Sample article from Spanish Property News giving advice to prospective purchasers

In order to get the best out of your visit to Spain, you need to give an agent time to talk to you, to understand your requirements and to offer you other properties (not just the one you first saw on paper) they may just have taken on their books.

It is not always possible, however, to show you every property if you have allocated too short a time with them. The vendors may be out, the property too far away to visit in the time and you may well change your ideas as you view and wish to see something altogether different rather than your initial selection.

Prospective purchasers feel they want to make the most of their time and fit as much as possible into their time in Spain, but this can sometimes have the opposite effect of rushing from one agent to another and not giving any of them enough time to show you all they have.

Obviously there are times when there is not much at all that appeals to you at a particular agent's, but this really cannot be known until you reach the area and meet the agent. No agent can be certain how many properties they have that might interest you until you meet and see a few.

Agents don't appreciate hearing how many other agents and areas you are viewing - it makes them feel more like travel agents and they are much more likely to put themselves out to help you if they feel it is their area that particularly interests you.

Continuing 'no shows' of some less well mannered Brits does little to help the cause of other British buyers, making agents feel that it is not worth sorting out viewings for their clients until they actually arrive. It is preferable to having an irate vendor who has waited in specially for a visit.

Many clients feel unable to tell agents the truth regarding what they have seen - that none of the properties viewed appealed to them or that they were disappointed with the area - preferring instead to say "We'll think about it and let you know". This is taken literally by our colleagues who duly await a call and often tell an excited vendor that they are expecting an offer.

If a property is of interest and you will be giving some thought regarding an offer, it would be so much appreciated if the clients called the agents, leaving even an answerphone message, to say yes or no.

If UK Agents are given a good brief of a client's requirements we are able to discuss this in advance with our colleagues with whom we have a good rapport, many of them long-standing friends, so that they are in the best position to suggest suitable properties. Spanish written details may be brief, but the agents who have seen the properties, and know the area well, can tell you a lot when you spend time with them, thus actually saving time.

In a nutshell

* Make sure the UK agent is well briefed as to requirements and budget so that the information can be passed on.
* Phone the agent the day before you meet to confirm your rendezvous and go over requirements.
* Don't make so many appointments you are always running late, not turning up or worn out.
* Be honest about what you have seen.
* If you say you will phone, do so.
* Don't assume a good property will remain available until you make up your mind.

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