The key to success in the property hunt is this... find ONE good broker and stick to him! It is as easy as that and I am going to explain to you just why in this post.
It is true that anyone can be a real agent/broker here and the quality of the services variates A LOT. One can find a man selling oranges and at the same time promoting his latest listings on a stand next to him, but also serious agencies backed up with money and tremendous experience in the business. In Spain, in contrast to Sweden, there is usually no exclusivity on the properties which are up for sale. This means that many agents might have the exact same object, with the same pictures and most of the time for the same price. All of the serious brokers collaborate since they can access the entire market on behalf of their buyers, even the properties from the other brokers, without the buyers having to spend one euro extra. The broker representing the sellers and the one representing the buyer simple splits the commission paid by the sellers between the two.
The buyers can pick and choose from everything they see online and just email it to their broker who schedules the viewings in the most efficient way. So instead of the buyer personally trying to create a time efficient viewing schedule, calling 1000 different agents, remembering the emails, ref numbers, planning how to get from property 1 to 100 in a new country and sometimes in a new language he finds a broker he can trust to do this job. Apart from that, since the broker hopefully has got experience (negotiating deals on a daily basis), knows the pricing in the area, and can identify leverage to his advantage, the buyer has got a bigger chance to get the price he wants.
It depends on each agency, but HusmanHagberg for instance ensures that high quality standards are applied throughout the entire process. We make sure that the buyers are secure and protected. As a buyer, you also have access to HusmanHagberg's contact network in Spain, such as lawyers (they speak all languages), bank contacts, insurance companies, currency exchange companies, renovation companies, IKEA offers exclusively for HusmanHagberg such as price worthy furniture packages put together by their in-house designers, gardeners, internet providers, etc. HusmanHagberg is there for the customer before, during and after the purchase so if you are a first time buyer or you just want to make your life easier this is the key to success for you.
So to summarise everything... the buyer can get access to the local properties from the man selling oranges but have the quality standards of a serious real estate agency applied throughout the process, in his own language, and for FREE!