1. Focusing your search only on the area you know.
After almost 20 years of a professional career, I can say that this is the most common error. The usual process for a buyer is that before deciding to buy a house in Menorca, he already knows the island and has stayed in a hotel, in the house of friends, or even in the house of relatives who know the island well. And that’s why you may feel safer restricting your search range to only the area you know well. Big mistake! The island is small and offers real gems anywhere on it. Don’t limit yourself to the places you know, explore all of the possibilities.
2. Searching through the rubbish.
Some buyers, in their quest to find the most beautiful and economical property (in search of a bargain), put themselves through hell. And in the end, with total security, they end up in the hands of some real estate backwater, or in the hands of a shady intermediary who pretends to be a private individual and places false adverts in search of his next victim.
Choose well who you deal with and run away from the professionals who tell you that they can find you the cheapest things over other agents.
You don’t need to visit 20 properties with lots of estate agents, going from here to there, in fact, this practice will cause you a lot of confusion. Be wary of estate agents who put you in a car and show you a lot of properties without inviting you to go inside (DO NOT sign any document that says you have visited them, possibly the agent is not instructed to sell those houses and tries to compromise you).
I’ve met very switched-on people who have only visited one property and they’ve got it right. What I recommend is that you analyse the professionalism and prestige of the existing estate companies. Luckily in Menorca, there is a high level of professionalism in the real estate sector.
3. Listening too much to your contacts.
This is another of the big mistakes in the manual. The interests of your friends and even family are different from yours. And although some opinions may come in handy, they must be taken very carefully. I know the story of a famous footballer who bought his mansion next to an industrial estate because he was advised by a friend.
The same advice would be given when building or renovating a house in Menorca. If you are recommended to someone, which is very useful before hiring do all the necessary enquiries on your own. Ask them to show you their work (and you might be interested in reading my post “Reforming a house in Menorca and surviving the experience”).
4. Buy the cheapest.
This is the mistake that can cause the most problems and the most difficult to detect. Many people believe that buying the cheapest they invest their money better. Serious mistake! Over the years I have seen some of the most expensive properties on the island sold up to 4 times. Buying the best (be careful, I don’t mean the most expensive), is always the best investment. If you buy a Picasso painting you can always sell it again.
5. Discard a property because it has been on the market for a long time
This may seem like a contradiction, but I often see that the buyer attaches a lot of importance to how long the property is for sale. In fact, many times, buyers look at you with the face of a private investigator and release the question as if trying to catch you red-handed. Well, for me this data says very little, because the property can take a long time to sell for many reasons: because no good marketing work was done (bad photos, ambiguous description, etc.), because it came on the market at a very high price, or because there was simply another property under construction on the side that deterred potential buyers, and so on.
I have seen, more than once, how a property that nobody wanted has been bought by a person with vision and transformed into an exceptional property.