The services provided by a real estate personal shopper are designed for people who want to buy a home or a make a property investment, and need a little help in the process, either because they do not have much experience in the real estate market, or they do not have enough time to search.
Considering that stressful lives and lack of time are increasingly endemic in our society, plus the fact that the real estate market in Madrid does not exactly have a reputation for being transparent and easy, logically the service offered by a real estate personal shopper (also known as a buyer’s agent or personal property shopper) is growing in demand.
But the big question is: how to choose the best professional to help us with the biggest purchase of our lives?
As the service becomes increasingly popular, more and more people jump on the bandwagon and offer it to prospective buyers.
But, as usual, not everyone offers the same level of service, and not everyone is made to be a personal shopper.
We have compiled some key features you should look for, when choosing the agency that will help you buy property in Madrid (or anywhere else in Spain, for that matter):
1. They must be able to select properties from 100% of the real estate offer
Your personal real estate shopper must remain neutral to ensure that they are not going to try to convince you to buy a particular property just because a certain company lists it.
They have to be able to search among everything that is available for sale, be it from private owners, banks, lawyers…
2. They should not charge any commission from real estate agents or sellers
If a real estate agency says that it is going to offer you a personal property shopper service free of charge, be sure that they will NOT provide the same service.
No one works for free, and if they do not charge you, it is because they are planning to collect commission from the selling agency or the owner.
And obviously this means that they are NOT going to give you access to 100% of the real estate offer, because many agencies in Spain do not share their commissions, and the majority of owners who are selling on their own don’t want to hear anything about paying any commission to an agency.
3. Their rate must be a fixed amount, not a% of the purchase price
Charging a percentage of the purchase price compromises the objectivity of the personal real estate shopper.
Ask yourself the following: is someone, whose income is directly proportional to what you pay for the property, really going to fight to get you the lowest possible price for a property?
4. They must be transparent and clear regarding the services included in the contract that you sign
It is important to know what services are included in the fees.
Imagine that the fees seem attractive, but then you discover that if you want an architect to evaluate your home, or have a lawyer review the contract you are going to sign, you have to pay it separately.
Or, for example, that your agent only searches online and does not make any personal viewings to filter the properties before showing them to you.
5. They must accompany you from the beginning to the end of the process
A good real estate personal shopper not only searches for the right home, but continues to work for you until you have the keys to your house and all the paperwork is done.
This part of the service is as valuable or more than the initial search-and-filter phase.
6. They should not work alone but have a great, specialized support team
A good real estate personal shopper must have the support of a specialized team, including an architect who makes a technical report and a legal expert who reviews the contracts before you sign anything.
In a real estate purchase there are many different aspects that come into play, and a single person cannot be an expert in everything.
7. You must have a wide network of contacts
To access properties that are not published anywhere, a buyer’s agent must have many contacts and resources.
An agent who belongs to a large organization will have access to more contacts, more resources, and more support: there is strength in numbers!
8. They should work with only a few clients simultaneously, and not engage in many other activities
If you have ever searched for an apartment in Madrid, you know that it is time consuming and requires a lot of effort and dedication.
If your personal real estate shopper can only spend on your project very short periods of time – either because they have too many clients, or because they have another job – they will not be able to give you a good service or react quickly if a good opportunity arises.
9. Flexibility is key!
Someone who helps the buyer must be flexible, for example when choosing meeting places, and above all, adapt to your schedules.
10. They must be empathetic, good listeners and understand your wishes and needs
A good real estate personal shopper must, first of all, LISTEN and UNDERSTAND YOU.
If he or she is going to look for your apartment as if it were for themselves, they must be in complete harmony with your needs and tastes, and not try to impose their ideas or preferences on you.
We hope to have given you some ideas on what to ask the next time you interview a potential Real Estate Personal Shopper.
It is a relationship with a high degree of involvement on both sides, so it is important to choose someone with whom you will feel comfortable and can really get to trust.