You have planned to spend some months in Barcelona and you are still uncertain of where to live. Faced with the multitude of offers in Barcelona, it can seem crazy to try to reserve an apartment online, and especially from far away. ShBarcelona can help clarify the process.
Requirements prior to reserving an apartment online
Before searching for an apartment, make a list of the things you want in order of priority (for example, not the bottom floor, yes to a balcony and dishwasher, etc.). This simplifies the process and helps manage your search.
Also keep in mind that the neighborhoods of Barcelona are all very different from each other. Take your time choosing your neighborhood according to your lifestyle and preferences. We can help you through this article: Which neighborhood to choose.
Pay special attention to the websites you are searching through. If the website puts you in direct contact with an individual landlord, don´t pay anything until you have visited and are sure the property exists (see our article about real estate fraud). If you complete your search online through a real estate company website, verify their reputation with a quick Google search or on social media.
Grant yourself a ¨visit¨ through a third party or via video
Visit the apartment before reserving. If you are not there, it is possible for a third party to visit. If this is impossible, request a video of the apartment and a floor plan to help you better visualize the layout of the rooms. You can also request that the landlord or agency organize a virtual visit through a video call via Skype, Snapchat or another app. This way you avoid unpleasant surprises upon your arrival.
Remember as well to let them know about any concerns you have about the day to day in the apartment, facilities, common areas, neighbors, etc.
Be sure to carefully read the terms of the contract before paying or signing any document.
Deciding to take the next step
Don´t be surprised at having to pay the first month´s rent when you make the reservation. It serves as a deposit to show your commitment to the rental. If you cancel your reservation, you will not be returned this money. Be careful when you pay this deposit! Don´t trust private companies that require bank transfers, as they are usually rip-off´s. Pay directly to the bank account of the agency or through their web page.
Before reserving, make a list of the pros and cons of the apartment. We strongly recommend that before committing, either you visit or request that a third party in the city visit the apartment. If this is impossible, be sure to verify the reputation of the agency online.
To help you formulate proper questions, here you will find the most common disappointments with booking online, apart from the previous list of requirements:
-Neighbors (wall to wall, soundproofed, etc.)
Go into it thinking of how to ask what will happen if the apartment does not meet your expectations. If you are dealing with truly committed professionals, they will know exactly what to say to calm you down and not disappoint you.