Pay less for Property!

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This topic contains 33 replies, has 8 voices, and was last updated by Profile photo of Anonymous Anonymous 11 years, 2 months ago.

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  • #51222
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    Anonymous
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    8)

    It seems to me that one of the big gripes re property purchase in Spain is that when dealing with an estate agent we all pay over the odds because of their high commission they add to the purchase price.

    There are plenty of private ‘for sale’ boards or signs so maybe savings of 6-10% could be saved even before any negotiating down.

    The agents’ commissions have been far too high in Spain for years and on apatment blocks for instance, they hardly ever prepare a set of personal details for your apartment unlike in the UK.

    Buying privately would then avoid using agents’ so called recommended lawyers, which would probably lead to lower charges too and a service for the client rather than the agent or developer.

  • #58713
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    Anonymous
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    Agree 100% Paul.

    Agents is Spain try to charge something like 7%+ and for what?
    This has to be one of the biggest comissions anywhere on the planet and will no doubt start to come down when more and more people choose to sell privately.
    Use the internet to find property and just deal directly with the vendor and get a good lawyer.
    When agents stop being so greedy they will have many more properties on their books.

  • #58718
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    8)

    Thanks ChrisP.

    The other important point I forgot to mention is that by avoiding the greedy agents and buying privately, buyers can steer well away from ‘off-plan’ properties which the agents will ‘push’ with all the usual ‘sales-hype’ (often a load of boloney) because they earn so much more commission from these compared with re-sales which they definitely do not promote first.

    Interesting tv prog. the other night showed Amanda Lamb re-visiting a couple (dated a year ago though) who bought an apt in P. Banus saying they had doubled their money. What a load of tosh it was as the figures didn’t add up.

    They bought at 87500 but she didn’t mention buying costs on top of that of 11% approx, say more like 97000 to buy. She said they sold for 163500 but also failed to mention the agent’s 7% + and legals so a net figure more like 148000, maybe a tax bill too, so not double as the programme mentioned, and as I mentioned above the programme was a year old when the market was stronger than now. Although good, nothing like the profit she portrayed, and only achieved in over 3 years which could have been bettered in the UK too over that period.

    I rather think that Ms Lamb and the tv company get paid to ‘push’ properties in flagging or new markets abroad.

  • #58793
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    Anonymous
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    So do away with agents? If they insist on charging such high commissions as mentioned that is fair enough. But you exaggerate the situation.Only those companies using the Inter Agency network charge a minimum of 7.5% most charge way less. a good agent can help you compare value for money,property quality and arrange to get you in for viewings.
    I know of one company that is said to be offering a selling fee way below the norm and always trying to bring the client only reduced priced property also! Sounds like a win,win situation to me?

  • #58798
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    Anonymous
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    8)

    Well guest, perhaps you could enlighten everyone about this ‘reasonable win win Company’ !

    Please tell us where to access a list of agents who charge much less, provide ‘honest’ sales advice, good after-sales, are not linked to some ‘dodgy’ lawyer, who keep their sales staff for continuity, who promise to concentrate on re-sales as much as off-plan, who are not exposed in the Press constantly like AWFUL ESTATES, who don’t suggest ‘B’ money payments, who don’t moonlight with people’s monies like one large agent belonging to I.A. Network, who don’t sell properties without building licences, etc etc

    The situation is not exagerated as you say, many agents often discussed on these sites are guilty of the same sales tricks which are purely commission driven.

  • #58802
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    marios
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    Silence says it all.

  • #58805
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    Anonymous
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    idea:

    On our search for properties in southern Spain, we have noticied that there are great differentials in the offer prices, where the same property is marketed by several different agents. We have found some properties front loaded by the agents concerned by up to 20% and we feel that this extortionate fee has helped stimulate the rapid increase in property values throughout Spain. We have met and spoken with many vendors, who are extremely unhappy with this state of affairs and have resorted to placing a ‘se vende’ sign on their property to attract a buyer direct. Although they know that they will eventually receive their asking price they may be forced to wait many months to realise their assets and move on. As the property market has slowed slightly over the last year this is not helping matters and is producing a stalemate situation in some areas.

