Estate Agents’ Commission

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This topic contains 22 replies, has 12 voices, and was last updated by Profile photo of Chris McCarthy Chris McCarthy 6 years, 3 months ago.

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  • #55807
    Profile photo of Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Participant

    I am planning to view a number of resale properties in Spain and I want to know what sort of commission estate agents are likely to want.

    Clearly they will want to take as much as they can get away with and I understand that unlike the UK agents do not take their commission as a % of the sale payable by the vendor.

    Can anyone help me with advice on what an estate agent would view as a good commission, an OK commission and a poor commission.

    Gary

  • #100342
    Profile photo of Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Participant

    There is no hard & fast rule in the “Wild West” In most cases the commission is loaded onto the price this couldvrange from 5% to take a guess ? This practise makes the property selling & may not reflect market price and as result Vendors can be sitting on the property for years.
    Some load it on the price & still expect an addition amout. .

  • #100344
    Profile photo of Chris McCarthy
    Chris McCarthy
    Participant

    I suppose this is my area, or my area for my area.

    Don’t want to be cryptic or difficult, but it depends on:

    Which area of Spain you are looking in.

    It also depends which type of property you buy, you say resale but the vendors of same can be multi-various these days; private vendors, bank repossessions, finished developer units sold on for previous investors and they may have different rates.

    And then, well it depends of course on the “Agent” are they a real agent like say – Fuengi – who is on this forum quite a bit, I understand has a real office, website and genuine listings or, are you going with some Back Bedroom Agent who has an alluring website, supposed 50 years combined experience and no listings but all the “know, you gonnna need mate” you won’t have a clue there, the Vendor may be paying up to 20%.

    As long as you do your research correctly, as long as you get a clear idea of property values in your preferred area, you need to work on the actual Selling Price to you, plus Costs. And compare this with what else is available.

    But, in my area, the genuine Estate Agents, I would say like Fuengi will probably charge 5% and for good historical, logical and financial reasons, so please look at other threads as to why not 1% like the UK, you need to think of the USA and almost everywhere else being the same 5% and the UK being kind of unique. But the argument has been had elsewhere on the forum, more than once!

    Also consider that in my area the Costa del Sol, the reputable agents, the ones who actually do list genuine private vendor resales will also mostly share their listings and so be recieving usually a 2.5% fee being a split commission from Vendors.

    Get yourself a real agent, and don’t be too worried about the commission is my advice, a real agent wants good business from you in Referrals for the future, and will always look after you, but now picking that agent…. mmm, you will get some better advice from others than me on that one.

    Hope that helps.

  • #100345
    Profile photo of Inez
    Inez
    Participant

    Hi Gary, best thing to do is ask for the asking price before you view. The price will include the agents commission – unless you are going via a property finder who then charges you for finding the property for you.

    Agency commission varies, standard rates are from 2.5% to 10% but again included in the price. Some of the higher fees are because the agent and property are logged onto a central sharing system in which case the fee is split between several parties.

    Ultimately if you are happy with the property at the price you have it for then does it matter?

    Good luck with your search.

  • #100346
    Profile photo of Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Participant

    There are 350,000 properties for sale on fotocasa (mostly private). Plus tour any area and you will see 1000’s of private for-sale signs everwhere.

    Approach a seller directly!!

  • #100347
    Profile photo of petej
    petej
    Participant

    Hi Gary
    You wont be paying the commission directly so as Inez says it does not matter, one thing I would say is once you have found somewhere you like look as hard as you can on the web/local agents to see if you can see it with another agent at a lower price (obviously before you make an offer) as this happens a lot

    Good Luck 😉

  • #100351
    Profile photo of Chris McCarthy
    Chris McCarthy
    Participant

    @jp1 wrote:

    Approach a seller directly!!

    Can be good advice and I bought my last house directly, so am not going to knock that.

    But, there can be real pitfalls there as well, it isn’t that easy, for a good dozen or so reasons – which is why agents exist in the first place – perhaps do both, but if you are new to buying in Spain I wouldn’t just assume that approaching a seller directly means saving money, far from it in many cases I know of.

  • #100352
    Profile photo of Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Participant

    Commission CAN be an academic and meaningless point, as the following actual example will show.

