Sold the house in Andalucia. Here's how it went.

Do you have a query about moving to Andalucia and buying property in Andalucia. Find out by posting questions and reading about other peoples experiences.
Free at Last
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Re: Sold the house in Andalucia. Here's how it went.

Postby Free at Last » Wed Aug 21, 2019 2:53 pm

Devils Advocate wrote:Hi FAL, sounds like yours was indeed a perfect sale with no troubles to speak of.......perfect.

As you also say it felt right for us too giving a lot of our belongings to charity rather than unwanted haggling and bartering.

As you may know my OH is lawyer here in the UK and although she is often critical of some Spanish laws and how the legal bods sometimes conduct business over there she commented how the 10% deposit up front and a set in stone completion date was a far better system than we have in the UK.

It was our/my biggest worry emptying the house and giving car away then finding buyers had backed out.........as they can do here at the drop of a hat. The 10% deposit and for that matter the reservation fee do make that possibility smaller.

Only last year the house next to us sold (UK) and they emptied it........new buyers backed out at 2pm on the Friday the completion was then set for. They only lost a survey fee so no issues for them in the scale of things. It left the sellers devastated.


I had heard lots of horror stories about sales falling through at the last minute when we sold our house in the UK prior to moving here - so I refused to give in my notice at work until the sale had actually completed, took a week's leave to be in Spain when our stuff was delivered (we were moving to a holiday home we already owned) then went back to complete my month's notice. Likewise when we came to sell the Spanish house, I did not want to get into a chain situation where we were dependent on selling before being able to complete a purchase, so we waited until we had actually sold before we even started looking at new properties, so as not to waste anyone's time - and I thought it would be better to be a cash buyer. We moved into temporary accommodation in the meantime (a house kindly lent to us, rent free, by a friend). The purchase of our new property, once we had found it, went through problem free in exactly one week from first viewing it to completion.

We did, however, have a previous attempt to purchase fall through. It was a private sale and all seemed to be going well until the day before I was due to sign the compraventa, when the vendor emailed my lawyer and said she was not going through with the sale and would have no further contact with either me or the lawyer - no reason given. My lawyer said she'd never experienced anything like it in over 20 years of practice. At least it was before the deposit was paid although I did have to pay the lawyer for the work she'd already done. It really put me off entering into any more private sales. I had agreed to pay the asking price, was a cash buyer and had promised her a quick completion, and the property had been on the market for over 2 years. To this day I have no idea why she did what she did.

By the way, you mentioned the lack of surveys in Spain. The buyers of our old house did have a survey done, as did the buyers of our friend's house (the one who has just waited so long to receive her CGT refund) - and neither of those were expensive properties.

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Re: Sold the house in Andalucia. Here's how it went.

Postby Wicksey » Wed Aug 21, 2019 3:08 pm

Ahhhhh the black money portion when buying a house .... I had almost forgotten about that. The joys of running to the notary with a bagful of cash and hoping you didn't get mugged although I neatly lined a large pair of Bridget Jones knickers with wads of cash, I was so scared of having my bag stolen :shock: . A bit difficult to cope with when I realised I needed a wee before the transaction took place!! Honestly, you could fill a book with our stories :clap:

I found the French system the best of all as the Notary there does a form of conveyancing before you buy the house and does more than just rubber stamp it as they seem to do here. The comprevente is signed before them and they held the 10% deposit from memory, so we didn't use any lawyer when selling and our buyer also didn't use their own rep, just the notary and the estate agent (he was the good one I mentioned). On the day of the completion the process took ages as we both had to initial every page of the document and it was about 60 pages long partly due to having to include a report for lead, termites and asbestos which was huge and cost a fortune to have done. I did feel that it was the best system we had come across and especially better than the Uk where you remain on tenterhooks until the day of completion.

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Re: Sold the house in Andalucia. Here's how it went.

Postby Miro » Wed Aug 21, 2019 3:13 pm

Energy certificates baffle me too; they're about as pointless as the emissions figures for a diesel VW, but I believe they're EU law. Maybe they'll be dispensed of in the UK soon :silent: But the survey is an interesting point. Why are these not required by EU law? And why (in the UK) does the buyer have to pay for it? Surely it should be part of the full disclosure about the property made by the seller? We paid for a survey on one house here (UK) and after arguing with the vendor over who should pay to correct the faults found (and winning) fully intended to complete. But the vendor refused to give any indication of when we might be able to complete since they hadn't even started looking for anywhere to move to. In the end (and it worked out perfectly actually) we bought elsewhere - but of course we were out of pocket to the tune of several hundred quid for a survey we didn't need. How many other potential buyers paid for a survey on the same house, I wonder?
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Re: Sold the house in Andalucia. Here's how it went.

Postby Devils Advocate » Wed Aug 21, 2019 3:47 pm

Thanks again guys, some really interesting points made there in the last few posts and certainly helpful to future buyers and sellers.

FAL, thanks for your comments on Surveys. I actually asked the question before completion if the buyers would be having one as they were Northern European and seemed to be doing things by the book.........I was looked at in a funny way.

