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March 11, 2016

Tips for Successful Selling of your Property

I have been looking at ways to help people sell and promote their properties and I would love to share some tips with you that I found in Forbes. You might find one or more of these points helpful when it comes to selling your property and the Barrington Homes Team will be happy to help you.

  1. Don’t ask for too much money.

You know what you paid for the property, but that doesn’t mean that it’s still worth that amount—or that it’s increased in value since you bought it. Your property is only worth what the market is willing to pay you. It doesn’t matter what’s in it and it doesn’t matter what your mortgage is.  Reputable Real Estate Agents have their eye on the market and know what kind of prices property—just like yours—are worth now. Pricing too high will discourage interested parties from making an offer and your property could sit for months, which isn’t the goal.

What to do: Have a few established Real Estate Agents in your area give you a price (or get a comparative market analysis), and—this is key—don’t ignore them. Keep in mind that even if you’ve made expensive improvements to the home (granite countertops, stainless steel appliances, glass curtains, jacuzzi baths), you may not get your money back if you’re the only property in the urbanisation with such upgrades.

  1. Don’t skip the marketing.

You may think that all you have to do is take one photo of the house, stick a “For Sale” sign in your garden and buyers will come pouring in the door.  The only way to guarantee that you’re going to get the highest price for the property is to use all of the marketing options available to you, such as internet marketing, social chatter, websites and direct marketing.  The more people who see your house, the better your chances are of selling it.  In an age when buyers start their searches online, counting on drive-bys and word of mouth isn’t enough anymore.

What to do: Don’t wait until the last minute to notify a Real Estate Agent that your property is for sale. Give them time to photograph the property on a day the sun is out, for example. In fact, if you live in a seasonal area and you know that you’re going to put the property on the market in February, have photos taken in September, when the gardens may be at their best.

  1. Don’t go it alone, unless you know what you’re doing.

If you aren’t a seasoned pro at selling property, let the professionals take the reins.  Estate Agents know what is selling around you and for what price. They can tell you whether an offer is reasonable and help you negotiate smartly.

What to do: If you can, get recommendations from friends or colleagues is always a great start and then go with someone who have a proven track record in the immediate area and not a faceless organisation on-line who are not knowledgeable of your community.

  1. Don’t neglect to fix things that are broken.

If sellers walk through your property and spot a handful of items that need immediate repair, they’re going to wonder how well you’ve maintained the things they can’t see.  The entry way is a big tip-off. Got a loose hand rail on the steps, sagging screen door or jiggly door knob? Fix them. Clear your gutters, patch holes in your walls and address dripping taps.

What to do: Do a walk-through of your own home, pretending that you’re seeing it for the first time. What things have you always meant to fix? Now is the time. Spend a few weekends dealing with all of those niggling projects to get your home in shape.

  1. Don’t get emotionally involved.

Yes, it’s your property. Yes, you sweated blood and tears to get it just the way you wanted it. Unfortunately, that does not make it someone else’s “perfect,” particularly when you’ve made some unique decorating decisions. You want the space to look as neutral as possible, so buyers can envision themselves in the space.   So even if those teal walls in the bedroom look knock-out great with your duvet, they probably won’t match anyone else’s things.   Let go of the features you love and make it a house most people could love—and that might mean painting all of the walls a soft, neutral colour.

What to do: Have an Estate Agent walk through your property, and when they point out things to you, make those changes as it will make it more marketable. Listen to them. Start to think of your property as a commodity, not an extension of your identity. If buyers don’t love it, it’s not a personal insult. It’s simply a deal that didn’t work out.

  1. Don’t leave your stuff everywhere.

You want buyers to feel like they could move into your house tomorrow—with their things.  Your collectibles, photos, childrens toys on floors and utility bills make the space feel a little too personal.

What to do: Before you put the property on the market, get a few boxes and grab every extraneous thing you see: photos, knick-knacks, books. If it helps, take a few pictures of each room, and try to view them through a buyer’s eyes. What could you remove from each room to make the space feel bigger?

