Lanzarote is a wonderful place to buy your dream villa in the sun and enjoy your holidays in the year round warm climate, but you can´t do it alone. Unless you can find a private sale, you´ll need the services of an estate agent. So how do you choose which one?
Buying a villa in Lanzarote is a bit different from buying a house in the UK. Often a villa will be placed by the seller with more than one estate agent, and sometimes at different prices, so it pays to do your research and look around. Also, you are going to rely on your estate agent far more than you would in the UK. In the UK, the estate agent is simply selling the property and once you have decided to buy, their services are really over. In Lanzarote, however, you will need your estate agent to take you through the buying process which is different from that in the UK. You have a couple of options to consider. You can choose an estate agent, give them your exact requirements, and let them find the property for you, or you can identify the properties yourself and so the estate agent you use to purchase the villa can depend on the property you decide to buy. The second option would be the best one to follow but not everyone has the confidence to look for villas independently. If you want to follow the first option you need to have full confidence in the estate agent and person who you are dealing with. Ideally, a recommendation is best but of course this isn´t always possible as you may well not know anyone else who has bought a villa on the island. Use the internet to do your research. You will find forums like the one on www.lanzarote.com where you can ask for recommendations and speak to people who have been through the buying process and could recommend a good estate agent. Does the agent have a website? If so, have a look at it. Does it look professional? Up to date? Is the agent a member of any estate agent trade associations like FOPDAC or NAEA? Members of these associations have to adhere to certain standards of service. Above all though, you need to feel comfortable with and trust the person who is looking after you.
You can go on what are called inspection trips. These are organized by estate agents or developers and they will organise your trip, from flights and accommodation to collecting you and showing you around suitable properties. Personally, I´d advise against these trips as you are completely in the hands of the organisers and you will only be shown the villas they want you to see. Your dream villa may be round the corner but you won´t get to see it as it´s not with your agent. Quite often you aren´t allowed much time to yourselves to give you the opportunity to look around.
Another factor to consider, especially if you are buying a new build villa, is the level of after sales service your estate agent will provide. Remember, after purchase you are likely to be living either 2,000 miles away from the villa, or if you are going to live in it, then you will be in a foreign country probably unable to speak the language. You are likely to need help with things like utility supply, telephones, taxes etc. and a helpful estate agent can be invaluable. As I said earlier, you will need your estate agent in Lanzarote to do far more for you than back in the UK.
Finally, DON´T use the estate agent´s lawyer to purchase your villa. Remember an estate agent´s lawyer puts the estate agent´s interests first. Use your own independent lawyer who will put your interests first.
Best of luck and enjoy your Lanzarote villa in the sun!
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