Agents becoming less accountable!

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This topic contains 30 replies, has 13 voices, and was last updated by Profile photo of Anonymous Anonymous 8 years, 6 months ago.

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  • #54008
    Profile photo of Anonymous
    Anonymous
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    I´m sure many of the forum members here are of the same opinion that regulation and control over the real estate sector in Spain is next to non exhistent.

    So having just left a bunch of ex-agents drinking in a hotel I have become disilusioned with the prospect that now faces my industry.

    Many here on SPI have been of the opinion that the natural culling of agents is a good thing as IMHO around 80% of them were either crooks or amatures selling anything at any price for profit and greed.

    Well the sad thing is, I have just witnessed the opposite tonight.

    These ex-agents are not ex agents at all, in fact they are finding it easier to continue and ply their trade. Thanks to the likes of Multiple listing sites that I shall not name they are now dining room table enterprises with anonimous dot com names using these ML sites to offer their properties and without offices cannot be named, shamed or complained about to the local town hall.

    I heard of some unpleasant practices and easy money scams that are going on with a bunch of so called “ex-agents” – now working as an organised group. They have relinquished their office responsibilities yet now operate like a wolf-pack through vague group activities on these sites.

    I have cancelled my subscription to all MLS this evening and no longer want my properties to be available to them or any others like them.

    It seems the devil makes work for idol hands. It´s apity that no real good is coming from the mass closure of bad agents with bad practices, instead they seem to always find a way to make a fast profit from the most inoccent of facilities.

    I am really very angry tonight 🙁

  • #83302
    Profile photo of Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Participant

    @peter Good wrote:

    Thanks to the likes of Multiple listing sites that I shall not name they are now dining room table enterprises with anonimous dot com names using these ML sites to offer their properties and without offices cannot be named, shamed or complained about to the local town hall.
    ….they seem to always find a way to make a fast profit from the most inoccent of facilities.

    Unless they are posing as private sellers, they are not “trading” in accordance with Decree 218 et al and so can surely be complained about.
    Take heart! Offering a property for sale in this way does not necessarily result in making a vast profit. A sale has to be achieved first! Hopefully, thanks in part to fora like this, buyers are now wise to this sort of practice. These “estate agents” need to make a living…a few months without any commission from sales and hopefully the wheat will be sorted from the chaff. Then these “estate agents” can go back to being IT consultants or website designers or whatever they were in a past life.

  • #83303
    Profile photo of Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Participant

    Hilbilly, I couldn´t agree more. Look it takes a lot more than a website and an MLS to sell property, especially in this market. Even some of the good guys have gone bust (over reliance on a particular market source). So I wouldn´t worry about these jokers…in fact we had a client who had been touring with one of these types…the client was so frustrated and upset after one day (“the guy just wouldn´t listen!”), he was ready to leave Spain! The more desperate they get for sales, the more it shows to the client. The agents who will survive are the ones who truly know of properties that are very sellable (not on any MLS I can tell you!) and can quickly market them to shrewd buyers waiting for deals.
    So let these guys sit in the bars waiting for a sucker and offer each other support…they won´t get it from anyone else.

  • #83310
    Profile photo of Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Participant

    yep, I am afraid that the spanish agents have tarnished themselves for life with the excesses and greed of recent years. Spanish property is about to enter a decline that will last many many years, and the spanish property reputation will be damaged for even longer. Like many others on this forum I have some sympathy with the minority of decent agents, but the rest of them can go work in a paella bar so far as I am concerned. Screw them.

  • #83316
    Profile photo of Inez
    Inez
    Participant

    Hi Peter – sorry to hear of your experience last night.

    Unfortunately the Costas have always attracted opportunists, its the nature of living here. If one needs to work for a living its either with integrity, which enables you to pay the bills and have a few quid left over to enjoy, or without scruples – ie second hand car salesmen!

    There are still too many of the latter but then there always has been – and they rip off in any industry

    Hang in there, property is a recycling game – if you burn a client, they wont come back to you and they will warn their friends not to use you as well

    Reputation takes time to build up – a good one takes a few years, but you will do it as you have the right outlook and persona. Then you will have a good business and enjoy it. It alwyas used to be word of mouth that bought business in, not flash advertising and seemingly it is going back to the old ways – only good for the good guys.