  1. Don’t get offended by a low offer.

Just because someone came in with a really low bid is no reason to walk off in a huff. Now it is time to negotiate. Buyers are trying to buy your property for the lowest price possible and you can’t blame them for trying. In other words, it’s not personal, and it’s not a slam on your housekeeping. It’s a business transaction.

What to do: Come back with a counteroffer.  Typically, most buyers will come back with a second offer, which is a better indication of what they’re really willing to pay.

  1. Don’t lose a sale over something stupid.

It’s possible to get 99% of the way through a home sale, only to stall out at the end over a minor detail. Don’t be that seller.

What to do: Unless it’s an heirloom that’s been in your family for generations, remember that you can probably find another one—but you may not find another buyer at that price. To be safe, if there are things you’re feeling like you can’t live without, such as the curtains you found at a crazy flea market or the light fixture you discovered at an antiques store, replace them with something else before you show the house.

Hope you found this helpful and if we can help in any way, get in touch with the team at our email info@barringtonhomes.eu.  Happy selling!!!

Sold

March 2, 2016

Feeling a little bit jealous of everyone in Sierra Nevada right now

Filed under: Lifestyle,Sport,Things to do — Barrington Homes @ 11:35 am

I have been looking at the webcams for Sierra Nevada in Granada this morning as my buddies have headed up there for a few days.  Here is the link:  http://sierranevada.es/es/webcams/

Slightly envious, but as I am not able to ski due to my knee surgery I can only look on from the sidelines, instead I can sit and watch, admiring the scenery, watching the children learning – who always seem to have no fear and adapt so quickly.  From what I can see, it looks like lots of powder and approx 70 Kms of skiing area.  Nice!

If you have never ventured further than the beaches and ports of Malaga, you are missing out.  Depending on your driving technique, just 2 -3 hours north is Sierra Nevada in the Provence of Granada.  This mountain range is truly beautiful with the snow at this time of year and the ski station is a brilliant place to learn and experience après ski.

My recommendation is get up that little bit early, say 6.00 and drive to get there for 8.30 – 9  (you will miss the traffic up the mountain road this way).  Hire your gear if you have none and there are plenty of shops who will help you if you are new to this, but remember your ID.  Get straight up to the first station – sometimes there are queues, so best to get through and up and have breakfast there.  Once you have had a little brekkie, head up on to the different areas, depending on your level and enjoy this relaxed chilled out environment.  By about 14.30 you will be ready to come home and ski all the way to the bottom if you have the energy, hand back you gear and head back to Malaga and have dinner by the coast.  Perfect day eh!  Love to hear from anyone who is going there this year and your experiences as I am very very jealous!  Oh and if anyone is brave enough for the night skiing, really interested in hearing of your experiences.

sierra-nevada-ski-spain-2[1]

 

February 24, 2016

It is all about Finca Cortesin….. and why not?

Filed under: Property — Tags: , , , — Barrington Homes @ 6:50 pm

 

You may have noticed some of our new listings are quite something as there are some amazing developments happening within Finca Cortesin´s Estate.  Las Terrazas de Cortesin is pretty special if you are looking for a luxury apartment.  The first phase is sold out, but the second phase is in construction and is already selling fast.  Properties there are starting at 285,000 euros – but what beautiful construction and attention to detail the developer is implementing here to give these properties an edge on their contemporaries.  Not only have you the choice of apartments, the estate is also offering some spectacular villas that are both modern and stylish beyond compare.  You have the choice of 3 designs situated in the heart of the Golf Course, called Green 10 or for those who wish to invest in having one of the most exclusive addresses on the Costa Del Sol, then there is the Golfside Villas that are currently in development and the largest of these with 8 ensuite bedrooms has been sold.  Wow!