    We have spoken with several reputable and highly recommended Spanish builders who prefer out of choice to deal directly, or through a consultant with a prospective purchaser, rather that involve a real estate agent.
    The price is then governed by the land price in the chosen area, rather than the incorporating the estate agents fees with their build costs.

    We know of at least one licenced real estate agent in our area, who is so concerned with the inflated fees charged by his competitors that he is endevouring to form a governing body to oversee all real estate agents in the area with the services of an impartial official from the Guardia Civil together with a representative from the regional government to moniter proceedings. He informs us that he has capped his agency fees at 5% Hopefully this will be one step nearer to stemming the wildly flutuating prices that currently dog the market.

    We are returning to Almeria next week to learn what progress has been made in this direction!

    Has anyone else heard of any other estate agents, other than in Almeria, attempting to reduce their fees to help stimulate the property market?

  • #58806
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    Anonymous
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    There is already an established and respected estate agents overseeing organisation in Spain, the API. No need for a new one. Its members have to be properly trained and qualified, they are governed by a code of conduct and have to have professional indemnity insurance to cover any kind of errors or improper practices. They also I believe have a cap set on their commission charges. If using an estate agent, use an API one!
    Just because a representative from the Guardia Civil and from local government are involved in the pilot organisation you mention doesn’t make it respectable. In fact it would put me off big time. More recipients for backhanders!

  • #58807
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    Anonymous
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    so what commision do API members charge is it 5% ???

  • #58808
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    Anonymous
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    API agents’ maximum fees are set by the Colegio – 3% on urban properties, 4% on rustic and 5% on everything else.
    Which I guess is why most of the English “estate agents” don’t bother to train and qualify as an estate agent (although some do go the professional route and my advice would be to use these).
    I have proof of agents trying to charge 50% commission on properties. Bit of a difference. Hmmm…shall I charge 3% or 50%?

  • #58809
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    Anonymous
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    So the agent mentioned by Carabella above is hardly being generous in capping his commission at 5% is he????!!!!

  • #58810
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    Anonymous
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    I would have thought 5% was more than generous,compared say to the UK 1%, given that most of the people who are charging above this rate seem to be English/Irish and with no real qualifications other than the obligatory past career in time share!!!!!!!!! It wasn’t a million years ago when the top rate was capped at 5% and look whats happened since this was relaxed!!! Many unsavoury and underhand people have crawled out of the woodwork to exploit the free for all system that we have now!!

  • #58812
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    Marios…I suggest your smug comment only comes from your ignorance my friend. Paul I have not named the company here as it contravenes Mark’s guidelines on advertising and promotion of same.
    However you could not tell me anything about the “questionable practices” of your own favourite CDS agent! What is frightening is that there are many still using the same old pitche re- investment which really does concern me.

    However as the company name is not within the email address…anyone feel free to email me at:

    peterspd@gmail.com

  • #58819
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    Anonymous
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    Guest, I will email you for the name of the agent thanks.

    A point though that I’ve being trying to make for ages is that not all API reg’d agents are ‘honest’, for example Awful’s API no. is not registered to them but to a lawyer they have used in house, not quite sure why though.

    This agent is still misleading unwary purchasers from my research though.

  • #58824
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    Anonymous
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    Paul,

    I will be more than happy to communicate with you.

  • #58830
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    Anonymous
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    Have now emailed you Guest, but understand please that I’m not tarring everyone with the same brush, only the regulars like Awful who are doing it for themselves and they may well be tainting the reputations of others as a result.

    Anyone can phone them and find that their sales-tactics have not really improved despite the bad Press.

  • #58836
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    Anonymous
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    Paul,

    I have replied to your hotmail account.

