5 mistakes buyers make and tips to avoid them

If you’re buying a property in Tenerife it’s both an exciting and frightening experience and for most of you that do it, it’ll be the first time you’ll have bought a property abroad.

Don’t let the excitement or the fear trip you up into making mistakes. In this article I explain 5 mistakes that buyers make and tips to avoid them.

1. Indecision

At the end of last year we had a client that was very keen to buy a property from us, it was ideal for him in every way … but he was very indecisive.

He was particularly indecisive about how he was going to work out whether or not the property was good value for money for him. Up to this point he had made offers on 4 different properties with other agents over a 10 month period and he’d missed out on buying all of them.

I’m not sure what held him back on the last 4 properties but in this case it turned out to be his Euro cost per square meter ratio and this didn’t match his own perceived value of the property he was interested in. Not only this but he continued to change the parameters, so he missed out on any good deals and the one in particular, which we had for him, he now regrets immensely.

This story certainly doesn’t mean that you should just jump at the next property that presents itself just because the agent says it’s a good deal or that there are other people interested. You obviously need to look at the facts but all I’m saying is, don’t just rely on the facts, make an informed decision but also use your own gut reaction as well.

At the last contact with this guy, he was still looking.

2. Poor advice

Asking for advice is clearly something that makes sense but try not to take advice from one source only unless you’re happy that the advice that you’re being given is independent or at least, as independent as can be and hopefully from a knowledgeable person.

It’s better if you can try to make your own decisions about what and where to buy your property but getting information and advice from a multitude of sources to help you on your way.

Listening to people in the local bar is one of the biggest mistakes that buyers can make. OK, ask for opinions and recommendations but certainly don’t take the words of the local know-it-alls for granted, find other, more reliable avenues for obtaining your information as well.

Look on the Internet, ask other estate agents…any agent worth dealing with will give you 5 minutes of their time to let you know what they think.

3. Not using a lawyer

Some people must leave their brains at the airport when they fly over to buy a property. Who in their right mind would buy a property without having it checked out by an independent party?

In my opinion it’s madness.

OK, so you’re buying a property in a foreign country, everything is written in a foreign language and the method of buying a property is totally different to your own country and you choose not to use registered, legal representation… as I say, sheer madness.

Use a lawyer, preferably a Spanish lawyer that speaks your language rather than using the estate agent that you’re buying the property through or worse still the vendors themselves – yes I’ve heard of that too.

The vendor and estate agents have a vested interest in making sure that the property transaction goes through to completion. The vendor is making sure that they sell their property and the estate agent is earning a commission – I’ll say it again – use a lawyer.

4. Not acting fast enough

Again, this doesn’t mean that you need to just jump into buying the first property that you see – unless of course it’s exactly what you want – but once you’re pretty much decided on what you’re going to buy and you’ve done your research on the area, complex and property as best as you can, then actually make a move on the property.

Make an offer.

You might get rejected.

But make a move.

As I said in tip number 1, don’t hang about thinking up different reasons as to whether you can justify buying it. Go ahead and make a reasonable offer for the property and see where it leads you.

Don’t miss out on buying a property by not acting fast enough, use your agent to help you to find some middle ground between you and the vendor … and in a market that is warming up as I write this article, you may need to be quicker than you think.

5. Thinking that getting a mortgage is as easy as in your home country

OK, things have got easier with banks’ lending mortgages on property, that’s true, but that still doesn’t mean that it’s easy.

Here in Spain the mortgage application system could be very different to your home country, it’s certainly very different to the way it’s done in the UK.

Think things through, maybe speak with a couple of different banks to see if their offers are better than any others and try not to be rushed.

Maybe speak with your Tenerife estate agent or lawyer to seek advice as to which bank might be favourable to your circumstances.

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