Finca Cortesin is known throughout the world for being a benchmark in urban development with an award winning hotel, golf course and beautiful modern architecture, making it one of the best gated communities in Southern Europe. The hotel is known worldwide and has over 23.000 m2 of manicured gardens, luxurious spa, 3 pools, tennis and paddle courts, impressive 6.000 m2 beach club, exquisite cuisine and an ambiance of tranquility, elegance and refinement, it is a destination that invites you to return and that is why Finca Cortesín has been named “Best non-urban Hotel in Spain” by Conde Nast Traveller magazine. . In 2012 Finca Cortesin was among the top 10 golf courses in Spain and played host to the Volvo World Match Play in 2009, 2011 and 2012. It really is an exceptional place to live or visit and these apartments and villas are right in the heart of this amazing development.

 

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February 23, 2016

Home sales and prices up in 2015, growth forecast to continue for now

Filed under: News — Barrington Homes @ 9:44 am

The December and full year figures from the General Council of Notaries – just out – paint a picture of a market slowly recovering from a deep crisis. That’s good news in itself, but it doesn’t negate the effects of the crisis, which can still be seen all around. Some segments, in particular those that benefit from foreign demand, are recovering, but many others are still deep in the doldrums. So figures like these from the notaries, which aggregate all segments into national figures, conceal big differences between local markets. Not all areas and segments are heading in the same direction.

The notary figures are the most timely available, as they are based on sales witnessed by notaries each month, rather than sales inscribed in the property register a month or two later (published by the registrars and the National Institute of Statistics). They probably give us the best picture of what actually happened (at a national level) in 2015. So I’ll run through the main figures with a chart for each.

HOME SALES

There were a total of 401,236 homes sold last year (including subsidised housing), with sales of both flats and houses rising for the second year in a row. Sales are still less than half what they were in the last boom year of 2007, but we should not expect to return to the inflated sales levels of a speculative bubble. That said, the market is still depressed by normal standards, so there should still be room for more growth in sales in the coming years, assuming that economic growth continues.

notaries-sales-2015-1024x527

Source: Mark Stucklin, Property Insight, February 19, 2016

 

February 22, 2016

Golf’s European Tour returns to Andalucia with the Spanish Open at Valderrama

Filed under: Sport — Barrington Homes @ 9:09 pm

The Open de España, one of the most historic tournaments on The European Tour; Real Club Valderrama, one of the most iconic venues in the world of golf; and Sergio Garcia, one of Spain’s most celebrated golfing sons, will come together to stage the Real Club Valderrama Open de España, hosted by the Sergio Garcia Foundation, from April 14-17.

It will be the first time that the legendary Andalucian venue has staged Spain’s national Open, a tournament whose history stretches all the way back to its first playing in Madrid in 1912. Since 1972, it has also been a feature of every season on The European Tour and has seen some of golf’s greatest names get their hands on the trophy.

The €2 million tournament will be the first tournament of the 2016 season to be played on European soil and as well as the support of the Royal Spanish Golf Federation and Real Club Valderrama, the tournament also has the full backing of Garcia, the 11 time European Tour champion and five time Ryder Cup winner, who will assume the role of tournament host.

A full range of tickets for the tournament are available to buy now from tickets.europeantour.com including Any One Day Tickets from Thursday to Sunday which cost €15.00 per day if purchased before the week of the event and €20 per day if purchased during the tournament week.Valderamma

Source: The Resident

February 18, 2016

TARIFA: Big new development planned called Surf City

Filed under: News — Barrington Homes @ 2:50 pm

The Spanish developer Metrovacesa is planning a big new development in Tarifa, in a sign that Spain’s second-home resort market is coming back to life.

Metrovacesa, one of the biggest developers in Spain, now owned by a consortium of banks including BBVA and Banco Popular, and controlled by Santander bank, will invest €70 million in a mixed-use development including hotels, commercial space, and up to 250 “upmarket” homes, walking distance from the beach and Tarifa town centre.

The company says the development, called Surf City (Ciudad del Surf), will be positioned internationally to take advantage of “surf tourism, the principal attraction of the area,” in a clear sign that Metrovacesa has international buyers in mind.

