How to choose a good estate agent on the Costa del Sol

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    In an area so popular with second home buyers, the Costa del Sol has literally hundreds of estate agents. Some have been around for decades while others are newbies. Many are proficient and reliable, but a few tarnish the profession with their malpractices. But if you’re buying a property, how do you choose a good estate agent on the Costa del Sol? How do you sort the wheat from the chaff or the good eggs from the bad?

    We’ve compiled a list of must-have characteristics that all good estate agents should have. When you’re looking for one to help you find the home of your dreams, keep this list in mind. And if the estate agent you’re thinking of dealing with doesn’t tick all these boxes, move on to another one.

    We’ve listed the essential traits in alphabetical order, but each is as important as the others.

    Attention to detail

    The best business is done carefully and with attention to detail. Choose an estate agent who has everything under control and knows exactly what what’s, where and when.


    The best agents will find out what you want before they even open their list of homes for sales. They’ll make time to ask you plenty of questions so that they have the best possible idea of the property you want and need.

    Curious about what buying a property on the Costa del Sol involves? Read our resources.


    Real estate might be all about property, but people form an essential part of it too. Look for an estate agent with passion, the motivation to find you the home of your dreams. In short, an agent driven by the urge to serve you, the customer not just by the money they’ll earn in their commission.


    You’ll also want an agent who’s enthusiast about what they do and how they help buyers find their dream home. You’ll be excited about the prospect of buying so it helps to have a professional who shares your passion.


    Understanding how a property market works, its values and trends doesn’t happen overnight. Nor do negotiation skills and market knowledge. It therefore makes sense to choose an estate agent with a proven track record.

    And in the case of the Costa del Sol, the longer the better – the estate agents with years of business under their belt have experienced the market in its different cycles. They understand what the market does when it bursts and most importantly, how it recovers. A long track record also means the agent will have a good idea of future trends and their possible consequences.

    Did you know? Realista was founded on the Costa del Sol in 1992.

    Good communication

    Behind every successful business transaction lies good communication and when we say good, we mean clear, regular and in writing. The best estate agents on the Costa del Sol provide you with frequent updates especially when there’s a change in circumstances. And even if they communicate by phone, they always follow up in writing so that you and they have a record.


    You’re making one of your biggest investments ever. Tens of thousands of your hard-earned euros are at stake. So, honesty is a fundamental trait in a good estate agent on the Costa del Sol. Look for an agent who is upfront about every aspect of the transaction including their commission.

    Listening skills

    Hand-in-hand with curiosity goes the ability to listen. The best estate agents don’t just ask you questions; they listen carefully to your answers, take note and then use the knowledge to serve you.

    Long-term relationship

    Good agents look on each sale not as a business transaction but as the chance to help buyers fulfil their lifestyle and/or investment objectives. They see it as a relationship and as such, something that needs nurturing and building on. The best are in it for the long term and you’ll probably turn to them when you want to sell or buy another property.

    Market knowledge

    Experience brings knowledge and the best estate agents know the local markets like the back of their hands. They know neighbourhoods in detail, the pros and cons of a particular area and best of all, can match your requirements to certain parts of the Costa del Sol. They understand that a retired couple will have very different requirements to a young family and can point you to the right places accordingly.

    Market knowledge also provides insight on prices and trends. A good agent will be able to tell you if the asking price is fair or inflated and know how low you can go when it comes to offers.

    Looking for detailed area guides? Check out ours to the western Costa del Sol.


    Which leads us on to our next essential trait in real estate agents on the Costa del Sol: the all-important negotiating skills. They’re fundamental to ensure that you get the best price for your dream home or investment. Give and take is part and parcel of business and a good agent will know exactly how much to take from and give to each interested party to ensure a win-win all round.

    Online savvy

    Property has increasingly moved online and since the advent of the pandemic, the internet has become a vital tool in transactions. Good agents are tech-savvy – their websites load quickly and their search tools make it as easy as possible to find properties for your shortlist.

    When travel restrictions are in place, the best estate agents have online tools at your disposal – virtual tours, 360 walk-throughs plus photos and videos so that you can see the property as if you were there yourself.


    It goes without saying that a good estate agent on the Costa del Sol is professional at all times. In the way they dress, how they respond to enquiries, their corporate image and the reviews they have from satisfied clients. Any agent who isn’t 100% professional isn’t worth your time.


    A good agent answers your queries and questions. Always. The best keeps the communication channels flowing smoothly and continuously to ensure you get the best possible customer service. And as we said before, those channels are clear and in writing.


    A very similar characteristic to honesty and just as important. Make sure your agent is absolutely transparent and hides nothing about a property, its owners or the transaction. You will obviously have an independent lawyer looking after the legal side of things, but you want transparency from your agent too.

    Discover the best lawyers in Marbella for real estate.

    Try us for size

    Realista has been helping buyers and investors find the right property in the greater Marbella area since 1992. So, we know a thing or two about the local real estate market because for the last three decades, we have honestly and transparently helped foreigners buy a home.

    We assist you at every stage. We’re on hand from start to finish in the actual transaction and then afterwards for a multitude of services you might need. They include refurbishment, interior design and letting your property. We also provide full property management so that you know that home is in the best possible hands when you’re not there.

    But don’t take our word for it – find out whether Realista ticks all the boxes for a good estate agent on the Costa del Sol by getting in touch. We’d love to hear from you.