I've yet to hear of anyone I've been in contact with in our old area of Spain who has had a survey but did assume they would become the norm at some point.

As it is our buyers were given permission before completion for their builder to go in and evaluate the house for works they were going to have done....structural works too including removing walls, I'm guessing he gave the house the once over for them at the time.

That was another thing that baffled me though. We have paid for the DAFO to cover the roof extension we did and had a 5000e retention slapped on us for this as I said.

We asked why we just couldn't pay the buyers the price of the DAFO we are doing now and they then could do it when they'd completed their works at their own leisure. We thought it a sensible option for both parties but it fell on deaf ears when mentioned to the legal rep.

Jeez Miro, you've been around a bit in the foreign property market.........no wonder you sorted us out so well!!! Some cracking anecdotes though which I've enjoyed hearing.
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Re: Sold the house in Andalucia. Here's how it went.

Postby Wicksey » Wed Aug 21, 2019 4:37 pm

We never had a survey on our last UK purchase. The house is Victorian but was in very good condition and from previous experiences when we had to have a survey for a mortgage, it was all pretty much a waste of time and money anyway. In France we paid a builder experienced in period property refurbs to give the place a once over as it was 250 years old and not the type of place we'd dealt with before.

I also agree the EPC is useless here. Apart from El Cid who I think has the luxury of foundations and insulation, the build quality of most houses is pretty basic. (Mind you in the UK our EPC says no to loft insulation where it clearly is insulated, but the company said that they weren't allowed to investigate places not easily visible. So they weren't able to climb the loft ladder and see that there was insulation under the boarding there!)

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Re: Sold the house in Andalucia. Here's how it went.

Postby Devils Advocate » Wed Aug 21, 2019 4:55 pm

Wicksey, I think a survey is not solely beneficial as a buyer to spot major defects but also to snag more minor and less important faults. It is a bargaining chip to go back in and get the price reduced further on the basis of the costs of remedial work to put the issues right.
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Re: Sold the house in Andalucia. Here's how it went.

Postby scotty » Wed Aug 21, 2019 6:07 pm

Miro wrote:Energy certificates baffle me too; they're about as pointless as the emissions figures for a diesel VW, but I believe they're EU law. Maybe they'll be dispensed of in the UK soon :silent:


What a silly comment. Do you think that a post brexit UK will not be subject to global warming and it's effects ? Energy certs are designed to let you know how energy efficient your property is. I'm guessing you think the "Backstop" isn't necessary either ?

But to Devils Advocate, thanks for the thread and it's information.

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Re: Sold the house in Andalucia. Here's how it went.

Postby Miro » Wed Aug 21, 2019 6:49 pm

Oh dear. I suppose I should have known I was straying into dangerous territory with that joke/silly comment. I think perhaps you totally misinterpreted my thoughts on the subject. I apologise for the unnecessary quip though.
Anyway, my point really was that whilst it might be interesting for property owners to know about the energy efficiency of their home, the EPC doesn't really seem to serve any meaningful purpose. I wonder, does any potential buyer pay any attention to it? Does it have any influence on buying decisions? Does anyone ever get one unless they are selling?
As for it's relevance to environmental issues, our property in Spain had a very poor overall rating, apparently due to the electric water heater. On the other hand, our UK property, with gas fired heating and hot water, has a better overall rating. I'm not sure that makes sense in the context of global warming, but I'll leave it at that....
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Re: Sold the house in Andalucia. Here's how it went.

Postby Wicksey » Thu Aug 22, 2019 10:47 am

My point about the EPC is that if they can't be bothered to see that there is insulation in the loft and had to 'presume none' it was totally misleading and untrue. It's just a tick box exercise and I can't say that I've even bothered to look at it when looking at properties for sale. The only thing now is that you cannot rent out a property in the UK with a very low EPC result, E or below I think.

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Re: Sold the house in Andalucia. Here's how it went.

Postby katy » Thu Aug 22, 2019 11:38 am

Couldn't say what our EPC was without digging it out. The seller has to pay for it. We would have bought the house anyway and made changes if necessary. It is an old house, built by an officer after Waterloo but now much extended, we had a full survey and was more interested in that.

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Re: Sold the house in Andalucia. Here's how it went.

Postby katy » Thu Aug 22, 2019 12:00 pm

Our buyers in Spain did not have a survey but someone came round from their mortgage supplier.

I do prefer the Spanish system of purchasing. A deposit and quick procedure is usual. May not work very well for e.g.. a young family who are moving up the ladder as they may not have cash to make a deposit. Perhaps amongst Spaniards they have a different arrangement :think:

Have bought and sold a bit in Spain and on our last purchase we sold and bought the same morning at the Notary. Our lawyer said it was the first time he had done it. Bit hairaising though, was there for a few hours. We did it because we did not want to upset the 5 cats and 2 dogs we had, just a 15 min journey for them.

We decided to sell this house and downsize (UK). Accepted an offer above asking price within 3 weeks. Then the fun started! couldn't find anything we liked. The more we saw the more we realised we love this one. Buyer had full survey etc all ready to go and he and the Agent was pushing us. Then OH fell ill so we stopped searching and decided to stay put, Very messy, long story. I did/do feel a bit guilty about it. Needs a new system here, people shouldn't be able to do that.