  • #58839
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    Anonymous
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    @anonymous wrote:

    API agents’ maximum fees are set by the Colegio – 3% on urban properties, 4% on rustic and 5% on everything else.
    Which I guess is why most of the English “estate agents” don’t bother to train and qualify as an estate agent (although some do go the professional route and my advice would be to use these).
    I have proof of agents trying to charge 50% commission on properties. Bit of a difference. Hmmm…shall I charge 3% or 50%?

    This is incorrect to my knowledge. API agents are given guidelines rather than rules on what commission to charge, and these are issued by the provincial colegios rather than the central organisation.

    Don’t assume that API means they have the clients best interests in mind – they are more of a throwback to the old days, an attempt to monopolise and control the market more than an official government body set up to protect the consumer and drive down commissions. They’re similar in outlook to the pharmacists, who are the reason you can’t by an asprin or a lemsip in your local petrol station or supermarket. They are looking out for themselves, no one else.

  • #58843
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    Exactly the point I’ve been trying to make Bert for some while, only no-one seems able to answer it.

    Why do Ocean Estates have their API no 576 reg’d to a lawyer called Fernando Franco and not to themselves, and, he has in the past and maybe still does, worked in-house for them allegedly? It’s as if they ‘hide’ behind this fact, it’s does not seem open an honest, and in my experience their API does not make them a better bet, or more trustworthy to use in Spain.

  • #58850
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    Fernando Franco is most likely someone who is/ was employed by them, and who has an API number. That’s all you need.

    In the good old days when all estate agents here were regulated, all that actually meant was that a qualified person could be contracted on the cheapest part time contract possible and that was it – nobody else there had to be qualified at all. The qualified person was rarely involved in selling property, more usually doing a bit of reception duty or book-keeping for a couple of hours a day.

  • #58883
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    F. Franco has his own law firm in the same building as DLM (previously Cortez, Habsburg McCown, and previously Chambers Defoe) the glitzy building at the end of Marbella and home of lawyers recommended by Awful Estates.

    Bert, how many estate agents probably do not ‘own’ their so called API nos on the C del Sol? It proves that APIs are not particularly trustworthy methinks.

  • #58885
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    I honestly couldn’t say. As I remember it way back in the day the API number in a large agent usually belonged to a young part-time girl on the reception desk who was fresh out of college. I don’t see why a lawyer would bother getting himself API qualified, unless he did that before studying law? Or more probably, if you’re a qualified lawyer then the API will dish you out a number without you having to qualify as an estate agent.

  • #58892
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    Anonymous
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    Thanks Bert for the info, it sounds like some way of avoiding being reprimanded as a company if they are taken to task for mis-selling. That along with their ‘bought’ motor manufacturer awards seems a sham designed to impress purchasers, meanwhile Ocean never answer these points when put to them.

  • #58894
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    Anonymous
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    As some of you know I write various columns in the UK press on the subject of Spanish property.

    I’m preparing an article that looks at the commissions that estate agents charge in Spain (a hot topic!).

    I’d like to talk to any vendors (trying to sell or already sold) who have struggled to find agents that charge a reasonable or fair commission.

    I’d also be interested in talking to any buyers who have a view on this subject.

    Send me an email or PM (contact functions below). But bear in mind that I’m looking for people who don’t mind being quoted in the article.

    Many thanks

    Mark

  • #58920
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    Anonymous
    Participant

    Look forward to what is likely to be a hot topic Mark!

  • #58948
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    Anonymous
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    Hi Bert and everyone else

    The commissions recommended by the API can be seen here

    http://www.coapi.es/honorarios.html

    However I am surprised that you mention a secretary has the qualifications necessary as when I applied nearly a year or so ago I was told by the college I had to be versed in Spanish law – ie I couldnt unless I did a 3 year law course. They also told me that I had to study for a further 3 years to achieve the qualification (though this 3 years was in conjunction to working as an agent) needless to say I didnt bother applying for it as it seemed like a high cost to be a member of a professional body.

