Your trusted Marbella real estate agent and property specialist on the Golden Mile.
7th November 2022
By Michael Dolan
5 tips to choosing the best real estate agent for you.
Whether you are buying your first home; upgrading to accommodate a growing family; investing in a buy-to-let property; or purchasing a piece of land upon which to build your dream residence; having the right real estate agent can make or break the experience.
Buying (or selling) a property is a big deal, and selecting just the right townhouse, apartment, or villa, to meet your needs, can at times feel overwhelming. Having an expert property specialist by your side, dedicated to working for you; one who knows exactly what they are doing; how the property market operates locally; and how to navigate the legal necessities; will take some of the anxiety out of what can be a nerve-racking process.
- Be prepared, do your homework – think about what you want.
If you have an idea of what you want (and what you don’t want), then it will be easier for you to find the right estate agency for you.
Choose the area you want to live in; whether you want a family home, a holiday apartment, or a buy-to-let property you will have some prerequisites. Maybe it needs to be in a particular school district, or there is easy access to commuter facilities (trains, motorways). You might need to be within walking distance of the shops, a medical or a day care centre.
How much money do you want to spend? Or what you expect to make if you are selling? Do you want a fixer upper? If yes, how much of your budget do you need to keep back for renovations? Do some research on other properties in the area, what sort of prices are they going for?
- Find an agency who is experienced in your chosen community or neighbourhood.
Once you have decided where you want to buy, the next step is to look for a real estate agent who has knowledge in that district or region. Look at properties for sale in the area, which agency is marketing them?
If you have the time, take a walk, or drive around the neighbourhood you are interested in and have a look at “For Sale” and “Sold” signs, see which agencies are popular.
Determine how long the agents have been in business. A lot of the job is who you know, having the right network, hearing about bargains and deals before they go live, and exchanging information with associates and affiliates. Being well established in the community ensures they already have connections and know who the right people are to speak to, to get a job done.
Also check out the type of properties being marketed by the different property specialists. If you are looking for a 3-bed family home and they are typically land agents, then they might not have the experience you are after.
- Ask family and friends for referrals.
A personal recommendation is worth its weight in gold. If someone you know, and trust, has had a good encounter with a particular agency then check them out. Also remember some businesses have more than one property specialist, so ask referees for the name of the individual agent they used.
Remember, be sensible with any recommendations. Everyone has specific requirements, different financial circumstances, and unique priorities, just because the agent your brother bought through was fantastic – they may not be the right fit for you.
Ask for credentials, are they a member of the local or national real estate association?
- Research them online.
Have a look at the online presence of any potential agents. Check out their websites, social media pages, and online profiles.
- Do they have good reviews?
- What do former clients say?
- Is there a testimonial page on their website?
The internet is also a great tool for finding out details about properties in the areas you are interested in. Particularly if it is some distance from where you are currently located. You can do a lot of research online before making an in person visit.
- Choose an agent who meets your needs and suits your personality.
This may seem a bit overboard, but choosing someone that feels right, that you like, and get along with, is important. There are going to be stressful moments and you don’t need to add to these by dealing with someone who rubs you up the wrong way – no matter how fantastic (*read cut-throat*) they are supposed to be.
Watch out for red flags, note their communication style, and how responsive they are with you. Are they late for appointments? Are they respectful in the way they speak or address you? You don’t want to be working with a person who is so laid back, you feel they are asleep most of the time. Or at the other end of the scale, an individual who is so hyped up they would give the Duracell bunny a run for their money, as they will probably drive you a bit crackers!
Whomever you pick, make sure you set out right from the start what you expect from them. Agree a fee, and what is included within it. Explain your communication preferences – telephone or email updates, how often do you expect to hear from them? This is particularly important if you are dealing with an agent working in a different time zone.
Most importantly trust your gut. If you like someone, you get a good feeling, and you have done your research, then best of luck to you…. and happy house-hunting!
Property Sales in Marbella
Marbella’s eclectic mix of the prestigious, the picturesque, and the peaceful; standalone villas, bustling urbanisations, and serene developments; are what attracts such a variety of different individuals and families. If what you are looking for is a relaxed way of life with plenty of sunshine, close to a lively metropolis with lots to do, the Costa del Sol is, without a doubt, the place to buy a property in Spain.
2022 is gearing up to be an exceptional year for property sales. We are seeing a huge demand for all categories of real estate - apartments, townhouses, detached villas - and we are actively looking for all types of properties for our buyers. Whether it is a holiday getaway destination or a family home you are after - Marbella is the place to be. It is a vendor’s market and if you are looking to sell, now is the time.
We understand that choosing a new home is a big step, and for those of you buying or selling a property in a foreign country, it can be very stressful. Our team of real estate experts provide a full ‘hands on’ service. We work in partnership with you (our client), your lawyer and any other professional advisers or consultants. Dolan Property is here to help you through the whole process, every step of the way.
We are based in the heart of Marbella’s Golden Mile and specialise in high quality, desirable properties in prime residential locations; Nagüeles, Sierra Blanca, Cascada de Camoján, East and West Marbella, Istan Road, Nueva Andalucia, and the new Golden Mile in Estepona.
Dolan Property specialists are committed to the highest levels of business and ethical standards, and we are proud members of the Leading Property Agents of Spain (LPA).