Thessaloniki has a developing real estate market with a lot of direct and indirect implications. Some of them will have advantages for entrepreneurs, some for investors.
Today I am writing about the most significant part of a real estate transaction – the closing stage.
When we arrived in Thessaloniki, it was clear to us that the potential of this city is tremendous. However, throughout the process of our market research we did not think to investigate the profile of the sellers of the properties. In other words, we researched the buyers’ market, renters, market prices, regulations and many other important aspects, but we forgot one crucial part. To understand who the sellers are and how to approach them.
Anyone reading this article could ask – why would the sellers be important and interesting to us?
The reason is simple. They have the product without which we wouldn’t be able to run our business.
The audience of the sellers in Thessaloniki and the transactions themselves (which are related to the purchase of the commercial properties and their conversion to residences) can be characterized by several points that are interconnected.
The sellers in Thessaloniki make up an audience that doesn’t come from a business background. In fact, a lot of times I would sit next to them at a negotiating table, and I would realize that their perception of a business meeting resembles the idea you get from movies such as The Wolf of Wall Street or any other business-related film that includes the element of negotiation and closing a deal.
One of Thessaloniki’s main problems is that even its own residents refer to the city as a “large village”. As expected, this is something that is very noticeable in the business field. Many times, we are forced to come to an agreement with people whose business understanding is very low which only makes things more difficult for us. As a result, negotiations in the city can usually take up to two months.
The lack of a warning
Unfortunately, the lack of a caveat or warning has often led to unexpected turns of events. Many times, we thought we had terminated the negotiation and had closed the deal, but the seller still sold the property to another buyer behind our backs. Of course, as we gained experience in the city, we created stronger and stronger preliminary contracts in order to protect ourselves in this matter.
Preparing the documents for purchase or sale
The bureaucracy for the preparation of both documents is not simple.
Most of the time, the sellers will try to save as much money as possible and therefore they will use a friend of a friend to export the documents to them. This leads the documents to be incorrect, so once again serious delays are caused. To prevent this from happening we opt to fund this stage ourselves and demand that the costs will be taken off the final contract.
In most of the places I know, realtors are the connecting factor between the parties. In Thessaloniki however, it is very rare for a realtor to receive exclusivity. There will be many cases where even if you close the transaction, the realtor will continue to show the property and bring in offers only to find a good enough deal for the seller and later cancel the contract with you. That’s why we strive to take any action possible in order to encourage the seller to take the property off the market right away.
The most important point for me is familiarity. I think the market in Thessaloniki is amazing for investment, perhaps the best opportunity of the decade in Europe. However, you must know the problems in the market in order to know how to deal with them and I believe that this article will help you find the way to navigate deals in Thessaloniki.
Waiting for you in the next chapter,