Our Best Offer
Early feedback on our bid is not good! I wasn’t surprised given it was a low offer. Back home now, time to talk to Jill and thoroughly check the finances. Allow 10% for legal costs etc, 15% for bits or refurbishment and I reckon I can raise my bid. I do via the agent but I’m very clear with them I can’t go higher, I just don’t have the funds.
Another rejection and at that point I withdraw on the grounds that I can’t bid higher. However, the agent agrees to talk with the family and encourage them to see the positives of what is effectively a cash offer. The parents are keen, the son less so but at least there is no complex family sharing of the property to negotiate. Eventually, a deal is done, considerably below the asking price and one the edge of my maximum budget calculations. We all agree to move things forward as briskly as possible with a view to completing before Christmas. How soon can we risk booking the flights?
If you’ve not been involved in buying a holiday home or other accommodation in Spain there are a few things it is useful to know. First and most important, once you agree a price a 10% deposit is required and this is not returnable if you get cold feet. Equally if the seller backs out they are legally required to pay you. Seems a much better system than we have in England. Secondly, houses are often sold with furnishings and fittings included in the deal. In our case this included bed linen, kitchen crockery, in fact everything other than some original paintings and a couple of bedside tables! As I liked the furniture I was pleased with this arrangement and having some basic bedding and kitchen-ware meant the house could be lived in immediately. Thirdly, we were advised that the concept of a structural survey was foreign here and the agent doubted if there was anyone who would undertake this kind of work. So my personal checks for damp, cracks, subsidence etc. would have to do!
Our agent (De la Luz Properties) recommended an English-speaking solicitor who was very efficient in dealing with the legal stuff. In Spain a “notary” is empowered to manage the legal side of house buying and selling so in theory you could do without a solicitor. However, in Vejer a notary is unlikely to speak English so having an English-speaking solicitor to guide you through the legal stuff makes sense. The agent was also able to set me up with an essential Spanish bank account remotely with the proviso that I would visit personally when we came out to pick up the keys. This period was pre our fateful Brexit vote and by carefully following exchange rates I was able to get 1.40 euros to the pound – not bad given that my planning was based on 1.35.
Whilst there was a lot of paperwork pinging its way to and from my email account there were no significant glitches. Again, the agent was helpful in getting electricity and phone line signed over to us nearer the final completion day. We confidently booked flights for early-December, planning to arrive in Vejer a few days before completion so we could shop for essentials, including a couple of electric radiators! Having the secure deposit system made the whole experience less stressful than it might sometimes be in England when people can back out even on completion day.