  • #83317
    Profile photo of Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Participant

    I watched a programme on Sky by Amanda Lamb a couple of nights ago. She showed a British couple who went to Spain, bought only using an estate agent a plot of land, & wanted to build a house.

    They met someone who the agent said was the Mayor, showed this chap a drawing of the front elevation & after a talk in Spanish the agent said there would be no problem building it.

    They paid a builder £27,000 & went back to the UK. What a surprise, no building! The land is inside a natural park & can’t be built on.

    They are very unhappy. They said they thought the meeting with the ‘Mayor’ got them their planning permission!

    No-one, anywhere in the World would think that but these people did.

    As long as the agents who operate in Spain see people like this nothing will change.

    We are our own worse enemies.

    No solicitor, no planning permission, believing everything an agent says without checking, it is no surprise that they gety ripped off.

    There are honest agents, the trick is to find them.

    Before anyone gets exited about this post, I am not critising people who did the right thing by having solicitors etc (like the Priors) & ended up being s****d!

  • #83318
    Profile photo of Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Participant

    @inez wrote:

    Unfortunately the Costas have always attracted opportunists, its the nature of living here. If one needs to work for a living its either with integrity, which enables you to pay the bills and have a few quid left over to enjoy, or without scruples – ie second hand car salesmen!

    Have ex-pats lost touch, don’t you realise that the same goes on in UK?
    Doble glazing, telephones, energy, alarms, disability aids……….?

    @inez wrote:

    if you burn a client, they wont come back to you and they will warn their friends not to use you as well.

    Sadly untrue in some instances. Can quote the company who claimed that possibly 50% of their dealings resulted in complaints and claims of never deal with again, but the bulk of customers kept going back as the deals offered a year or so later, suited their purses.
    Result. Company sold for in excess of £100m

  • #83319
    Profile photo of Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Participant

    @rob6578 wrote:

    We are our own worse enemies.
    No solicitor, no planning permission, believing everything an agent says without checking, it is no surprise that they gety ripped off.

    But why?
    Do people buying or selling in UK just rely on the agent to handle everything for them?

  • #83321
    Profile photo of Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Participant

    That’s my point!

    In the UK no-one would buy without a solicitor, so why go to a foreign country where the laws are different, where they don’t speak the language (but expect every one they meet to speak english) & trust the first person they meet to tell them the truth.

    I know there are plenty of people on this & other forums who have had lawyers & been let down, but for goodness sake, the worst lawyer has got to be better than no lawyer.

    Some years ago my brother wanted to buy a property in France & he went to an english estate agent in Brittany, found a nice house, paid a deposit, got the contract in French, & when he said he would get his lawyer to translate it the agent got very exited, said ‘don’t you trust me’? ‘I won’t do business with people who don’t trust me’, took the contract back & gave him his deposit back. He didn’t buy from that company, but how many others did because they were intimidated?

  • #83322
    Profile photo of Inez
    Inez
    Participant

    Hi mg – yes I guess I have been here too long and I had forgotten in the UK similar goes on.

    Its just that it keeps raising its head here in Spain and also there are more bad than good – the good dont have to finances to compete with the baddies, I guess we dont sell as much as we dont force, intimidate or cajole people to buy from us.

    Of course the media hit on the bad more than the good so its a rather unbalanced view out there.

    All in the name of business!

  • #83327
    Profile photo of Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Participant

    rob

    we had a similar experience to your brother, though over breach of contract details. Our Spanish lawyer at the time, advised us to complete, even though the development had no LFO, no BG, was built well under contract size and over 18 months late!!. When i said i though his advice to complete was crazy, (bearing in mind the above), he said. ”how dare you call my judgement crazy”, i am your lawyer!!

    After taking advice from some good people on this forum, i changed to another lawyer, whose first letter from our developers, said ‘ i’m sorry to inform you, that your clients apartment in his contract, has been sold by mistake……… they then said to our new lawyer, ‘ we can offer a replacement, but it’s just over half the contract size. Just to add salt to the wound, they wouldn’t even offer a discount!

    can you believe it, when we sued for breach of contract, the developer claimed they had never recieved our deposit from our agent anyway, (depite we have a contract with their name on it) so we have had to prove where our money has gone from the start in 2002!

