyer's agent fees

In Barcelona, the fees of a buyer’s agent might vary significantly. It all depends on the expertise of each agent, the number of clients they have, and how long they’ve been operating as one. A good comparison, in this case, would be a lawyer. They don’t all charge the same, it all depends on how good they are.

As a general rule of thumb, they can either charge a fixed fee or a fixed percentage on the properties price of sale. This percentage is normally between 1,5% and 3,5%.

We suggest you shop around a bit, meet a few agents, and only then take a decision on who you want to work with.

Post of interest: Real estate commissions in Spain (a guide)

Immobilien scout fees

How to find a good buyer's agent

Recommendations or references are a very strong indicator of a good buyer’s agent. If they come highly recommended by a friend or they can provide reliable references, they will have concluded successful operations in the past. And they should do so in the future.

An online search should help you in making a decision. Google reviews, other clients comments, his web presence, and anything else you can find on the agent or company, might give you helpful hints.

As mentioned before, shop around. Meet with several agents and ask them the tough questions. After you’ve done your research, one final point is important. Personal chemistry. After all, you’ll be spending some time with this person, you might as well enjoy it.

Post of interest: Golden Visa Spain

Foresee and avoid problems

  • Insurance: Normally real estate agents will have a real estate license which includes insurance against operations gone wrong. But it is not mandatory in all Spanish provinces to hold a real estate license, so make sure your agent is properly insured.
  • Mortgage and financing: In Spain, a mortgage is only 100% percent approved once the property in question has been properly valued and submitted to the risk department of the bank. Always keep your agent in the loop, he may be able to solve any difficulties in this area, if he knows about them in time.
  • Documents needed as a foreigner: In order to buy property in Spain you’ll need a NIE (foreigner identification number) and a local bank account. Your agent should be able to help with both. It makes sense to start the process of obtaining them as soon as possible since it might take longer than expected.
  • Taxation: Make sure your agent explains which taxes are to be paid during the purchase of a property. It’s always good to know the global figure you’ll be spending.
 

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