Paying to find properties

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This topic contains 27 replies, has 10 voices, and was last updated by Profile photo of katy katy 7 years, 8 months ago.

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  • #54827
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    Anonymous
    Participant

    I read Marks’s report on property prices on Costa Blanca on News&Views.
    It is written by somebody from some Property Finders.

    If you do not mind, I would like to ask you a question: are these Property Finders services really worth in getting a better price? They ask 900 Euros to begin the search…

    Has anybody gotten a better than open market price by using them?

  • #90827
    Profile photo of katy
    katy
    Spectator

    Personally I would not hire one, even for 90 euro. They claim to have contacts etc. they are not even Spanish! Better to ask your Spanish bank manager or Lawyer.

  • #90828
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    Anonymous
    Participant

    @katy wrote:

    Personally I would not hire one, even for 90 euro. They claim to have contacts etc. they are not even Spanish! Better to ask your Spanish bank manager or Lawyer.

    I do not know how they work…

    An ideal situation would be to find a property that I would be interested and they then would do the negotiation to lower the price by a specific amount. If they cannot get the specific lowering, then there is no payment…

    Otherwise I guess there are enough property lists to find a suitable one…

  • #90829
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    Anonymous
    Participant

    Agree with flosmichael.

  • #90833
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    Anonymous
    Participant

    Whilst we have this subject started:

    How about, as a buyer, offering an estate agent (or someone else??) a commission for finding a place that you want at a price you are prepared to pay? Say 1-2% of the purchase price.

    Is this done? Any pitfalls?

  • #90834
    Profile photo of katy
    katy
    Spectator

    I could see many pitfalls. 😆 I would even do it for you 😉 😆

    If anyone is seriously wanting to buy why not just place an ad in the English speaking newspapers 💡 State the price you want to pay etc. and see what offers come up. Suppose an ad could be placed on this site too.

  • #90835
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    Anonymous
    Participant

    the “property finder” covering the small area of andalucia is based in the UK; her local property knowledge must be superb !! i guess a property finder could be useful eg you’re a high flyer and want to buy a pad in Manhattan/ Knightsbridge etc but you don’t have the time to traipse around the agents – so you get hold of a locally based and connected agent; pay the 1% finders fee etc –

    contracting someone working from a back bedroom in the UK for a propery search in Spain etc seems, well rather stupid !!

  • #90836
    Profile photo of katy
    katy
    Spectator

    I noticed there was no mention of the Valencia land grab in the article!

  • #90838
    Profile photo of Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Participant

    @katy wrote:

    I could see many pitfalls. 😆 I would even do it for you 😉 😆

    If anyone is seriously wanting to buy why not just place an ad in the English speaking newspapers 💡 State the price you want to pay etc. and see what offers come up. Suppose an ad could be placed on this site too.

    I think Sur in English has many adds for buying properties from “distressed sellers” (whatever that means…).

    Are supermaket boards and lightposts filled with Se Vende adds? Those might be real people looking for fast sales…

  • #90839
    Profile photo of katy
    katy
    Spectator

    The ads in Sur offering to buy properties are only offering re-mortgages with lots of dodgy small print or to pay money upfront to an equally dodgy mortgage broker.

    You may find a lot of the se vende signs are actually agents. Or some speak only Spanish.

    I picked up a freebie property magazine last week and there did seem to be a few sensibly priced ones. eg. one in Calahonda 2/2 with private garden,underground parking and garage space, fully furnished, 120,000euro. No idea what it’s like but the gardens look neat in the photo. About 12 months ago they would have been asking 180,000 or more.

  • #90842
    Profile photo of Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Participant

    @katy wrote:

    I picked up a freebie property magazine last week and there did seem to be a few sensibly priced ones. eg. one in Calahonda 2/2 with private garden,underground parking and garage space, fully furnished, 120,000euro. No idea what it’s like but the gardens look neat in the photo. About 12 months ago they would have been asking 180,000 or more.

    I guess 33% reduction in 12 month is a good start. 😀

  • #90843
    Profile photo of Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Participant

    If you do not mind, I would like to ask you a question: are these Property Finders services really worth in getting a better price? They ask 900 Euros to begin the search…
    Has anybody gotten a better than open market price by using them?

    In the majority of cases clients of The Property Finders find that we save them a lot of money. Firstly, they never waste time looking at overpriced junk, or property with escritura issues, or no building licence, as all properties that we shortlist are visited and assessed by us first. All documentation is checked out in advance. If we see a problem we check out how to fix it, if it can be fixed – if it can’t or it is going to take years then we don’t recommend it for viewing. We often see 30 properties and more just to get a shortlist of perhaps 4 and we go on looking until we find it. We often work for clients who have wasted thousands of euros, never mind the time it all takes, wandering around being shown property by some dodgy agent that bears no relationship at all to what they are looking for so they come to us and it all gets sorted in a couple of months. I have even managed to get 100,000 euro deposit returned to a client who had been on an inspection flight with O**** E******, problem was it never got built. So when I found him the house he really wanted he was delighted to pay my finders fee.

    As we do not take commissions from sellers we can offer property that is privately for sale so our clients get to see everything that may suit them, not just what an agent has listed. We have lots of former clients who are living in property they would never have seen if they had been looking just with estate agents.

    We save them thousands, sometimes hundreds of thousands of euros, on the negotiation. Our job is to help them buy at the lowest possible price while an estate agent is trying to get the highest price for the seller. As far back as 2006 I was getting 20 -25% off asking prices; one client saved 300,000 euros and another 400,000 and our fee was very insignificant in comparison. Last year I had a client buy in El Cuarton near Tarifa for such a good price that the bank valuation came in at 15% MORE than we were paying for it, almost unheard of in the current climate.