    At the beginning of the year a villa in Las Chapas Playa (CDS) was on the market with several agents with asking prices ranging from just under a million Euros to 550,000 Euros – an embarrassingly large difference in anyone’s book. It had been on the web for a long time at figures ranging between these extremities, but was advertised as sold in March/April with the agent who was asking the lower figure.

    The agent who was, AND IS STILL (I’ve no idea why), asking the 1m euro figure is ‘Your Viva’. Even if ‘Your Viva’s’ commission was .00001%, so what? You’d have still paid in the region of half a million Euros too much for the villa if you’d have paid ‘Your Viva’s’ asking price, compared with the actual selling agent who (for all we know) may have been charging 20%!!

    Just beware….

  • #100353
    Profile photo of Chris McCarthy
    Chris McCarthy
    Participant

    @Snowy wrote:

    Commission CAN be an academic and meaningless point, as the following actual example will show.
    At the beginning of the year a villa in Las Chapas Playa (CDS) was on the market with several agents with asking prices ranging from just under a million Euros to 550,000 Euros – an embarrassingly large difference in anyone’s book. It had been on the web for a long time at figures ranging between these extremities, but was advertised as sold in March/April with the agent who was asking the lower figure.
    Just beware….

    That is a really good point, and it has been covered extensively elsewhere on the forum as well, if a bit harsh to have a pop at the yourVIVA website specifically when for various reasons that can and does happen with virtually every single agents website, again for a dozen reasons covered in other threads.

    Oh for a system like the UK or USA where one vendor listed their property once with one agent. But again that is another issue covered elsewhere, but all the more reason to be practical and analytical out there, and understand yes that instance can and does happen.

    Be help Snowy if you gave the exact reference of the property either on the forum or by PM. Thanks Chris.

  • #100358
    Profile photo of angie
    angie
    Spectator

    Gary, if viewing through an agent, first check to see if the property is listed with other agents because the price can differ wildly between agents, I mean sometimes over 100k on an average property.

    If you settle on an agent and trust his advice, there are some good ones but word of mouth is the key, then ask him outright to tell what commission has been included in the price and prove it! A good agent should not baulk from this request.

    However, as previously mentioned here, there are literally 1000’s of private sales but check their legality first.

    Lastly, don’t use the agent’s recommended lawyer for conveyancing, get an independent one. 😉

  • #100359
    Profile photo of katy
    katy
    Spectator

    It is difficult to cut out the agent if you are not already living in Spain. Most of the se vende signs are actually an agent when you call, as are the ones on fotocasa. Many that are trying to sell privately are often not physically in Spain, others only speak spanish.

    As someone said cutting out the agent doesn’t always equate with paying a lower price.

    What does need clarifying is who is the agent working for…buyer or seller. Obviously it should be the seller if paying the commission but when we have sold it sometimes seems a bit muddied with the agent seemingly taking the buyers side in negotiations. I prefer the USA system.

  • #100362
    Profile photo of Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Participant

    That is a really good point, and it has been covered extensively elsewhere on the forum as well, if a bit harsh to have a pop at the yourVIVA website specifically when for various reasons that can and does happen with virtually every single agents website, again for a dozen reasons covered in other threads.

    Oh for a system like the UK or USA where one vendor listed their property once with one agent. But again that is another issue covered elsewhere, but all the more reason to be practical and analytical out there, and understand yes that instance can and does happen.

    Be help Snowy if you gave the exact reference of the property either on the forum or by PM. Thanks Chris.

    Is this the same Chris McCarthy that claimed on this board that he was nothing to do with Viva anymore? ❓

  • #100366
    Profile photo of Chris McCarthy
    Chris McCarthy
    Participant

    @man in Marbella wrote:

    Is this the same Chris McCarthy that claimed on this board that he was nothing to do with Viva anymore? ❓

    Jeeze that would probably be me, but I don’t think I ever made the claim as you state it, actually the reverse, and whilst I am a tad uncomfortable having to talk about this for reasons of commercial posting etc and because I don’t actually think individual companies should ever be talked about by name, let me qualify what I think I said previously, and / or what would be accurate at this time and before:

    I have no official involvement at this time – no, but I am certainly doing everything I can to help, work with, advise and encourage a whole bunch of people I worked with for more than a decade – yes. That is my choice and I am really up for doing what I can to help privately and personally. I just love the Costa and although I spend half my time in the UK, I am back and forth so always involved here in a whole heap of things, and as long as the guys in different areas and companies need some of my time, they can have it freely and unofficially.