    The only way round it was to find a lawyer who would either have the qualification or to find a trainee lawyer who would do the ocurse. As I worked as a buyers agent at the time it didnt seem worth the trouble or expense.

    I may be wrong on this but this was what I was told by the college at the time

    do You know different?

    Vince

  • #58949
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    Anonymous
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    No, you have it right. The thing was that a foreign agent here would employ a girl fresh out of college and API qualified as a part time recepcionist, thus gaining their API number as cheaply and easily as possible. Plenty of people were qualified, but very few left college with the funds to set up their own business. As most were in their early 20s, they were also a bit young to be dealing with clients.

    Thus the business had an API number, but it belonged to the most junior member of staff who usually had little or no say in how the business was run – or even worse, to someone who only worked for the company on paper and never actually visited the offices. All a bit pointless, really.

  • #58950
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    Ah right now it makes sense. I thought that maybe I had been sold a line by the college. I did attempt to become registered but as I said it was not worth the effort and as I was only acting as a buyers agent there seemed little point.

    But I take your point about API registration. Why dont they have regular registration renewals whereby inspectors ahve to check the credentials or maybe this is back onto the subject of why dont the Spanish Gievrnment do anything about it

  • #58952
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    Those lovely Catalans have even put up a version of their API site in English: http://www.apibcn.com/ing/index.htm

    This was my favourite bit: “Article 10. – Estate Agents shall annually celebrate, on the 15th October, their Patron Saint´s Day.”

    😀

  • #58956
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    Anonymous
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    HA ! HA ! HA! Bert, that is funny…I must remember to put that date in my diary !! 😆

  • #58960
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    Anonymous
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    Estate Agents shall annually celebrate, on the 15th October, their Patron Saint´s Day.”

    Message

    Claire
    PostPosted: Wed Sep 28, 2005 2:00 pm Post subject:
    HA ! HA ! HA! Bert, that is funny…I must remember to put that date in my diary !! Laughing

    its a perfect day for your public protect Claire!

    Seriously dont you know anyothers from your development who would be interested in joining you for a protest?

  • #58964
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    Anonymous
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    Hi Banushouse,

    The only 2 people I know of from the development, are buying on the lower blocks. They will actually get an apartment although from the person that I spoke to on Sunday, that will not be until Jan 2006 at the earliest!! One other person came onto the forum who bought into the same blocks as we did, but I have not seen her post again.

    The one thing that is common to all those who have a Bank Guarantee, is that they (BG) are all dated October 2006. We have given it a great deal of thought, and we think we might just as well wait for that date and save ourselves money and a lot of stress.

    One ? springs to mind. Why did our useless lawyers in Marbella, not inform us of the protracted time scale between the date of completion & the date of the Bank Guarantee. Had we known of this discrepancy we would not have signed the contract, unless the dates were synchronised.

    We still intend to report the lawyers to the spanish law society, as per our (now) lawyers advice.

  • #58965
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    Why did our useless lawyers in Marbella, not inform us of the protracted time scale between the date of completion & the date of the Bank Guarantee. Had we known of this discrepancy we would not have signed the contract, unless the dates were synchronised.

    well doesnt that take us back to Mark and Pauls earlier postings about the lawyers being in cahoots with the agents??

    I heard a rumour (allegedly) of course that some lawyers split their commission with estate agents who refer customers to them!! otherwise they don’t get any British customers – others are effectively “inhouse” lawyers for big agencies.

    I suspect thats what happened to you, it they had acted ethically you would not have signed

    😈

  • #58979
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    Anonymous
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    Absolutely right banushouse about lawyers in cahoots with agents.

    Couldn’t believe Channel 4’s programme the other night ‘House trapped in the Sun’ where the presenter was ‘still’ advising people to ask the agent for a lawyer, how misleading is that?

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