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ESTATE AGENTS ON THE COSTA BLANCA, SPAIN

Spanish Government Licensed Estate Agents

For many years every Spanish town has had one or two A.P.I.s (Agentes de la Propiedad Inmobiliaria) who are estate agents and valuers belonging to a professional college like architects and lawyers and similarly being university graduates who have passed post graduate examinations. They receive a government license to be allowed to practice. Larger towns or cities such as Alicante or Valencia each have an A.P.I. college

A.P.I.s are still the principal agents in Spain and have traditionally been used by Spanish buyers who would be most surprised if anyone suggested that they needed a lawyer or to buy a Costa Blanca villa or apartment.

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The Secondary Property Market

However, among all the benefits of E.E.C. market liberalization in Spain, one side effect was that property transactions (but not valuations) no longer had to be completed under the responsibility of an A.P.I. estate agent. A secondary, unregulated market quickly developed that is now the source of most of the poor publicity in the U.K. regarding Spanish property. If you read books or articles about buying property in Spain, they will usually not distinguish between this grey market and the majority of licensed transactions that continue with A.P.I. estate agents.

A.P.I. Estate Agents and Lawyers

It's only relatively recently that lawyers have played a part in property transactions on the Costa Blanca, and this is mostly for English clients who are familiar with a purchasing and selling lawyer for conveyancing. The lawyer will check the documentation in an identical way to an A.P.I. estate agent and provide the same guarantee although the lawyer's fee is an extra whereas the A.P.I's fee is included in the price of the property. To put it simply, a foreign buyer who is not familiar with the language, or concepts such as a notary, registry, or N.I.E. number, needs either an A.P.I. estate agent or a Spanish lawyer to assist them. A.P.I. agencies can easily be recognized by the shield (see the top of the page) that they have outside their offices with their name or college number. A complete list of lawyers in Calpe and in the neighbouring towns can be found here. Most of them speak foreign languages and they are all happy to assist the overseas buyer.

Who does the A.P.I. Estate Agent represent?

It's clear that the Costa Blanca A.P.I. estate agent provides a service for both parties. The seller benefits from a well organized marketing plan that presents his property in the best way in the print media, internet and in different languages. He obtains a list of qualified buyers. The buyer benefits from an extensive listing of properties that is updated daily and which can even be checked and short listed prior to visiting Spain. See our latest Costa Blanca property listing.

The supposed conflict over price is not a big issue. The buyer and seller are free to agree a price, or not, without pressure from the estate agent, and are usually happy to be negotiating for a beautiful Costa Blanca property with a serious buyer. At A.P.I. Miró we will express an opinion on the value of a property, when it is first listed, but this is finally a question for the two parties, and it is always easy to check the prices of similar villas and apartments looking at location, quality and constructed areas. At the end of the day we provide a wide choice of properties and carry out the necessary checks, however complicated these may be, to ensure that our clients have a straightforward sale.