    It is too long and detailed, involved and actually private to say why I would have no official involvement, or would want to at this time, but rest assured I do my best and am entirely open and transparent about it all. And as you can see from this forum I am far from invisible, and have no reason to be anything other than entirely open about this.

    So… on the subject of Snowy’s comment about a certain listing by a certain company, I asked the guys about this, and they don’t recognise the case, I asked Snowy for a reference number but none has come back yet, the guys don’t follow SPI at all, in fact they think my involvement here is a bit “nuts” sometimes – but what do they know, I enjoy it – and they think Snowy has perhaps got the wrong end of the stick really, or is misinformed elsewhere, which again happens a lot when people talk about things that they think they know all about, but perhaps actually do not, which is why again, I don’t think company names should ever really be involved, cos if someone does have the wrong end of the information, then it is a bit unfair no?

    But if Snowy wants to add a bit more proof to the pudding the guys are really up for investigating that, for now they are as bemused as Snowy with regard to the circumstances outlined and actually would like their name deleted / edited if Snowy would do so from the post, but that is up to Snowy.

    Hope that answers your question on me and Snowy’s comment about a company that may have been misrepresented here.

  • #100369
    Profile photo of Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Participant

    Chris , re: your above post, have sent you a pm

  • #100370
    Profile photo of Chris McCarthy
    Chris McCarthy
    Participant

    @Snowy wrote:

    Chris , re: your above post, have sent you a pm

    Hi Snowy,

    Thanks for the PM and the details, the guys found the listing – thanks!

    It is not however their listing it is one of another agency, however they would probably have had it in on the site twice, both with the actual agency that did sell it, and the one that did not, and obviously the latter still does not know that it was sold, and therefore has not taken it off their own system, which is why it will probably be appearing on perhaps 100 websites. Not just the one you refer to.

    Impossible to say though at this time what the actual selling agency had it promoted as before an offer was accepted as you say much lower. Eeeehhh…. confused so am I.

    As pointed out earlier, this shared scenario can be a nightmare in these circumstances, and has often been discussed on the forum about all agents and their sites, firstly the search criteria is confusing as agents often don’t like to reveal where their listings actually are, and secondly because vendors don’t stay in touch with their agents and certainly vice versa, and everyone including the people I know and work with are sometimes guilty of that.

    But to clarify, you are bang on to point it out as being on the website in question, but in mitigation it was not their listing, and worse it seems the agent who has had it remained as a listing; apparently lists properties that are not their own, but those from other agents of another software system on the shared web platform as if it were there listing – bizarrely then it may have even been the actual selling agent’s listing – who knows!

    However, the guys I know and you referred to, have now instructed that not just this property be removed from their website overnight, but in fact all listings that are from that particular agency.

    You were entirely correct in your statements, but again I don’t think that the situation is unique to the one agency you mention, in fact I think it is as I say common to hundreds of websites, but it is really valuable that you point it out, and where you have all the facts on your side, there are mitagating or explanation factors as to why such things occur to all and not just the agency you highlight.

    So they have been hit by a stick you had the right end of but perhaps a bit harsh to take the punishment alone for the whole class, as not all the information was available.

    Again, would that it were the case that each agent were responsible for listing and promoting “exclusive” listings but for another dozen or so oft discussed reasons it has never been possible, and when I asked why this agency does not just put up on the website its own listings as they have by far the biggest single portfolio, they said “because, then the smallest back bedroom agency actually appears bigger when they show 10,000 properties in their search rather than just their own half dozen, how is a person supposed to know”.

    However, I know the website is being revamped and rebuilt and by the end of the year they will be displaying a big search showing all the agents listings, and then individual searches showing their own, the reduced, the latest, the preferred, the individual areas etc, so to try and combat this kind of confusion and create more transparency. Your view, only makes that more necessary and urgent, so they don’t get (rightly) beaten up for things that are not actually their listings or fault.

    Like I said eeeehhh, who needs this confusion and again, I just wish it was like the UK or USA models.

    But I don’t think Gary should avoid Agents just try and understand them within his overall basket of options.

    Thanks again Snowy for coming back to me. And Jeeze I hope I have explained this right.

