We keep getting asked why we work as we do as an international buyers agent in Valencia. It's quite difficult to explain to people who are coming from outside Valencia how the Valencia Property Market works as it differs radically from other countries and even from other parts of Spain. As the Premier Buyers' Agent in Valencia, I set up Valencia Property 25 years ago after going through the process of purchasing a property here in Valencia. Right from the start we were working as buyers' agents as a friend asked me to help them buy a property here after seeing the pain I had been through when buying myself. So from day one we have been focussed on the needs of the buyer here as we knew that this particular market wasn't being served well by the estate agency system in place at the time.
So first thing's first, we work for the buyer (in general). Your interest as a buyer is our interest. We do get given properties from sellers, many times those who bought from us many years ago and find it is time to upgrade, downsize or move on, and even then we let you know as a buyer that this is one of our properties. We charge the buyer as we work for the buyer. You can walk into any traditional estate agent here and they will charge you too, but they are working for the seller still. Only today I got a call from someone who was being pressured by a selling agent to buy a property with 80k in cash undeclared. I told them to run a mile of course. The agent wasn't working for them. (I also gave them the details of a lawyer). But apart from working for our client exclusively what else forms the philosophy of Valencia Property? Read on.
We don't just take on anyone into our team, those who work with us are usually identified early as people who can be relied on, know a lot about Valencia having been here for a while and are maybe looking for something different to do and to work in a different way. Most of the people who work in our organisation have horror stories about working in other areas for bosses who spent time essentially slave driving them or taking advantage of their staff. Many of our team come from a background of the hospitality sector, not known for great treatment of staff unfortunately. All of those coming into our team to work with us demonstrate the following traits and these are what we work with in Valencia Property.
Knowledge of the city of Valencia an the surroundings are essential. Everyone in our team has spent a long time here in Valencia, mostly over 20 years. We know the city inside out, the outskirts and the suburbs. We know the processes involved in buying property here and the things that can happen during that process. We are all bilingual English/Spanish with the odd Dutch speaker (She's not really that odd ;-)).
We study constantly and keep up to date with changes in both the legislation and the market. That's why when you ask us a question we know how to answer it. However one thing that is drilled into our team at all times is that if we don't know the answer there's no BS, the answer is "I don't know, but I'll try to find out". Usually someone in the team will know and if not then someone we work with will.
Nobody will ever be able to say that we lack integrity. If we say we are going to do something we do it. We can't be bought by an owner offering us a sweetener to get our clients to buy their house (We are often offered these sweeteners by the way, if you are an owner thinking of it don't bother) and we do what we say we are going to do for our clients, i.e, find them the best possible property for their requirements and budget.
How does honesty differ from integrity you may ask? Well, honesty is saying what you mean, integrity is meaning what you say. And we do say what we mean and mean what we say. If your requirements are impossible to achieve for the stated budget we will tell you. Just a few days ago we told a client that they would require a time machine to go back ten years in order to find what they wanted in the Cabanyal at the price they wanted to pay. At times honesty can verge on cruelty unfortunately. Sometimes the honesty is found in telling someone that what they are looking for doesn't exist at any price. Sometimes it's admitting that we are unable to work with someone because of impossible expectations or because simply put we have better things to do than to be dealing with stupidity, see this post from last year.
Our ethics are born out of the honesty and integrity. We cannot be swayed by a potential commission or easy solution. If it collides with out ethical values then we don't do it: the seller wants money in cash, then no. The owner wants to put the price up for foreign buyers because they have more cash, nope. The selling agent offers us cash to recommend their property for our client, nope. And a long etcetera. We prefer our 5 star ratings on Google to making a quick buck on a particular sale, recommendations from our clients mean a lot more in the long term.
