We are lifting the curtain on how we at Grapevine work. Why? Well, one of our 2021 goals is to show a bit more of us and what we do. We want to de-mystify some real estate myths and show you what it’s really like working in Spain and owning a small business.
We actually found it quite difficult to put into words as every experience with a vendor and purchaser is so different. We have tried to use the ‘more often than not’ approach. So here it is; a basic step by step guide of how we go from listing to sale.
Disclaimer: we are not suggesting that every real estate company works or should work in this way. This is just from our personal experience of what has worked best for us.
Valuation and Listing
The very first step in the listing process is visiting the prospective property. This is either for an initial valuation and a chat about the current market, or to directly and officially list the property. When we list, we carry a photo shoot on your property as well as a 360º virtual tour. If your property is in a rustic area, we also take aerial photographs. With the help of the vendor, we also complete a listing form detailing all the relevant information about the property including build size, paperwork information and price. We usually carry out listings in a team of two; our professional photographer and someone from our listing team.
Edit and Upload
The footage and information collected are taken back to the office for processing. This means that our photographer selects (he can can take anywhere between 50 and 300 photos per shoot!) and edits the photos for the advertisement and the person that accompanied him writes the property description, edits the virtual tour and uploads the property onto a database we share with hundreds of other agents in the area, as well as many international property portals.
We love to use social media as a key marketing tool. We have active accounts on Facebook and Instagram on which we do our best to fill with a variety of different content which we gather from other areas of the Grapevine universe. We love to show off not just the properties we have on our books, but also different aspects of living in Spain. We have a Youtube channel on which we share property and lifestyle videos and a blog dedicated to Malaga lifestyle and property sales.
All our property enquiries are answered by Natalia, who is fluent in English and Spanish. She then spends time chatting with the client over the phone and via email about their property requirements and any queries they have about buying a property in Spain. As you can imagine, we chat to people at all stages of their property search; from people that are just browsing with a view to purchasing with 5 years to clients that have booked to come over the following week with a view to purchase promptly. Natalia can often dedicate months chatting to a client before they have visited the area. Once a viewing trip has been booked into the diary, Natalia then passes on that client to the colleague that will be taking care of them for the rest of their visit.
This is a difficult section to write to be honest because the viewing process differs from purchaser to purchaser. Some clients view one house and know immediately and others need sometimes years to find the perfect property. It’s our job to be flexible and move at our client’s pace. Sometimes a client will send us a selection of properties they would like to view on their trip and we will make all the arrangements with the vendors/collaborating agents. Clients also have the option to provide us with their requirements and we will search for and suggest properties on their behalf. More often than not, it’s a collaborative effort! After viewings we will provide our vendors and collaborating agents with feedback. Our viewing style is very relaxed, allowing clients to take as much time as they need at a property.
Once a client has found a property they wish to purchase, the next step is to come to an agreement on price. It is our job to carry out the negotiations on behalf of both parties until everyone is pleased with the outcome.
Reservation, Private Purchase and Completion
We have spoken about the 3 step buying process before on the blog (please find a downloadable infographic below) but, how does Grapevine fit into all this? We draw up the initial reservation contract and arrange for it’s signing. After that, anything bureaucratic is left to the legal experts. It’s our job from then on to make the transition for both the purchasers and vendors as smooth and as stress free as possible. We take inventories if necessary, help with any furniture storage, arrange a complementary clean of the property and assist with any other moving related things.