    We have been well and truly conned. Anyway, not suprisingly, our new lawyer is confident of a win in court, but it will be at least 7 years of fighting to get justice, since putting down our deposit.

    If Spain is ever to really recover, in my opinion, it must tighten up on regulation and punishment to stop people going through our nightmare. There is no excuse for treating people like this.

  • #83328
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    Anonymous
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    @goodstich44 wrote:

    If Spain is ever to really recover, in my opinion, it must tighten up on regulation and punishment to stop people going through our nightmare. There is no excuse for treating people like this.

    Absolutely right, I’d like to see a lot more regulation and enforcement.

    But the conmen will still ignore the rules, and hope to get away with it. Education of potential buyers is needed, but how do you get the message across to so many people?

  • #83338
    Profile photo of Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Participant

    yes, it’s a tricky one. Some people will no doubt go rushing in, without their brain in gear, whatever good advice they are given. I don’t like to see people using this an an excuse to cloud the real issue though, as some on here do. That is an insult to the majority of buyers.

    Conmen, as you say, will ignore the rules, because they can!! It surely comes back to stricter regulation and harsher punishment for those not playing by the rules.

    If you pay somone to look after your finances, from a legal point of view, which we all have to at some stage of purchase, then that should be a minimum requirement, or face very strict penalties.

  • #83339
    Profile photo of Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Participant

    Completely agree.

    I’m certainly no expert on Spanish law, but it does seem to me that they need to overhaul a lot of laws. You only have to look at the number of corruption scandals to see that things need to change a lot

    I do wonder if this is in part due to the massive changes that have happened to Spain over the last 20-30 years. Maybe the legislation just lagged behind.

    In any case I do hope that things get changed, dramatically!!

  • #83341
    Profile photo of Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Participant

    How can Spain regulate fictional companies on MLS.?

    Were are these peoples offices?

    Internet companies are virtual not real. That worries me alot.

  • #83345
    Profile photo of Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Participant

    Peter

    yes, they’ll find a way won’t they. At least though if regulation was improved for those ‘real’ one’s, that would be a start. If change could be visable enough for the media to report on, then it must help.

  • #83347
    Profile photo of Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Participant

    @inez wrote:

    It alwyas used to be word of mouth that bought business in, not flash advertising and seemingly it is going back to the old ways – only good for the good guys.

    That is a very interesting point Inez.

    With the widespread corruption and scandals so well publicised, buyers are naturally going to be increasingly circumspect and more sceptical, and I would assume, be on the lookout for trustworthy referrals.

    A good (or should that be Good!) reputation should be worth its weight in gold.

    😀

  • #83349
    Profile photo of katy
    katy
    Spectator

    It dos not really matter which agent is used if you only use them to show you a house and put in an offer. If the offer is accepted that is the end of your contact with them. Then deal only with a Surveyor and a Lawyer, the Agent is off the scene.

  • #83350
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    Anonymous
    Participant

    @katy wrote:

    It dos not really matter which agent is used if you only use them to show you a house and put in an offer. If the offer is accepted that is the end of your contact with them. Then deal only with a Surveyor and a Lawyer, the Agent is off the scene.

    Katy, would you please tell that to Len and Violet Harvey who telephoned me last night at 11:30pm to say their Sky TV went off in the house I sold to them in March 😯 Honestly. 😯

    They are nice people though.

    Iano 😳

  • #83353
    Profile photo of Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Participant

    @peter Good wrote:

    Iano 😳

    Steady Peter, I’m only assuming you’ll have lots of referrals! 😀 😀

  • #83354
    Profile photo of katy
    katy
    Spectator

    Yes Peter, I know what you mean 😆 We had trouble shaking off someone who we sold to, was turning into a full-time job! Therin lies the problem though, they are leaving themselves wide open for a shark to step in.

  • #83355
    Profile photo of Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Participant

    @iano wrote:

    @peter Good wrote:
    Iano 😳

    Steady Peter, I’m only assuming you’ll have lots of referrals! 😀 😀

    Oh no, my dignity and reputation destroyed by another iano one-liner. 😀

    Sadly iano referrals are in short supply except for free advice on all things to do with careers, Sky TV and trendy eateries.