The company claims the project, which is expected to create up to 500 new jobs in the area, will be “one of the most innovative” residential developments on the Spanish coast. Sustainable development and ‘green’ architecture will be involved, whilst the slope of the site will be used for wind protection and offering panoramic views.

Tarifa is the southernmost town in Spain, located in Cádiz province, home to the Costa de la Luz, facing Morocco across the Straits of Gibraltar. Once part of the hippy trail, it is an ancient and picturesque town that has become a fashionable if somewhat niche destination as the wind and kite-surfing capital of Europe, attracting an affluent and young international crowd. Expats and property investors in Tarifa are looking for something out of the ordinary.

Tarifa Surf City Plan

Tarifa Surf City Plan

 

February 17, 2016

10 Common Questions on Registro de Turismo

Filed under: Useful Information — Barrington Homes @ 4:47 pm

Pilar Martinez reported in the Sur in English, 12.02.16 the following 10 common questions that have arisen from the new decrees to regulate tourist accommodation and I thought I would share this with you.

The first law to control private holiday rentals in Andalucía was approved a couple of weeks ago. Owners who are already renting to tourists are now obliged to register the property on the ‘Registro de Turismo’ as will any others planning to offer villas, apartments or rooms in their own home as tourist accommodation. However, the new decree has led to an influx of questions at the tourism department. We take a look at some of them here.

What is considered to be tourist accommodation?

  1. Any building in Andalucía which is habitually offered as accommodation at a price fixed by the owner and which is advertised through tourism channels, such as travel agencies or online platforms. According to the Junta’s Tourism Delegation in Malaga, every property which is publicised on these portals and puts the owner in touch with travellers has to be registered as tourist accommodation. This does not, however, include tourist accommodation in officially designated rural areas, because this is already covered by an existing decree. Nor does the new regulation apply to owners who have three or more properties which are used as tourist accommodation but are within a radius of one kilometre. In their case, they are regulated by the ‘Apartamentos Turísticos’ decree, which has also been modified, under the sector regarding tourist complexes.

What if a property is only rented for weeks or fortnights during the three summer months?

  1. These also have to be registered on the Registro de Turismo. The regulations only exclude properties rented for more than two consecutive months by the same person, which would be governed by the normal property rental law. Properties still have to be registered if they are rented without using online accommodation sites.

What facilities does a property have to have?

  1. It must have its first occupation licence. The bedrooms must have exterior ventilation and means of shutting out the light. There must be coolings and heating systems at least in the lounge and bedrooms. The regulations insist on domestic appliances, a first aid kit, information about the area in the form of leaflets, maps, etc, and a complaints book. the regulations also specify that the property must be cleaned when clients arrive and leave. Bed linen must be provided, along with a spare set. Tourists must also be given a contact telephone number in case any problems rise, and must be made aware of rules set by the community of owners. The maximum capacity for a single property may not exceed 15 people.

When can a property be registered on the Registro de Turismo?

  1. Registration will start in three months’ time, after the decree was published in the Official Bulletin of the Junta de Andalucía (BOJA) this week. The Junta’s Tourism Department estimates that the register will be operative in May, and recommends using this interim period to prepare the paperwork and the property: find or obtain the first occupation licence, download the form, get hold of leaflets, tourist maps, etc or install air conditioning. The aim is that by the summer, properties will officially be able to continue with their normal activity. The fine for those who fail to register can be as much as 150,000 euros.

What documentation has to be presented?

  1. It is a very simple process, but this is one of the most common concerns among owners. All they have to do is go to the website of the ‘Consejería de Turismo’ of the Junta de Andalucía and click on ‘Registro de Turismo’, they can then print off the ‘Declaración Responsable’. This document has to be filled in and signed, and then given to the Delegación de Turismo in Malaga (Avda. de la Aurora, 47 – the building is commonly known as the Edificio Negro, although it is now white). The registration will then be processed so the property can be rented, and a code will be assigned to identify the property. That code must be included when advertising it on online platforms.

