You need one that is legal, reliable, helpful, eager to service your needs, and most importantly, understands the type of property you want.
A good agent:
- Operates legally and ethically – you must seek out an agency that belongs to a professional association, such as FNAIM, SNPI or UNPI, or one that is recommended by someone you know (although the latter in itself is no firm guarantee of good practice). If you find an agency online, always ask for their registration number and if they are a member of the aforementioned associations.
- Is proactive and offers a good service. If you ask a question, you want someone who calls you back. If you have a problem, you want someone who takes action to get it resolved. Determining up front if an agent is helpful will give you a better chance of getting things done properly. Test them before you go to Spain – send them a brief or an email asking them a question and see how long they take to get back to you, and how enthusiastic they are about helping you.
- Has been around for a while – and ideally has experience working with UK buyers. You want an agent who knows the area, understands the market and knows the politics involved to make things happen. In Spain, agents will typically focus on a particular patch – so make sure you get one that knows your favourite patch well.
- Stays with you until the end. You don’t want an agent who ups and leave the minute the final contract is signed. A good agent will help you further in terms of opening a bank account, finding a builder, doctor, schools, whatever you need. You can find out if your prospective agent does this by asking for past-buyer feedback. Search for the agent’s name on the internet to see what reviews you can find.
If you would like help finding the right estate agent in Spain, call our Resource Centre on 020 7898 0549.