Can you remember what you were doing when you first thought of owning your own piece of Spain? Were you inspired by someone who had already done so? Perhaps on a rainy windswept day you opted for one of those properties abroad exhibitions which captivated and reassured you? For others it will have happened as they sat at home, leafed through brochures, sipped their wine and talked it through together.
It was a priceless moment when it suddenly occurred to you that you could cross the fantasy bridge and turn your dreams into reality?
It is a wonderful experience through which every emotion; fear to hopeful anticipation suffuses the senses like the after-glow from a heady wine. Some describe their purchase as the ultimate white knuckle ride. This is where apprehension descends into fear and morphs into exhilaration.
I remember asking a delightful couple how they felt when, after making the decision to buy, watched the paper-chase commence? Sarah laughed. “We were looking cool but underneath the desk we were holding each others hands till it hurt.”
THE ORGANISER OF THE ESCAPE COMMITTEE
After introducing myself as the Organiser of the Escape Committee I remind clients there are three big things that happen in our lives. Our career, our partner, and the home we will buy.
It is a big decision. 70% of fed up Britons have a home in Spain at the top of their wish list yet only 7% will actually achieve their dream. Reassuringly 91.3% of buyers will be happy they did so.
It does take courage and many of those who don’t buy simply lack confidence. Often one is keen but the other won’t budge; objections are raised. How often have I heard it said, ’We could have bought this fantastic property but I couldn’t convince her/him. You know what they are going for now?”
Eight years ago we were selling delightful semi-detached two-bed bungalows for just £56,000, yet many potential buyers held back. You want to know what they are going for now? Don’t ask.
There are two kinds of people. Those who say look before you leap. Others who say he who hesitates is lost. Caution is a good emotion. It stops us doing foolish things, hurting ourselves. Sadly it is a two-edged sword and as often deprives us of opportunity.
Everyone is different. I recall strolling with a developer’s agent when our conversation was interrupted by his mobile phone ringing. He took the call after which he pointed to a building phase. “See the top row?” I nodded. “The client on the phone; he has just bought the lot.”
BEATS BUYING LOTTERY TICKETS
At the other end of the scale many spend years browsing web sites, reading brochures or visiting exhibitions. They tie themselves in knots and indecision translates into failure. People will buy a lottery ticket and dream of how they will spend their millions though the chance of their winning is 1/100,000,000. Yet they will manana-manana over a Mediterranean home and lifestyle when the chance of success is 91%/100%.
Browsing on-line or through brochures is a ritual but very few buy a property they identified as ‘perfect‘ in the brochure. A friend at the heart of the industry for many years says, “Of hundreds of properties sold I recall only seven who bought a property picked from a brochure.”
Is it a joint decision? Only if buying meat. Otherwise it is the lady who gives the nod at which point he who wears the trousers turns to the company rep and declares boldly: ‘It’s a done deal.’
Dermot McLaughlin is managing director of southerncomfit.com