Work out your timescale
We recommend that you don't look seriously before you are ready to buy. Once you decide to buy a property in Spain you'll be paying a 10% non-refundable deposit and the completion process takes less time than in the UK. If you have a house to sell, whether here or in the UK and you need the proceeds to buy your new home then you're not ready to commit to a purchase.
You could end up disappointed and several thousand euros poorer a responsible agent will not let this happen! On the other hand, having a look to see what you can get for your money is not a bad idea and is obviously all part of your research. A good agent will be happy to view properties with you even if you are not ready to buy just yet.
Set your criteria and budget
Let your agent know what you are looking for and how much you have to spend. A good agent will not show you properties over your budget or ones that don't meet your essential criteria so be honest.
Find the right estate agents
You will find estate agents in a number of ways but increasingly people start their research on the internet. Good presentation of properties and plenty of information and quality photographs will probably be the first thing to attract your attention. However once you start talking to the agents you will soon get a feel for who you are going to be able to work with and trust to give you a professional service.
Talk to as many people as you can locally to find out who has a good reputation. You don't want to be hurried or pushed into making a decision and you'll find that a comprehensive after sales service is essential to your sanity!
When you're setting up your appointments, try to ensure that you will not be viewing the same property with another agent. It is common practice here for sellers to have the property listed with more than one agent. Try not to view too many houses in one day, make notes and even take your own photos (with the owner's permission, of course). This sounds obvious, but often people don't and then at the end of the day when they are discussing the properties they can very easily make up a new house with parts of all of the houses they have seen. Use your imagination and work out what you can and can’t change. Don't forget that any purchase will be a compromise on something, unless you are building your own house and that's a different story altogether!