  • #100377
    Profile photo of Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Participant

    Hi Chris,

    You have stated twice that you “have no official involvement” in the running of Your Viva, but perhaps could you enlighten us as to why the company which owns the website http://www.vivaestates.com – Viva Homes Under the Sun Limited, has a Harrogate address in the UK? I ask so given that you have made reference to Harrogate as your own residence on quite a number of posts in the past, so would one presumably conclude that there is some form of connection there?

    Having briefly searched Companies House, the address for this company (which owns & operates the main Your Viva website) is actually “Flat 3, 2 Park Road, Harrogate”, this certainly gives the impression to any reader that operations are effectively being run from “some Back Bedroom Agents” so to speak!

  • #100374
    Profile photo of Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Participant

    phildarcy –
    Welcome to the forum. I know it’s your first post here but don’t feel shy about asking any questions you may have. 🙂

    Surely most people, if they want to see where businesses are actually ‘run from’, would simply Google the company name to bring up their website and in Viva’s case note that at the bottom of the ‘visit us’ page is a picture of a rather huge-looking office. http://www.vivaestates.com/content/selling/visit_us

    Only someone who doesn’t quite understand how things work would think that the address registered at Companies House reflects where a business is actually ‘run from’.

    As you’re someone so obviously keen on openness, how about filling in your location and occupation on your forum data.
    While you’re at it, you could tell us all your home address – or perhaps you are of the opinion that it isn’t any of our business? If so, I hazzard a guess that Chris might agree with you.

  • #100384
    Profile photo of Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Participant

    @charlie wrote:

    phildarcy –
    Welcome to the forum. I know it’s your first post here but don’t feel shy about asking any questions you may have. 🙂

    Surely most people, if they want to see where businesses are actually ‘run from’, would simply Google the company name to bring up their website and in Viva’s case note that at the bottom of the ‘visit us’ page is a picture of a rather huge-looking office. http://www.vivaestates.com/content/selling/visit_us

    Only someone who doesn’t quite understand how things work would think that the address registered at Companies House reflects where a business is actually ‘run from’.

    As you’re someone so obviously keen on openness, how about filling in your location and occupation on your forum data.
    While you’re at it, you could tell us all your home address – or perhaps you are of the opinion that it isn’t any of our business? If so, I hazzard a guess that Chris might agree with you.

    I think the point that Phildarcy is making is that Chris claims to be open and honest about things but anybody remotely involved with the real estate world on the Costa del Sol knows that Viva closed down owing lots of money to people and has now re opened under a slightly different name (your viva) but with the same people behind it. For Chris to claim that he is is simply advising and helping them, and not actually an owner in anyway is hard to believe. The fact that their registered address is in the same town that Chris lives in would suggest that Chris is the owner or part owner of the new Company.

  • #100385
    Profile photo of Chris McCarthy
    Chris McCarthy
    Participant

    @phildarcy wrote:

    Hi Chris,

    You have stated twice that you “have no official involvement” in the running of Your Viva, but perhaps could you enlighten us as to why the company which owns the website http://www.vivaestates.com – Viva Homes Under the Sun Limited, has a Harrogate address in the UK? I ask so given that you have made reference to Harrogate as your own residence on quite a number of posts in the past, so would one presumably conclude that there is some form of connection there?

    Having briefly searched Companies House, the address for this company (which owns & operates the main Your Viva website) is actually “Flat 3, 2 Park Road, Harrogate”, this certainly gives the impression to any reader that operations are effectively being run from “some Back Bedroom Agents” so to speak!

    Hi Phil,

    I said that it was too long and detailed, involved and actually private as to why I would have no official involvement, or would want to at this time. I think that is fair enough, but I also said I do my best to be transparent, so as straight forward as I can be, while maintaining some privacy if that is OK with you, I also said…

    I have no official involvement at this time – no, but I am certainly doing everything I can to help, work with, advise and encourage a whole bunch of people I worked with for more than a decade – yes. That is my choice and I am really up for doing what I can to help privately and personally.

    You can take from this statement that I am indeed helping both privately and personally, picking up the UK post from a holding address can be part of that process I think, and be compatible with the fact that I personally have no official involvement.

