Booking a Villa in Spain: Sunday Times Exposes Perils of DIY Portals highlighted the danger of fraud when booking villas directly with owners through DIY booking portals.
When you choose a reputable agent, you can rest assured that the villa actually exists. But what other benefits are there to having an agent on hand?
Suitable, safe villa
Why would you compromise your family's safety? Reputable agents will carry out professional inspections to check overall suitability and safety. They want you to make the right choice. That's why they're keen to point out accessibility issues and give honest appraisals of a villa's child-friendly credentials. Check that your agent insists on up-to-date gas certificates and only represents owners who comply with local and national safety regulations.
Spotlessly clean villa
Agents engage professionals for all-important changeover cleaning. You won't find friends of the owner wafting a feather duster about at the start of your holiday. It's also good to know that skilled, local help is a telephone call away in the event of a maintenance issue.
Safe, clean pool
Judging from our customer feedback, your pool will be an important feature of your holiday. Don't take chances on its upkeep. Agents use professional pool cleaners, not well-meaning, but ultimately untrained friends.
Getting pool chemicals right is critical. Get it wrong and at best, your pool will not be clean, at worst, it will have serious ramifications for your health.
Reliable support, 7 days a week
Look for agents offering support throughout your stay. You might have queries about your villa, a maintenance issue could arise or you might even need to complain.
Often, it helps to have the support of an agent, rather than having to approach the owner directly.
Access to alternative accommodation
Agents can respond to a crisis. No one wants their holiday blighted by a failure in essential services. So if your villa is plunged into darkness or cut off from the water or gas supply, you can rely on your agent to find you a comparable, alternative villa.
Equally, if the owner of an adjacent property picks the week of your holiday to start major building works, it's a comfort to know that an agent is on hand to help resolve the issue, and ultimately find you a new home, if required.
The truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth
Owners tend to love their properties, often with good reason. But love can be blind and some owners unwittingly over-egg their descriptions.
Agents are more inclined to give an unbiased opinion and may use grading for greater transparency - some even evaluate the soft furnishings and quality of the kitchen contents. Look at villa descriptions closely and check that they reflect the photos and virtual tours accurately.
In addition, credit card bookings are widely accepted by agents, giving crucial protection and peace of mind. And if you thought that all this expert local support costs a premium, you'd be surprised. Check out our forthcoming blog to see price comparisons between agents and direct bookings. Discover deals that deliver all these benefits without costing a penny more than going direct.
Book your Moraira villa, Calpe apartment or villa in Javea with VillaSpain today. If you're spoilt for choice, call us on 01273 623723 and we'll help you find the safe, clean villa with pool of your dreams. And we'll be on hand throughout your stay.
Posted by Bruce Gibson