For a long time it was understood that the traditional real estate agency was the only intermediary in a sale. But its model is designed to offer service to the seller and the needs of the buyer are diluted in the process.
In Spain, Barcelona concentrates 60% of these companies to aid the buyer. The Catalan company Nexitum, founded in 2015, aims to popularize this service and commit itself to the client, starting at a fixed rate, accompanying them from the moment they adjusts their budget to the signature before the notary.
"Our client is anyone who can buy an apartment."
For a long time, real estate business worked by going to the same real estate venture for both putting the house on sale and to buy. "We found that the buyer believed, wrongly, that he was a real estate client, but it is not like that. They have a client and it is the seller who hires them to sell their apartment as expensive as possible and in the shortest time possible," says Helena Gallardo, founder of Nexitum and responsible for their legal area. However, the buyer's interests are totally opposed: "He wants to buy as cheaply as possible and as safely as possible," adds Gallardo.
A consolidated figure in other countries
The job of the real estate agent being dedicated to the buyer is not new; the practice was born in the United States in the 90s, where there are even regulations that prevents the same person from acting as an advisor for the buyer and the seller.
"Here the market is regulated so that we talk about the 'real estate broker' but it is something that is contradictory," says Gallardo.
The objective of this position extends to the Spanish real estate market, where they actively avoid conflict of interest between buyer and seller. Nexitum clarifies that this is not to the detriment of the seller: "Our intention is that the market is in the hands of good professionals who advise the seller, but also good professionals who advise the buyer exclusively."
"The market should have good professionals who advise the seller, but also professionals who advise the buyer exclusively."
In August 2015 the Real Estate Personal Shopper Association was set up in Spain, of which Helena Gallardo and Jordi Clotet, the founders of Nexitum, are members of the board of directors. The intention, in addition to having a deontological code for this figure in Spain, is to meet a series of requirements "to avoid intrusion and give guarantees of a quality service," explain the founders of Nexitum.
The work they offer is not limited to visiting and finding apartments that fit the interests of the client, "we save time and worry," says Clotet. Thus, they are responsible for what documentation the floor must have in order, identify and prioritize the client's needs to find the best product, its feasibility or correct hidden defects of the process. "When we detect the product that fits, we do a comprehensive 'check list' where we not only validate technical aspects, also the farm itself, what neighbors it will have, what premises there will be in the building ... We investigate everything to see if there are any incidence that makes you discard the purchase ", Gallardo details.
Popularize the personal real estate shopper
One of the mistakes is confusing a personal real estate shopper with an 'elitist' service, a high budget and high expectations, something that, at least since Nexitum, deny: "Our client is anyone who can buy a flat. If your economy has that purchasing power, you are already a Nexitum customer," explains Gallardo. The founders of Nexitum want to "popularize this service oriented to the buyer, who is the one who feels greater insecurities in the operation" - either "the couple who buy their first home, parents who are looking for one for their son who comes to study in the city , to an older couple that sells the big apartment and wants a smaller one."
Nexitum emphasizes the idea that their service "is not directed to the client that wants to speculate".
"We do not rent our service for this type of clients," explains Clotet. In that line, Gallardo says that if the advent of the personal real estate shopper had been settled in the country much earlier, "many buyers could have avoided situations as serious as an eviction, since they would have had an expert advising them if the mortgage they signed was the right one."
"Many situations of the crisis would have been avoided if one had had an expert advising if the mortgage that was signed was the right one."
One of the functions that they develop from the legal area is to make a study with all the mortgages offered by the financial sector, looking at the details of the commissions and their conditions. "The customer is usually very lost and he trusts that the bank will give him the best product, but it is important that he is advised and informed by someone neutral for something that will last 20, 30 or 40 years," adds Gallardo.
In this case, Nexitum does not work on commissions as with traditional real estate agencies, but for fixed fees that are established at the beginning of the contract between client and company. This fixed rate "covers all the needs that our client can have", explains Clotet. That is, from the location of the house, legal advice (as is advising which mortgage is the most appropriate for your economy), technical (an architect checks if the farm meets the minimum requirements) and even a negotiation of the final price, "that sometimes the reduction we achieve far exceeds the cost of our fees," adds Clotet.
"As the client's needs are not to sell as quickly as possible, their work is not under pressure. At least this is how both Gallardo and Clotet tell us, who say that their clients "feel less burdened if someone is helping them from all aspects of decision-making".
The personal real estate shopper, unlike the current agent, does not work with a specific offer, his job is to trace from all the possibilities offered by the market. From Nexitum, they explain, that is to work not only with agencies or real estate portals, but also with lawyers, property managers, "we even do a field work, going for a goal, saying that we are looking for a flat with such characteristics. revenue that gives, "says Clotet.
Your market? The purchase, not the rent
The service offered by Nexitum is designed for the client who is looking to buy real estate, so they don't serve to those who are looking for a rental property.
"We are talking about the real estate sector in both cases, but they are very different markets," says Clotet. "There are companies that give service to everything, but we think it is better to dedicate ourselves to something concrete and give the best service". In addition, Clotet adds that the rent "is a market that right now is out of control, with prices and at a hellish pace. Therefore, we can not offer the quality that we want to give," he points out.
In this sense, they clarify that it is important that a professional is always the one who advises in the process of a purchase, because "a good professional so that he does not help you to buy the floor either, it must be someone who looks for the family economy, that warns of the risks and avoids the errors," adds Clotet.
"Many notaries tell us that they feel more relaxed when they see a client who, on the day of signing, knows which firm to sign," says Gallardo, "and that is what most comforts us about our work.”
This article was written and published in Spanish and has been translated into English. Click here to read the original article.
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