Play safe with property
When buying or selling a property in the UK, most people wouldn’t dream of entering into a transaction without the assistance of a qualified and independent lawyer.
Yet in Spain, many buyers and sellers, particularly foreigners, somehow forego instructing a lawyer and simply rely on the estate agent to handle the transaction on their behalf. A large number have encountered serious problems as a result. Some have lost everything.
So what makes a purchase in Spain any different from one in the UK? Maybe it’s the combined effect of sun, sand, sangria and the smiling faces of the various ‘experts’ lurking in every corner, eager to assure unsuspecting buyers that everything will come up smelling of roses.
The reality is that entering into a property transaction is one of the most complex and expensive transactions that you will most likely ever undertake. Furthermore, there is the added complication of an unfamiliar foreign language, together with the associated foreign laws, taxes and procedures. The reality is that the need for a good independent lawyer is far greater for a foreign transaction than when buying at home.
In many instances, Estate Agents will offer to handle the paperwork and the legal side of things on a buyer’s behalf. With the more reputable agencies, the intentions are usually genuine and the transaction may indeed complete satisfactorily. However, Estate Agents are not trained lawyers. Many have no professional liability or indemnity insurance to cover you should the transaction go wrong or should they miss something important in the paperwork.
Also bear in mind that your Estate Agent is not independent. In fact, they have a potential conflict of interests in representing you in the legal process. Remember that the Estate Agent is acting for the SELLER. The Agent’s primary interest and goal is to sell the property on the seller’s behalf in order to earn their commission. If the sale does not go through because somebody spots an irregularity or legal defect in the paperwork, the Estate Agent earns nothing.
As an alternative, some clients choose to instruct a lawyer in the U.K. However, he or she will have little or no local knowledge of Tenerife. That lawyer is unlikely to jet over to Tenerife to carry out searches and enquiries, or to attend the completion appointment at the Notary. The lawyer’s only option is to subcontract the work to a local agent in Tenerife, who in many instances is not a qualified lawyer. Both the lawyer and the agent will expect to get paid, so In essence, you end up paying twice for the same service. There are also the inevitable delays when information and documentation has to pass through the extra middleman.
Using a qualified local English solicitor with experience of the local market gives you protection and peace of mind.
Why leave your property transaction to chance? Call Tenerife Solicitors now for a no-obligation quotation or to discuss your requirements. www.tenerifesolicitors.com