Why would you sell with us?
Do you remember back to when you bought your first property in Spain? For most, it came with many surprises. As you now know, the process in Spain is very different to what you experienced in your home country. Selling a property in Spain, too, has many complexities that many are unaware of. This is where we use our expertise to explain and guide you through the process. It is important for you to understand everything prior to placing your property on the market. This brief guide will help you and give you the confidence to entrust the sale of your property with us.
Getting your property seen by as many of the right potential buyers as possible is key to a successful sale. We will showcase your property to its best advantage on our website. In addition, as the majority of foreign buyers in Spain come from other European countries, we target our advertising to this market using the top property portals including Zoopla, Homes Overseas, Prime Location, Kyero, Think Spain and Libercasa.
We market properties on a no sale - no fee basis with no upfront costs.
Preparing to sell
On the face of it, you decide that you would like to sell..... contact one or more local estate agents and ask them to appraise my property and provide a valuation..... they take some photographs and write a description...... bring potential buyers to view..... I accept an offer and job done! Sadly, not always. Were you told, in detail, about all of you costs to sell a property? Was a check made on your paperwork? For many, not understanding these key details is the cause of some sales to fail. The other key factor is how your property is presented to the potential buyer at the time of viewing. Remember, your property is not the only one that the buyer will be viewing and you have to do everything that you can to make yours stand out.
Failing to ensure that all of your paperwork is up to date and correct is the number one reason for sales to fall through. When we list a property, we will ask to see your paperwork to check that you have everything in place prior to marketing your property. If we see anything that is not correct, we will advise you on what you need to do. If needed, we can have your paperwork checked by a local lawyer, free of charge.
Documents required to sell
- Escritura (Title Deeds) - Everything that exists at the property must be described on the Escritura and at the Registro (Land Registry). This includes a pool, garage, summer kitchen, guest annex, out buildings and extensions that have been made to the property
- Habitation License - This may be called Cédula de Habitabilidad, Cédula de Primera Ocupación or Cédula de Segunda Ocupación
- IBI (Suma) - copy of your latest bill
- Energy Certificate - Certificado de Eficiencia Enerégetica
- Water and electricity - copies of your latest bills
The total costs for selling a property in Spain vary depending upon individual circumstances. The two least understood costs are Capital Gains Tax and Plusvalía.
Capital Gains Tax
Unlike the UK, capital gains tax is due on any net gain made when a property is sold in Spain. This is a complex subject and depends whether you are non resident or fiscal resident. If a property is owned by more than one person, each individual will have a personal liability on the percentage that they own. From the 1 January 2016 the tax is 19% of the gain (this is the difference between the current price on the Title Deeds and the declared price when your property is sold at the Notary i.e. the gain). There are some exemptions, however, it is important to understand how the rules may affect you.
Non resident - All non residents are liable to pay capital gains tax. If you live full time in Spain and are not registered to pay your taxes in Spain (fiscal resident), you are deemed to be non resident by the Spanish tax authorities. Please note, having a Residencia is not the same as being fiscal resident. In all cases, by law, a retention of 3% of the sales price will be deducted from the amount you receive prior to completion of the sale at the Notary. This is retained by the Buyers lawyer and paid to the Spanish tax office within 30 days of the completion. This amount is in lieu of any capital gains tax liability that you may have. It is important to understand that even if you have made a loss, this retention will still apply and you will have to claim it back after the completion.
Fiscal resident - If you are fiscal resident and have reached the current retirement age, no capital gains tax is due on the profit that you make from your sale. If you are under the current retirement age, there are two main scenarios. If you are using all of the gain from the sale to buy another property in Spain, there is no tax due. Note, you have up to 2 years to do this from the date that your property is sold. If you do not by another property in Spain within 2 years, then you are liable to pay capital gains tax on the profit. In both of these scenarios, the 3% retention does not apply.
The plusvalía is a local (municipal) tax charged by the town hall on properties when they are sold. It is calculated on the rate value of property and the number of years that have passed since the property was last changed hands. The objective is to tax the increase in the value of the land on which the property stands, some of which is due to improvements to the area carried out by the local government and the community at large. The base for this tax is the valor catastral (an administrative value that is usually lower than the market value, sometimes considerably so) of the property. The amount due in tax will depend on how long the seller has owned the property: the longer the period, the higher the amount of tax.
We can discuss your individual circumstances with you when we visit to list your property. At the same time we will explain our commission rates and cover any other questions that you may have relating to your costs.
Presenting your property to sell
First impressions can either make or break your chances of securing a buyer for your property. If a buyer does not like what they see within the first 30 seconds of arriving at a property, they are unlikely to buy. When you decide to sell, you have made a conscious decision that your property will no longer be your home. At this point you have to let go and change your mindset to one of "what do I need to do to make the property sell fast?". It’s not about the smell of fresh ground coffee or the aroma of bread in the oven each time someone comes to view. Instead the key to making your property as desirable as possible to a potential buyer is to make it as clean, tidy, neutral, fresh and bright. You have to make it possible for a potential buyer to imagine themselves in your place.