Despite living in Spain and the impression you may have of the country, we work hard here and we work long hours, sometimes too long. But that is to do with who we work with in a lot of cases, we are just as likely to be arranging calls with people on the West Coast of the States as we are with somebody living in Valencia so those calls have to be late evening as otherwise it's the middle of the night in the USA. We start early but not too early, getting things done before 10am in Spain is difficult but the time before is therefore taken up by arranging things, answering mails and sending messages in preparation for the day or the week. However, we do try to keep weekends free where possible. You can read why in this post. And we try to keep August free too for two reasons; holidays for everyone in Spain and it's hot.
We are realistic and if what you are looking for isn't possible then we will let you know, see earlier about honesty. But in this context realism is in the sense of not selling an impossible dream. We sell reality not an impossible dream. We give you reality in this blog. Living in Valencia and Spain might well be great, we think it is, but it won't help you escape from a family issue, from grief, from mental health issues and more. It may help in certain ways but Spain and Valencia have these issues too. If you expect your children to become angels when you bring them here and they are teenagers then I've got some bad news for you, they will continue to be teenagers in Spain. And one major thing you have to consider, if you have children and the schooling situation doesn't work for them then the whole move doesn't work so it's important to get that part right from the start.
None of us want to be depressed in our jobs. We try to make ours interesting, entertaining and fun. That means you should expect something else when you come to see us as your buyers agent, a joint collaboration to find you the best place in the quickest possible time but while we are doing it we want to make it fun. Everyone says that moving home is the most stressful thing you can do, we don't agree. We make you a part of it and make it an adventure which can be fun, it can also be exciting and educational. But at the same time...
We are all professional in what we do, defending our clients throughout the whole process of buying a property in Valencia from first contact to notary signing and oftentimes beyond. However, you may be surprised by our appearance, no swanky office, no suits, no ties, no paperwork you need to sign to compromise yourself with us from day one, no definitely no shiny jackets. We are professionals to a T but we are also informal, wearing whatever we find most comfortable on a day, not to the level of socks AND sandals of course, but sandals definitely during the summer, and shorts, and T-Shirts. Clothing doesn't make you know what you are talking about, in many cases in the estate agency world it is used to disguise inexperience or even incompetence.
We realise you have a choice of who to work with and those who work with us do so to the exclusion of other agents because we are buyers' agents of course and we will make all the contacts needed. We appreciate all clients who decide to work with us and in the huge majority of cases those who decide to work with us finish up more than happy when they get to buy exactly what they are looking for in Valencia. Not only that but also they generally get what they are looking for at a better price with a greater selection and fewer headaches. Everyone we work with is professional in what they do so not only can you trust us and trust the process you can also trust them.
As you would expect because we work hard and try to have a bit of fun in what we do but in a professional way then this is reflected in our attitude. We expect clients to go with the flow because things in Spain are different at times. Last minute call-offs by owners or agents are common in a quickly moving market and we have to take that calmly. You should too. Don't expect a hectic twenty properties in a day while speeding around Valencia. We'll take things slowly. Make sure to either like coffee or have some alternative favourite tipple as there will be refreshment stops and come with a relaxed attitude. If what you want exists then either we will find it for you or get pretty close. Go with the flow and relax, you're in good hands. And there's no pressure selling either.
But It's Not All Good...
Or rather, it might not be. We can have bad days, we may just not hit it off, things can go wrong. We're good but we can never be perfect. (And if you don't book early we will be double booked and unable to help you at short notice)
One thing though, we don't think you'll ever find a better estate agency. Show me one anywhere in the World with the capacity to list the best hand picked properties, to put out a weekly blog with all of the information you need about the market for two decades, to produce a podcast in house again with all of the information you ask for for nothing, to have free consultation calls, to have this much experience in the market, to make things fun and interesting, to develop whole new markets and to do all of that without ever signing a single contract with anyone. It's all done on trust, all while maintaining a small, dedicated, knowledgeable team working for a large number of select clients and maintaining an online and offline reputation that means we are constantly recommended by virtually everyone. We trust people and we get that trust in us back as a result.
If you are coming to Valencia then work with us.
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