Mark’s recent article in S. TIMES

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This topic contains 20 replies, has 6 voices, and was last updated by Profile photo of Anonymous Anonymous 11 years, 1 month ago.

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  • #51287
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    Good article Mark on the rip-off commissions in Spain.

    Please write another soon about all the ‘Black’ money payments involved there too, often suggested by the Estate Agents and also the Developers regarding under-declarations of values.

    I was recommended a development by Ocean Estates above Elviria called Green Life, where the sales people and the Developer said I would have to go this route, it’s a crooked property market there. So many agents are suggesting this too involving property deals.

    Steer well clear of these deals!

  • #59135
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    I agreed with everything Mark wrote, except the last paragraph where he plugged the “sell your property on the web direct” sites.

    Not that there’s anything wrong with the idea – it’s just no one has properly put it into practice yet. 90% of these sites are fleecing vendors for a few hundred euros while doing next to nothing to get potential buyers to the site.

    I admit the specific site he plugged is making an effort via a Google adword campaign, but that’s not enough. They need to be making a real effort to get up the search rankings – on the most common search terms on Google, Yahoo and MSN they’re nowhere. Really, they shouldn’t be charging vendors to list property until they have a better way of showing that property to buyers. It’s a bit like advertising your property in a magazine that doesn’t bother with distribution.

  • #59137
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    http://www.timesonline.co.uk/newspaper/0,,2771-1822903,00.html

    Link to the article.

  • #59151
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    Have to agree with Bert regarding these web sites, I don’t see any benefit at present, it’s just yet another added expense for the seller that they realy could do without, I’ve used a couple of these and have achieved nothing other than to be a few hundred euro’s lighter in the pocket, and to have a stream of annoying agents pester to add my property to there books, none of which has so much as come up with a single viewing.

  • #59162
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    Bert and Guest my point was about Mark writing another article about the Black Money payments often asked for by Estate Agents such as Awful and the Developers. Have you any knowledge regarding this aspect?

  • #59164
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    Yes Paul I know all about awful estates and there pitiful in bed lawyers, I bought through these people but luckily (or not) my property was completed un like some of the other people on here !!

    I actually thought there had been a massive clampdown on buying/selling using black money (since March of this year) isn’t it almost impossible to do this now??

    Funnly enough, before this clampdown was introduced and I asked my lawyer about under declaring if and when I ever sell, the lawyer telephoned a Notary to ask what figure below the real price, I could declare at and get away with !!! Bizarre and this of course was in Marbella!!

  • #59165
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    The only reason an agent might ask for black money is to hide his commission from the taxman – obviously if you weren’t told at the outset you’d be paying him cash, when you wave a chequebook at him in one hand and a big wad of lovely cash in the other you may well find his commission is suddenly negotiable.

    Other than that, it’s the vendors asking for the black money to try and avoid paying tax themselves.

  • #59168
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    Bert and Guest, I can say categorically that both the Awful Estates sales girl (now with H2o agents) and her manager, and the Developer of Green Life were saying we had to complete with ‘B’ money, so I went elswhere.

  • #59186
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    At last someone has exposed the way Agents are ripping off people on the Costa del Sol! Great article!

    I actually put my aparment on the site mentioned in the article last month. I researched quite a bit before I choose them and they definitley seem the best. I havent sold yet but I have had more of a response than from my agents.

    Bert, When do you think the market will pick up again??

  • #59201
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    Linda,

    There are some interesting comments about the Spanish property market in the overseas section at

    housepricecrash.com

  • #59277
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    Hi Paul

    I completely agree with you regarding Black Money. This is being clamped down on now and locally there have been an abundance of people who have been issued with Multas (fines) for under declaration by the hacienda. The Gvernment in Madrid are taking great steps to stamp it out (primarily I believe because of infringements against the EU tax Directive) – it will filter through eventually but iof more people walk away from the under decalaration of property then what are the agents and owners going to do?

    The fines issued have been in the region of €1500 (the lowest) to a whacking great €52,000. This was two years after the sale. The local hacienda has just assumed that everyone has underdeclared by 20% and charging them accordingly. It is then up to the owners to show that they didnt. In most cases of course they can’t.

    These fines are now putting people right off the practice which is exactly what it is intended to do.

    Onbe other poit you should be aware of – under declaring the value of your house is a criminial offence – I believe it is fraud. This means you could potentially go to prison for it. SOmething to think about.

    So yes let’s have an article about this – it will certainly make people think.

    If anyone is interested by the way I mention this very subject in my book. You dont need to buy the book – drop me a line and I will send you the excerpt gratis.