What are the tax implications of a property which is rented for tourism?

  1. It is treated as an urban rental, in other words the money obtained from rentals has to be declared as annual income. It is not necessary for an owner to register as self-employed, no separate taxes have to be paid and IVA does not have to be charged if the property is being rented out by the owner. This type of tourist accommodation is treated as a service, not an establishment.

Can you just rent out a room in a property?

  1. This is also covered by the decree, but only if the owner lives in the property in which he or she wants to rent rooms to tourists. In fact, this is the first law in Spain to include this possibility. The process and the documentation are the same as if you were renting out the entire property. You will also be given a registration code, which has to be quoted when advertising the service with specialist online platforms.

Do you have to give each tourist a contract, or a bill, or ask for their ID for police registration purposes?

  1. The rules say that you have to give each client a contract, even if they are only staying for one night. Also, that written agreement must be kept for one year in case inspectors from the Tourism authorities want to see it. The document must include the name of the person or company that is renting the property, the registration code, the number of people who will be staying in the property, the dates they arrive and leave, the total cost of the stay and the contact phone number for them to ring in case of problems. The owner can only issue a receipt for payment, rather than an invoice, and the rental price can be freely determined by the owner of the property. For security reasons, the people who will be staying in the property should provide their identity document upon arrival, but it is not yet been known whether these details need to be passed on to the police. Hotels and apartments do so online, but this process is not covered by the Tourism authorities.

Is there a set time for people to arrive or leave a property?

  1. Yes. The regulations say that if no specific time is agreed, the tourists can enter at 16.00h and must leave by 12.00h.

What happens if an owner wants to rent out three or more properties within a 1,000 metre radius?

  1. This is the most controversial point about these new regulations, because it says that people who rent out three or more properties in the same building or in blocks within a radius of one kilometre must register as Apartamentos Turísticos and are governed by this different regulation, which has been modified for this purpose. It is more demanding because it insists on an opening licence and certain requirements which include minimum measurements in different rooms of the property.

February 14, 2016

Junta gives three-month deadline for owners to register holiday properties

Filed under: News — Barrington Homes @ 11:20 am

Just in case you have not heard, this has been reported in the Sur in English, Friday 5th February 2016 and we would like to share this very important information for people renting out their accommodation:-

“The Andalusian government has given owners of tourist accommodation three months to officially register their properties. This week the Junta approved its new decree which aims to close the existing loophole regarding apartments, houses and rooms which are rented to tourists.

The three month period will begin once the decree has been published in the Official Bulletin of the Junta de Andalucía (BOJA). The authority believes that by ensuring that all such properties are registered, it will prevent fraud and unfair competition.

To make their properties legal, the owners have to register them with the Registro de Turismo de Andalucía and will then have one year to comply with the requirements laid down by the new regulations.

The Junta calculates that there are about 80,000 unregistered properties in the region at present, offering 400,000 beds. The Andalusian Head of Tourism, Javier Fernández, said he was confident that the register will be “operative” by May and that all properties will be registered by the summer. Anyone who fails to comply will face fines of up to 150,000 euros.

Javier Fernández said the new rule has “maximum support” from the sector but he did not want to discuss criticism from the Fevitur federation which has called for changes in the status of the properties affected.

The text classifies tourist accommodation as properties located on residential land which habitually offer accommodation for tourism purposes in exchange for payment, through travel agents, intermediary companies or organisers, using methods which involve reservation.

The decree differentiates between complete properties, which are rented in their entirety and can sleep no more than 15 people, and properties in which the resident owner rents rooms, which must have capacity for no more than six people.

Exceptions

The new regulations do not apply to properties for which no money changes hands; rental contracts for more than two consecutive months for the same tenant; and properties in rural areas (the last two cases are already subject to their own regulations).

