SELLING YOUR HOUSE – Property marketing in Gibraltar

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I often get asked by my clients about the best way in which to sell their houses in Gibraltar or even further away across the border and along the coast. The answer is quite simple and it applies to most places in which we intend to sell a property.

There are two main ways to get a house sold in Gibraltar and sometimes a combination of both may also produce some interesting and positive results. You may try and do the job directly on your own given that Gibraltar has a very high demand for fairly priced property and it may be easier and considerably faster than selling in different areas across the border including Spain and Portugal. If this is the case, let me assure you it is not as easy as one would think. Long gone are those great days in which one would use the traditional methods to sell their properties. Small adverts in the local press used to produce some very interesting leads, plus adverts in the UK, in either major newspapers or magazines, used to bring some clients along. Sadly, this does not work as well as before and some major papers do not even have a section to advertise property. On the other hand, a well-designed and very well-placed “For Sale” sign with your telephone and email is most important, and even today, with all the modern technology, it still works rather well. Estate agents still use them widely and, as I always say, if the professionals do it then just copy them. People still go about looking for property and more often than not, if priced correctly, your property will sell.

A much newer option is the social media and specialized websites. These have, to an important extend, replaced the small adverts and other traditional advertising methods and along the coast, this, by far, what works best. Normally, either the homeowner or the estate agent will pay a nominal fee to the website and in exchange, they advertise and get across a huge number of clients who often look at the website before they decide to work out a shortlist of preferred properties to purchase.

There are two important factors to consider when it comes to deciding whether you should do the marketing of your house yourself or give it to one, or several, estate agents to do the selling job for you. These are namely cost and time. Gibraltar Estate agents can be highly professional and very cost effective. Compared to Spain or Portugal, commission fees in Gibraltar are much lower and therefore this could justify making an arrangement with estate agents to get the marketing of our house done. Estate agents in Gibraltar can not only find the right client for you but also help finding mortgage finance via a bank or building society, should the buyer request this service, and provide lawyers to help with the legal side of a purchase, plus they can hold deposits on the buyers behalf. Furthermore, if the buyer intends to purchase and eventually rent out to generate income, the estate agent can organize that for the customer. In other words, estate agents can often give the customer a wide selection of precious services which can be of great help and most importantly, save you a lot of time.

Another point to consider is whether to use one or several estate agents. The answer is not easy but in normal circumstances, I advise my clients to use more than one agent. Across the border, the case is quite similar but it is often best to have a major, well-established estate agent handle the marketing of your house on an exclusive or quasi-exclusive basis in exchange for a massive sales campaign for you and some form of commitment on the agent’s side to get the deal sealed and signed within an agreed period of time. In this respect there are some fabulous websites which can only be reached by professional members and once an agent places a property, it reaches hundreds of agents across the Iberian Peninsula and EU countries. This secures a fairly quick sale if your property is priced at the right level. Some of these websites have it all figured out. They can be viewed by a fellow professional agent anywhere and sent straight away to the final prospect just with the client’s agent’s details and never disclosing the exclusive realtors name. It is a very modern marketing tool of great value to professionals.

Gibraltar, as mentioned in my former articles, has a very healthy property market where several markets get involved. The local market looking for housing, the foreign market which still comes to an important degree from mainland UK, the investors market looking for good rental income and to make a future profit out of their investment, and last but by no means least, the non-EU residents who decide to relocate and therefore look for housing for their own personal use and to meet their relocation and residency criteria. All these markets in one make demand substantially stronger than supply and keep the market moving; sometimes faster, sometimes slower, as anywhere else, but always active.