Buying direct from the owner - Great idea or not so clever?

Buy direct from the owner? Great idea or not so clever?

Buying direct from the owner is one way many purchasers choose to buy property in Tenerife. There are a number of advantages:

  • You speak directly to the owner, not through an intermediary
  • You can arrange your own visits to suit your schedule – not the estate agents
  • The price may be a little lower – but this is not always the case

Seems like a no-brainer then? Well actually its not! Although estate agents don´t have a Sterling reputation in general (and Tenerife is no exception), agents can have vast amounts of experience and local knowledge gained from years of operating in the same geographic area and of seeing the market through its ups and downs. Information about different areas, different new-builds, they generally do know where you can get good rental income and where is best avoided and overall can definitely (when they are not selling) provide information which can be very helpful when it comes to deciding where and what to buy. Compare this to an owner who wants to sell their specific property and will tell you everything good and obviously nothing bad about what they own and it becomes clear which source of information is going to be the most reliable.

So, buying through an agent can be very advantageous and give you a huge advantage, if the agent happens to be a good one, that knows what they are talking about! A good agent can also give a property huge visibility and excellent marketing when finding them a buyer. So why would an owner opt to sell direct instead of using one? I find that often a property owner may have had a bad experience with an agency previously, perhaps when they bought and unfortunately, we all end up tarred with the same brush. But often the motivation to sell directly is a financial one – they don´t want to pay an agency. If you think about it – the financial advantage is only to the owner, not the buyer. As the owner simply keeps the money they would have otherwise paid to an agent. As a buyer, you get nothing and do not have the benefits a good estate agent can provide you with. There are properties that I am offered, which I decline to market for many reasons. Overpricing is a big one – I dont want to waste my time with properties that are way out of line price-wise with similar properties. Another can be owners terms. They might be asking for large amounts of undeclared cash on a sale, they may be unrealistic with other terms to the point I know a sale will end up being a complicated mess – so again, I avoid them. Or the property may not even be a legal dwelling even though it is being used as one – many commercial properties are converted to apartments – we don´t touch them!

Given there is no real financial advantage to buying direct from an owner in most cases, do yourself a favour and use a good agent – they will add value, guide you and help you. You have no idea when buying what problems and complications will arise and an agent can very often solve these and keep your purchase on track – they can make all the difference when looking for that perfect property.