Also excluded are complexes of three or more properties, all owned by the same person, located within the same building or group of buildings, whether or not these are adjoining. These will now be covered by another decree, Decreto 194/2010, for tourist apartments, which has been modified for this purpose. This section implies that if two or more properties belong to the same owner and are more than one kilometre apart they are not included in the decree, something which has been rejected by the Spanish Federation of Tourist Apartments and Houses (Fevitur).

The new decree was drawn up at the request of owners who were left unregulated by the modification in 2013 of the Law of Urban Rentals (LAU).

Now the Junta will ensure that tourist accommodation matches the standards of quality and comfort laid down for other types of accommodation, such as hotels. Properties must have an occupancy licence and fulfil certain specifications, including external ventilation, air conditioning, suitable furniture, household linen, kitchen equipment and first aid kit.”

 

February 13, 2016

Certificado de Eficiencia Energetica (CEE) or Energy Performance Certificate

Filed under: Property — Barrington Homes @ 11:00 am

This blog is a gentle reminder to all in regard to the importance of ensuring your property has a Certificado de Eficiencia Energetica (CEE) or Energy Performance Certificate.  It is old news, but many of our vendors are still unaware and we would like to clarify this important document requirement when selling or even renting a property in Spain.

Since June 1st, 2013 all properties for sale or rental require an energy performance certificate also known in Spain as the Certificado de Eficiencia Energetica (CEE).  This is an EU directive and Spain is the last Country in the EU to implement it.

This new requirement was approved by Royal Decree 235/2013 on April 5, 2013 and states that all properties being offered for sale or rent must have an Energy Certificate.

Energy Certification is the process of determining the energy efficiency of a home or business. The owner of the property is legally obliged to contract a professional Technical Surveyor to carry out the assessment, to issue the certificate which should be stamped and signed by him, then duly registered with the Junta de Andalucía. They will supply the corresponding label which should be displayed on the property. Failure to comply with these requirements can lead to fines of up to 6,000 euro.

The Energy Performance Certificate will be a document required by the Notary in order to complete a sale. It is one more document, that the Notary will ask us to supply at the time of sale, but, actually, it should be acquired from the moment a “For Sale” sign is displayed. The certificate is valid for 10 years, unless any changes are made to the property when a new certificate would be required.

The energy efficiency label is similar to that shown on electrical appliances and shows an efficiency level rate on a scale from A to G, (“A” being the most efficient).

This Certificate is only required for rentals exceeding 4 months and for all properties that are for sale.

The Certificate will give recommendations for ways to improve the energetic consumption levels of the property, together with a quote for implementing these recommendations and an analysis of the economic benefits of carrying out the suggested modifications. It is not obligatory to carry out the modifications; however, it may well increase the market value of the property.

Barrington Homes Team can arrange this with our Technical Surveyor at a time of your convenience to document this officially.  If you would like to find out more about the cost and book an appointment, please feel free to contact us at info@barringtonhomes.eu

EPC

 

February 12, 2016

Channel 4s´A Place in the Sun filming with Barrington Homes

Filed under: Property — Barrington Homes @ 4:05 pm

A-Pace-in-the-Sun_Channel4

Channel 4’s popular overseas property program ‘A Place in the Sun’ has once again featured some of Barrington Homes´ properties. The team were busy filming in the Duquesa area last week for 2 property programs to be broadcast later in the year. This is the third time that ‘A Place in the Sun’ has filmed with Barrington Homes and we were delighted to welcome them back so they can once again showcase our beautiful area and properties to millions of viewers.

Interestingly this is a “Celebrity Place in the Sun” and I understand they are putting an offer in on one of the lovely penthouses in the Marina area, so it will be interesting to see if it is accepted. We are so pleased that yet again we have been able to help in finding a fantastic property in Duquesa and get such great exposure of this wonderful part of the coast. Exciting times for Puerto de la Duquesa indeed as its popularity is certainly growing and thriving. I shall keep you posted as to when this episode will be aired.

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