This is the simplest of tasks yet it can make a huge difference to your property! Potential buyers want to view spacious and tidy homes, as they need to be able to imagine their own possessions in the property and by having too many items out on show this prevents them from being able to visualise this. The trick is to remove any unwanted items out of view by storing things in cupboards or having a clear out; thus allowing the property to feel spacious and inviting. Not only will this help you to sell your property but it will also ensure that you are more organised for your own move and enable you to detach yourself from the property.
- Kitchen - Clear everything from the work surfaces apart from the microwave, kettle and toaster. Remove bowls, washing up liquid and other items form the sink
- Bathrooms - Remove all toiletries, toothbrushes, spare toilet rolls etc. and make sure that the toilet seat and lid is down
- Lounge - Remove as much many items as you can to create the feeling of space
- Bedrooms - Remove all cuddly toys and personal items from the beds. Put all clothes away and make sure that the beds are neat and tidy
- Garden - Remove anything that is not growing or a feature such as toys, garden tools and pool cleaning equipment
De-personalise and go neutral
This is the point at which you need to move family photos and other items which personalise your property out of sight, in order for your potential buyer to imagine themselves living there. The viewer needs to put their own stamp on the property and if it is stuffed full of personal objects or family portraits, then they will find it more difficult to imagine this. Items such as a mirror hung in the hallway are far more effective, as they can give the impression of space and the viewer can directly see themselves in the property, thus helping them to imagine themselves living there. By keeping the décor neutral, you are also more likely to appeal to the majority and entice more buyers which will ultimately help you to sell your property faster. As well as this, the property will feel brighter and more spacious giving the appearance of a more organised home.
Clean - Tidy - Fresh
This can make a real difference to a property, if your home is looking tired and dull, then an intense clean can make it appear far more modern and inviting. Many potential buyers find it difficult to see through the dirt and grime of a property, so wipe down every surface until it shines, get the hoover out and mop the floors. It is a well-known fact that bad smells and odours are the biggest turn off to a potential buyer. Certain smells such as cigarette smoke, pet food or mould can linger on fabrics and whilst you may have grown accustomed to them over time, your viewers will not. Invest in some plug- in air fresheners which automatically go off every half an hour and ensure that you open windows to air the property well before a viewing. These simple tasks can give the property a more homely feel to the viewer.
If your property has any repairs that need to be done, it would be better to sort them prior to marketing your property. Even the smallest details like dripping taps, broken hinges, loose door knobs etc. can put some buyers off.
Do not be afraid to ask us for advice. We want to do everything that we can to help you to ensure that you secure a sale at the best possible price.
Invite a friend over for a ‘dry-run’ and ask them to be as honest as they can. Be especially sure to get their first impression and then let them wander through the house on their own so that they can poke and check without you hovering over them. What did they think? Did your home pass the clean, tidy, neutral, fresh and bright property selling test?
Get ready for the viewing
- Fully open all blinds, shutters, curtains and put on all of the lights (even if it is a bright, sunny day)
- Switch off televisions, radios and music
- If you have a pool, switch on the pump for the duration of the viewing
- Make sure that there is no washing hanging out to dry and collapse the rotary drier if you have one
And remember… Not everyone likes animals. Keep your pets out of sight as much as possible when you are preparing your home for a viewing. A dog that jumps up may be cute to its owner but may not be appealing to a potential buyer. If your animals are hard to control, or simply love visitors, ask a neighbour have them while you have people to view. Most people, even pet owners, don’t want other people’s pet’s hairs so make sure it’s not visible. If sofas and chairs are difficult to keep clean, have a throw or seat covers that you can whip out to cover the hair just before your viewers arrive.
During the viewing
Buyers prefer to view properties when the owners are not there. They want to be able to discuss what they like and dislike without the fear of offending anyone. We will conduct the viewing for you using our knowledge and experience. Do not accompany the buyers or hover close by. When the buyers are inside the property, try and stay in the garden and when they are outdoors stay inside. When there is more than one person viewing, it is tempting to engage in conversation with one if they split up. Where possible, don´t do this as there is a danger that you try to help by telling them things that we have already explained. Worse still, you give them information that is different to what we have told them.
After the viewing
We will always provide you with feedback after each viewing. We will let you know of anything that we feel will help with future viewings.
Completing the sale
After you have agreed a selling price with the buyer, the next step is to arrange for the paperwork for your property to be passed to the buyers´ lawyer. With this information, they will then complete the legal checks, searches and due diligence on behalf of the buyer. At the same time, the buyers lawyer will prepare the Private Purchase - Sale contract (in Spanish and English). This contract outlines the details of the property you are selling, purchase price, deposit and payments schedule and the completion date. It is important to note that the initial deposit (usually 3,000€) is given and held by the buyers´ lawyer until they are satisfied that the paperwork is all correct and the sale can proceed to completion. If there are any issues with the paperwork meaning that the sale cannot complete, this deposit will be returned to the buyer. A 2nd deposit (usually 10% less the 3,000 already paid) is due once the buyers lawyer is satisfied that the sale can proceed to completion. The remaining balance is paid by bank transfer or certified cheque, to the seller(s) on the day of completion. The completion date at the Notary (the day that the buyer takes possession) is mutually agreed by both parties. If needed, it can be changed providing that both parties agree.
Why not let us help you sell your property in Spain
We hope that you have found this brief guide useful. For more information, call us on 0034 608 500 702 or email at email@example.com to arrange an appointment