    Regards

    Vince

  • #59278
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    One other point

    if anyone wants to advertise their property free of charge on my website they are welcome to do so. There are two sites and between them they get 100 unique visitors a day. This usually generates about 2-3 enquiries a day overall. No guarantees but then no cost so you have nothing to lose.

    If you are interested drop me a line and I will set you up an account so you can put your own property on.

    Regards

    Vince

  • #59291
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    Hi Vince, I am glad you agree about having an article on the subject of ‘B’ money, it would certainly be good, and thanks for pointing out the possibility of prison sentences for those who do this.

  • #59296
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    I agree that the practice of underdeclaring the price of properties should be stamped out. However, many of us were not given the choice when we purchased a few years ago.

    When we bought out plot of land we had given a Power of Attorney to a legal advisor to act on our behalf, and I quote from her email in 2001-

    “I can confirm that I have now signed the title deeds for the land. We declared 2,500,000 Ptas (the vendor would not declare more) which I paid for with a bank draft from your account, and the remaining amount (3,462,924 Ptas) I took out in cash.”

    It was a done deal. We had no choice.

  • #59298
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    Paul, I read this website sometimes and I am sure I have had a discussion with you before about ‘con merchant estates’ in P.Banus. I believe that you bought a no. of units from them sometime ago and was wondering what you did with them. Did you ever manage to sell them or rent them out? I am just wondering becuase a lot of properties don’t seem to be selling at any price no matter how much they are lowered in the present climate.

    Also, question for Mark. When I read in various articles that the population of the Costa Del Sol is expected to double in the next x amount of years. Where are they getting these estimates from? Surely its not based on the no. of properties they are building? If these estimates come true then surely this bodes well for the mkt’s future even if its in some trouble now. However, I was wondering if these estimates have come from a reliable source. Also, with all of the recent scandals, looking on the bright side of things if the government is showing a tough stance on these matters now then surely this will also make the mkt place better in the longer term, for instance the current problems with illegal building permits etc.

    thanks
    Alex

  • #59309
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    Alex, it was all very very time consuming, over 3.5 years, but basically used the threat of, and actual bad publicity, to force the agent to take back the property, which they said they had sold, but I doubt that. It was difficult but ‘being like a dog with a bone’ helped enormously.

  • #59311
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    Paul, so you had actually paid the developer your deposits and then Ocean estates managed to get the money back for you? On what grounds did you get the money back (apart from giving them bad publicity)? Was it becuase they said how easy it was to sell them on?

    I have a property that they sold to me in Alcaidesa which is caught up in the White Whale case. The judge has authorised completions which I believe most purchasers are happy with but however I desperately want to cancel my contract and get my money back. There is a chance I can do this but it is only small. Do you have any suggestions that I could try.?

    thanks
    Alex

  • #59318
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    I expect your lawyer was either DVA or DLM.
    Were you buying on the Regency? I understand that the Regency developer is now under administration and that because the work had reached completion the bank guarantees might now no longer be effective.
    If you were buying at S.. G… A………. Please pm.

  • #59335
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    Alex, you are quite right about that Awful agent saying how easy it would be to re-sell, except they said it would take no longer than 12-15 months, the sales girl and her manager vitually guaranteed it, they even stupidly sent a letter putting in writing that 94% of all investor properties are re-sold prior to completion, whereas some people who used to work for them and now in agency work themselves said the figure was 17-20% and most of those belonged to their staff, not investors.

    There were many grounds but it was hard work and I was prepared to go the distance in exposing their tactics, it also helped that Hayley Nieves who worked for them opened their ‘can of worms’. Check my earlier posting which refers to this company ‘new purchasers should read the links about this company’.

    Also check my posting called ‘confession’ it’s about White Whale and there is also a story on this in one of the links above.

    If you can cancel legally, which I assume you can then I strongly recommend you do, the market is flooded with 2 bed apartments anyway without all the additional problems. Maybe Drakan could give some advice, but he’s been very busy helping lots of people and the thing is to remember his help if you manage to get out, he seems a good man.

  • #59350
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    Hi Paul, no it is not certain that I can get my deposit back as Jon has said I have been told that it is no longer bank guaranteed. So I am definitely going to have to fight for it becuase all the judge has done so far is authorise further completions for people and not cancellations. I will ask Drakan. Thanks for your help.

  • #59361
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    @Bert Preast wrote:

    I agreed with everything Mark wrote, except the last paragraph where he plugged the “sell your property on the web direct” sites.

    Not that there’s anything wrong with the idea – it’s just no one has properly put it into practice yet. 90% of these sites are fleecing vendors for a few hundred euros while doing next to nothing to get potential buyers to the site.

    That’s what i like about They bring me buyers and i do the selling. Since they only charge 1% commission it is a fair deal and we have the same interest… selling my property.

    Hans

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