Today’s post is a real conveyancing enquiry received from a UK citizen, looking for a Solicitor to assist them with the purchase. Please see below an extract of the email received a few days ago:
(…) Hi, we have already completed the following:
- Put a deposit on the property
- Sent a Power of Attorney (POA) to the State Agent in Spain to act on our behalf
- The Estate Agent will also help us with the tax payment (10%) and changing the bills to our names
Despite the fact that we have repeatedly warned our readers throughout the past few years, about the frequent mistakes; when buying property in Spain, (for example, see our post “ tips…..”), we detect that the majority of people who contact our Firm about their conveyancing enquiry, unfortunately, keep repeating the same errors.
Therefore, due to its informative importance, please see below the advice and recommendations are given to this person; that is equally useful for you, in case you might be considering purchasing a property in Spain.
DEPOSITS PAID BLINDLY IN ADVANCE TO AGENTS
Although we can understand the concern of buyers who are about losing the property, we must always advise our clients never to pay the agent or the seller; a deposit blindly in advance, without double-checking the background legal situation of the property beforehand.
The problem is that many agents keep using the same old classic commercial tactics consisting of saying to the client that “there are other people urgently waiting to buy the same property”, (which is 99% of cases is not true).
This is the main reason why we repeatedly advise our clients about this is that you will basically be at the mercy of the agent; so worst-case scenario that the agent might have cheated on you, or the agent might go bankrupt tomorrow; you will entirely lose the deposit paid. That is a 100% guarantee. And to make things worse, many people willingly agree to sign a defective legally poor contract entirely drafted by the agent; and NOT the homemade contract produced by our Firm. This means that in the event of a dispute; you will be defenceless; and we will be totally unable to defend your interests effectively.
Furthermore, the property might be affected by hidden charges or encumbrances, debts, planning permission infractions or simply, a very frequent case; the agent has no paperwork at all of the property advertised.
GIVING PROXY TO AGENTS
We honestly believe that granting a proxy to an Estate Agent is a very bad idea. In fact, 90% of the litigation cases that we are dealing with at present are cases of fraud and the direct result of crook’s agents cheating on innocent buyers.
Therefore, remember that you can grant a proxy to any regulated lawyer of your choice, but never to an agent; (or the agent’s solicitors) who are the end of the day will be solely concerned about getting their own commission.
In addition to that, the conveyancing process must always be supervised by an independent lawyer in advance, prior to any money being paid to an agent.
Otherwise, in case a legal problem might be detected on the property, that will complicate things significantly for you and subsequently, you will not be able to claim your money back.
That is why we wish to warn our readers about this because it is of the utmost importance to take on a new conveyancing case from the very outset; so we can properly guide our clients throughout all the stages of the conveyancing process until completion, and beyond (i.e. full registration of the property at the land registry).
The “Golden Rule”
In conclusion, First, remember the golden rule is that you must never pay a deposit blindly to an agent until we have duly verified the legal situation of the property beforehand, and also; you must never grant a proxy to an agent. This common practice is extremely risky, as we are dealing with several cases of fraud against unreliable agents who signed with POA and not only sold illegal properties but to make things worst they stole our client’s money.
Second, once we are satisfied that the legal situation of the property is perfect, then we would produce a homemade purchase agreement. The purchase contract must ALWAYS indicate that the seller will receive ALL the deposits; and never to the agents. (Unless they might have POA from their own clients, that is the sellers, not the buyers). Otherwise, in the event of a breach, you would simply lose your money, considering that an agent might easily go bankrupt tomorrow, and the seller would not be liable as he would have not received any money at all.
How to contact us for further specific advice or information?
Remember this is not intended to be specific legal advice. Subsequently, if you might have been the victim of a similar situation in Spain; and you might wish to discuss your specific case, we are a Law Firm specializing in conveyancing cases.
Therefore, as a preliminary step for your conveyancing enquiry, do not hesitate to get in touch with us, either by:
- Calling us or sending us a WhatsApp now to (0034) 687 88 88 73.
- You can also use our e-mail form at the top of the sidebar of your screen, or alternatively, you can send us an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org or through our contact section
We have online legal consulting services, and our commitment, we’ll respond to your e-mail inquiry in less than 24 hours.
Finally, thank you very much for your attention, and in case you might have any questions or doubts about Conveyancing Enquiry, please do not hesitate to contact us and we will be glad to clarify immediately.
We look forward to helping you and the benefit of our “know-how”.
Thank you very much again for reading this post.
Mr Oscar Ricor Morales
“NON-PRACTISING ENGLISH SOLICITOR IN ENGLAND AND WALES”, under the “Solicitors Regulation Authority” (SRA) SRA number 519196 and practising Spanish Solicitor.