How to save the Spanish banks, Part 2 – Comaskey Properties

This is the second part of 15 steps the banking sector must take in order to get the liabilities off their balance sheets. The only question is will banks do it or will they wait until the ECB tells them to?

9- Give estate agents an incentive to sell the properties. We work for commission- pay it with a smile. We are generally worth every cent and the savings made in getting rid of the people currently charged with selling property for the banks will more than cover this expense.

10– Give us clear prices and costs. If we sell a property to a client, we need to know it has no debt, community fees, or outstanding anything. Do not recommend that the buyers use your legal department- it makes them suspicious that the bank is hiding something.

11– Make it easy for us to sell- we need keys, we copies of paperwork, we need access – sometimes clients buy houses on Sundays when the bank is closed so give us all of this in advance. We will do the contracts in our office, as we do with hundreds of buyers every year. With the ombudsman in place and a transparent process you can enforce a “one strike you’re out policy” for agents not following the clearly defined rules.
12– Rent properties you cant sell. Here is an example… We approached a heavily indebted developer last year who has 50 unoccupied apartments and offered to rent them all – the whole building. The revenue to him would be 15,000 euro per month. In return for our commission we would ensure he got paid his rent, maintain the pool and communal area and actually add value to the whole development. He refused, failed to sell any of them and we believe they are heading back to the banks. Getting a rental return turns properties from liabilities to assets.
13-Spend money on the properties. You have millions of euro worth of properties you want to sell. Why not take the advice we give to all our sellers- clean them up, cut the hedge, repaint them and make them sell able. Unemployment is 26% in Spain- do you think you can find a maintenance person for a small wage? Allow your newly formed Sales department to organise this.

14– Restructure current loans before people default. People are struggling in many cases to make their repayments- why not be proactive, speak to them and restructure accordingly rather than waiting for them to stop paying.

15– And finally… Do it now!

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