    Like I said, it is too long and detailed – and really very boring – and actually private to go into detail, but I certainly haven’t got anything to hide if just in case you think I might, and if there were a valid reason or issue of relevance for me to explain myself here or anywhere I certainly would, but like I said it would be – very, very boring.

    I hope that answers your question.

    Mmm… this forum is sometimes a challenge but remains a most valuable resource, and always worth a visit, but as I think I said somewhere else, my friends all think I am ‘nuts’ for popping in and out, however, you actually have a point about the “back bedroom website” thing, I suppose it is the Flat bit that does that as well. However, as that is a temporary facility it will change to something more appropriate, perhaps they should get a Mayfair business address – not.

    Cheers

  • #100386
    Profile photo of Chris McCarthy
    Chris McCarthy
    Participant

    @man in Marbella wrote:

    I think the point that Phildarcy is making is that Chris claims to be open and honest about things but anybody remotely involved with the real estate world on the Costa del Sol knows that Viva closed down owing lots of money to people and has now re opened under a slightly different name (your viva) but with the same people behind it.

    Whoooaaa!

    Hang on this thread was about Estate Agents Commissions, you want to talk about the old Viva Estates then Man in Marbella you had best not make claims that are substantiated only with the phrase:

    …. but anybody remotely involved with the real estate world on the Costa del Sol knows that Viva closed down owing lots of money to people

    Frankly, that is part of the problem with regard to people living on the Costa, and I don’t know what the Moderator wants to eventually make of this thread, the use of company names, and specifics but you I can advise have your facts all wrong with your implication and statement.

    Firstly, and after the massive impact of the global credit crunch – any company can go bust – someone asked one of the new VIVA staff recently, what happened to VE, and the staff member said that it was something along the lines of Northern Rock, without the bail out.

    There are literally thousands of companies who have gone bust over the last few years, but for your information I would venture hardly any went to the lengths that VE did to ensure that everyone was paid, and as I say, you know absolutely nothing about that, apart from gossip and innuendo for which when the mud flies a lot of it sticks where it shouldn’t.

    Now, I can’t say anymore about the old VE, because it is still in Administration, but you know what I can say, is that there were no demonstrations by staff, there was careful and professional management of the Administration into an (accepted by the courts Voluntary Concurso) by KPMG, and substantial personal investment by the owners to ensure that they could hold up their heads a damn sight higher than a lot of others in similar situations or companies now and in the future.

    So, let that be an end to that please, and be careful whom you slight and malign without a real, involved or true understanding of the circumstances. And it would take some brass neck of the new VIVA guys to be in the market place if they had been themselves anything other than proud of their previous association and work. You might want to take that into consideration.

    Also bear in mind that I am here on the forum because I am happy to be so, am entirely accountable, and actually felt that I can occasionally make a contribution, given my particular knowledge or experience, which, whilst it is no more important than anyone elses, I have been advised is useful because it is also a bit unusual in coming from the “business” side of things.

    But frankly this is all getting a bit too personal at the minute.

  • #100387
    Profile photo of Chris McCarthy
    Chris McCarthy
    Participant

    Right, am off to play golf this evening, in the beautfiul sunshine and the warm late evening glow of the Costa del Sol, if anybody else wants to have a pop at me, I won’t be back till tomorrow afternoon at my desk.

  • #100409
    Profile photo of angie
    angie
    Spectator

    Good job I’m not bashing you as well Chris as in the old days 😉

    I think what’s happening here is that people have got long memories of those bad old days with some agents who’ve now gone bust or left Spain! 8)

  • #100410
    Profile photo of Chris McCarthy
    Chris McCarthy
    Participant

    @angie wrote:

    Good job I’m not bashing you as well Chris as in the old days 😉

    I think what’s happening here is that people have got long memories of those bad old days with some agents who’ve now gone bust or left Spain! 8)

    If there was an emoticon with a black eye and a bandage I would be wearing it from some of our past encounters Angie, but you know you are one of the most straightforward and hit em on the nose posters, and I have learned to get more out, rather than fight back ❗

    I agree with what you think here, and believe have always said I am due my share of criticism and don’t mind being accountable, not having been perfect – but I don’t want to take it on the chin for everyone – no.

    But hey the forum has been a bit quiet of late and not too controversial, combative or downright dirty, so as long as you will have me here, I will stay!

    And suffer the odd throbbing nose!

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