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Re: Sold the house in Andalucia. Here's how it went.

Postby Devils Advocate » Thu Aug 22, 2019 5:29 pm

Very similar to what I mentioned earlier in the thread. Next house to us in the UK sold and surveys were done etc. then on the day of completion their buyers knocked at ours and said they were our new neighbours.

Nice couple too, however they asked a few questions about the surrounding land and it turned out the neighbour had been economical with the truth. House was emptied already but the buyers had not yet instructed solicitor to complete.......they never did and the sale was off. Total nightmare for the sellers.

At least with the 10% deposit as in Spain it'd have made them think twice before backing out.

Also Katy with your scenario you'd have had to pay double........as you say a true deterrent for pulling out.
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Re: Sold the house in Andalucia. Here's how it went.

Postby Wicksey » Fri Aug 23, 2019 9:23 am

I thought that when the exchange of contracts took place in the UK a 10% deposit was paid then, or is that not done now? Once we had exchanged then I didn't think it was so likely that the sale would fall through.

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Re: Sold the house in Andalucia. Here's how it went.

Postby Dominic Lopecas » Sat Aug 24, 2019 8:12 pm

I'm very please for you DA, there is a large number of UK residen that they are in negative equative and they can't sale their properties a any prise.
Spain hasn't progrese politically to a lever in which politicians are there to serve their citizens, their is a big element of STAFAS (coms) they all at it politicians, Insurance companies, Banks and so on, and the sad thing is that they politicians do nothing about it, the Spanish people are very nice and easy going, but they don't have the education to identify what to do with STAFAS. It is very sad as Andalucía is a lovely place to visit and the peoples very hospital, DA I have the same experience and I'm very happy back in London

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Re: Sold the house in Andalucia. Here's how it went.

Postby Devils Advocate » Tue Aug 27, 2019 3:41 pm

Early days yet I know to be talking of retentions being returned but I thought I'd make contact with our legal rep. anyway just to advise them where we wanted them paying to, just to avoid confusion.

The retention for the DAFO (on the obtaining of it) can be paid straight in to our Currencies Direct Account.

The retention of the 3% CGT from Hacienda worried us as we were told that may have to be paid in to our dormant Unicaja account which we didn't want.

As a couple of chaps on here informed me and they were correct as usual is that this retention can be paid in to any account which has our joint names on it, whether it be in Spain or the UK. So UK account nominated. Pleased about that.
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Re: Sold the house in Andalucia. Here's how it went.

Postby Devils Advocate » Mon Sep 09, 2019 2:05 pm

Well the postman knocks this morning with a recorded letter, I then see it's from Spain.

Retentions returned already I thought, but alas no it wasn't.

It was nearly as nice though. The Bilbao authorities I guess must have known we'd sold up and and have sent me a lovely photo of my car in full flight on the AP68 as a momento, a nice gesture I reckon.

Problem is they want 100e for it or say I can have it for 50e if I pay now. :mrgreen:
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Re: Sold the house in Andalucia. Here's how it went.

Postby olive » Mon Sep 09, 2019 4:17 pm

Ah the joys of the open road.

"50 euros to see what it can do mister" , pay up.

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Re: Sold the house in Andalucia. Here's how it went.

Postby elusive » Mon Sep 09, 2019 5:09 pm

You will framing and hanging your lovely momento then? :lol:

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Re: Sold the house in Andalucia. Here's how it went.

Postby Devils Advocate » Wed Sep 11, 2019 11:26 am

So, more annoying contact from Spain yesterday.

The estate agent we used contacted us asking if it was ok to give our contact details to the new owners of our house, as they have some Boundary and other "Technical" queries regarding the house they want answers to.

I replied saying please inform us of what these queries are and we'll do our best to help, which we'd gladly do. We've had enough questions of our own when we've bought places in the past.

I must say at this point that there were 2 agents involved. We had a sole agency deal but another agent introduced the owners to our property so they split the fee.

Anyway, we replied as I said saying we are more than happy to answer any questions, not a problem.

Reply comes back saying, "we don't know the queries, the buyers are asking the other agents about it and they don't know what the queries are either", then went on to basically demand we give permission for buyers to have our details.

That baffled and annoyed me, a very strange reply. I replied saying once more if we know the questions we'll do our best to answer.

I also reminded them that the 10k we paid should ensure they deal with clients queries rather than fobbing them off directly to the sellers, out of order.

Imagine trading a car in via a dealer then the dealer wants you to answer the buyers concerns rather than themselves.

We feel a bit sad in a way as we'd gladly answer the questions the buyers have, but this cloak and dagger stuff has puzzled me.

Anyone here had similar after a sale?
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Re: Sold the house in Andalucia. Here's how it went.

Postby Beachcomber » Wed Sep 11, 2019 12:31 pm

No but do not authorise them to pass on your details to the new owners otherwise they will be contacting you for every niggle and 'query' that they can come up with now and in the future. All this should have been resolved before they bought.

Make it quite clear to the agents that if they pass on your details you will report them for data protection violation under Spain's very strict laws.


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