    I even had a Guardia Civil officer ask me today where he could find a book shop 😀 😀 😀

  • #83356
    Profile photo of Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Participant

    @peter Good wrote:

    I even had a Guardia Civil officer ask me today where he could find a book shop 😀 😀 😀

    They can read ❓ 😯

  • #83357
    Profile photo of Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Participant

    @hillybilly wrote:

    @peter Good wrote:
    I even had a Guardia Civil officer ask me today where he could find a book shop 😀 😀 😀

    They can read ❓ 😯

    Only traffic violation fines apparently hillbillly 😥

  • #83358
    Profile photo of Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Participant

    @peter Good wrote:

    Oh no, my dignity and reputation destroyed by another iano one-liner. 😀

    Ouch! 😮

    Hope that one makes us quits now?!! 🙂 🙂

  • #83360
    Profile photo of Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Participant

    I´ll get my coat iano 😀 😀 😀

  • #83368
    Profile photo of Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Participant

    @peter Good wrote:

    How can Spain regulate fictional companies on MLS.?

    Were are these peoples offices?

    Internet companies are virtual not real. That worries me alot.

    If MLS sites are the ones I think then I think sellers would be traceable. It’s really very easy to track down most internet users, and takes a degree of knowledge and sophistication to remain truly untraceable, I really doubt that most of the conmen would have the intelligence and understanding to publicise there listings, whilst remaining untraceable to the authorities.

    Of course the other route that is sometimes tried is simply to prosecute the hosting company. I feel this is a classic case of “where there’s a will there’s a way”, we just need the will.

  • #83373
    Profile photo of Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Participant

    @katy wrote:

    It dos not really matter which agent is used if you only use them to show you a house.

    I understand what you’re saying Katy, up to a point.

    We’re now off-topic I know but, as an example, my wife works for a small inland Spanish-owned EA, and most of their properties are multi-listed with various other agents in the area, and at various prices.

    They put an emphasis on after-sales and providing a good service, hoping the added value will persuade buyers (mainly local Spanish) to use, and refer them, rather than the guys down the road.

    Because of what has happened in the past, I believe a good local reputation is going to be increasingly important for EAs, Mortgage Brokers, Developers, Lawyers or anyone else involved in the property game.

    I believe any future buyer, being a lot better informed now, will truly beware.

  • #83374
    Profile photo of Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Participant

    Unfortunately it seems some of the rogue agents still in existence received a nice plug from the Telegraph last week. This won’t help purchasers trying to sort out the wheat from the chaff:

    quote article (24/5/08) entitled:
    Telegraph Homes Abroad: Here’s one you can trust
    “Of course, the risks can never be completely eliminated but sensible precautions include checking whether an agency is a member of the Federation of Overseas Property Developers, Agents and Consultants (FOPDAC)or the Association of International Property Professionals (AIPP)”.

    Looks like the AIPP and the dodgy members in their midst have achieved the type of endorsemnt/recognition they’ve always been after.
    Smack on the leg, Telegraph.

  • #83375
    Profile photo of katy
    katy
    Spectator

    Looking back I think the Telegraph were one of the main newspaper culprits in talking up the benefits of off-plan, flipping etc. Not just in Spain but all the other “next big thing” stories.

  • #83377
    Profile photo of Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Participant
    katy wrote:
    Yes Peter, I know what you mean 😆 We had trouble shaking off someone who we sold to, was turning into a full-time job! Therin lies the problem though, they are leaving themselves wide open for a shark to step in.

    I am not an agent but as I am fluent in Spanish many people ask me for help, the problem iwas that they expeced t me to make umpteen phone calls,visit offices etc and then offer me a “menu del dia” as reward.

    I now tell people that I charge 12 euros an hour plus cost of phone calls, if I use my car it is at 20 c/euro per km. This frightens a lot off.I suppose they make friends with a bar room lawyer, who promises to sort out their problems for a couple of drinks and they end up even deeper in the mire. It saves me wasting my time though. People must realise that if you pay peanuts you get monkeys. Over the years I have saved many people a small fortune usually I can sort things out for them in a 1/10 th of the time they would do it in even if they are able to do it.

    Most of the new people who contact me are referals.

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