    Finally, we save them stress and worry – they know that they are guaranteed a problem-free purchase, that their interests will be the priority and without exception they think our fee is a price well worth paying. It is very rare that our fee is not covered several times over by what we have managed to save the client plus they will have seen everything, not just what agents have. Can’t help thinking that if more people in this forum had used a buying agent there would be far fewer problems to whinge about.

    Personally I would not hire one, even for 90 euro. They claim to have contacts etc. they are not even Spanish! Better to ask your Spanish bank manager or Lawyer.

    Why do we need to be Spanish to have contacts? My Spanish is perfect and I have 25 years experience in the Andalucían property market. Rita Fryer in Catalonia is American but has lived there for 20 years and has 15 years experience in the property market. She speaks 4 languages, including Spanish. Lisa Francis speaks perfect Spanish, in fact she has taught it, and has work in real estate in the Costa Blanca for several years. Jan Westwood in Mallorca speaks Spanish and German and knows the island better than anyone having lived there for 20 years and has been finding property for over 10 years. In fact, former estate agents make extremely effective property finders – we know exactly what happens on the other side of the fence. We know the good agents and we know the crummy ones. We know the good lawyers and we know the ones to avoid, ditto architects, builders, etc. You seriously think a bank manager or lawyer is going to do the legwork we do? If you do you clearly don’t understand what buying agents do.

    the “property finder” covering the small area of andalucia is based in the UK; her local property knowledge must be superb !! i guess a property finder could be useful eg you’re a high flyer and want to buy a pad in Manhattan/ Knightsbridge etc but you don’t have the time to traipse around the agents – so you get hold of a locally based and connected agent; pay the 1% finders fee etc –

    contracting someone working from a back bedroom in the UK for a propery search in Spain etc seems, well rather stupid !!

    A word of advice – before writing ¿SCAM? in a subject line you should consider who might read it. A bit of research would have been a good idea. As already mentioned I have 25 years experience in Andalucía. My knowledge of the market is second to none and many of my Spanish friends tell me I know Andalucía better than they do, particularly when it comes to the country areas. I was selling property in Marbella from 1983. In 1988 I was headhunted by Knight Frank & Rutley (now just Knight Frank) to research the possibility of opening a Costa del Sol office which I set up and I was one of the few to work right through, and survive, that downturn. Since co-founding The Property Finders in 2003 I have found property for clients in Seville, Tarifa, Nerja, Cantoria, (it’s in Almería, just in case you don’t know Andalucía as well as I do), all along the Costa del Sol, Antequera, Iznájar, Villanueva de Tapia, Coín, Alhaurín el Grande, Granada, Güéjar-Sierra to name just a few. Buying agents are much more effective when they cover large areas as they are better able to compare and contrast different locations for their clients, something estate agents are unable to do; they are only interested in selling on their little patch. I choose to base myself in the UK as I find it easier to travel from here to meet clients, wherever they live, as we try to always meet clients before starting a search and there is always PR to do. My knowledge of Andalucía is so encyclopaedic that I don’t need to be there all the time.

    In fact, Mark so values our local knowledge in our various territories that he has often quoted The Property Finders in his Sunday Times column and is happy to post articles we write as he knows they are well researched and balanced. Examples:
    my piece on Andalucía 2008/09: http://www.spanishpropertyinsight.com/buff/2008/12/andalucia-property-market-report-2009/
    and an excellent piece on Mallorca by Jan Westwood: http://www.spanishpropertyinsight.com/buff/2008/12/mallorca-property-market-report-2009/ and you will find other articles in the section.

    The Property Finders are generally accepted as the best source for balanced and impartial advice by the media; we are regularly quoted in The Times, The Sunday Times, The Telegraph, The Sunday Telegraph, Independent,The Dail Mail, The Mail on Sunday, The Irish Business Post, The Irish Times, Irish Tribune,The Int’l Herald Tribune, New York Times, the F.T. etc., etc., all relevant magazines, B.A. Highlife magazine did a feature on buying agents in which we appeared prominently and this week I am quoted in The South China Morning Post. We have a monthly comment column on the Country Life website. Unlike estate agents who pay for their advertising, you can’t buy editorial positioning, you are there on merit. And as not a single client of The Property Finders has ever encountered even the slightest hint of a post-completion problem anywhere it seems to me that instead of being ‘well, rather stupid’ using the services of a property finder is, in reality, a sensible and somewhat savvy thing to do.

    I noticed there was no mention of the Valencia land grab in the article!

    Yes there was. Mark edited a longer piece into a shortened version.

  • #90844
    Profile photo of katy
    katy
    Spectator

    What a load of rubbish. I am too bored to dispute your claims one by one 🙄 Think regular readers have seen it all before zzzzzzzzzzz.

    So you have been featured in many newspapers…yeah, so have Polaris world, Martin Fadesa, and many estate agents such as Ocean Estates. They all got glowing reports too 🙄

    The company is soo successful you had to place a property wanted add on this site a few years ago. They were quite a few around…so much for “knowing” the area!!

  • #90845
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    Anonymous
    Participant

    Propert finders said “lLast year I had a client buy in El Cuarton near Tarifa for such a good price that the bank valuation came in at 15% MORE than we were paying for it, almost unheard of in the current climate”.

    Well, well ;Everybody including the deaf and dumb knows that every house and plot is for sale in el cuarton, tarifa !! WHY?? the huge four lane motorway is earmarked to go thundering through the area !!!

  • #90846
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    Anonymous
    Participant

    @bdwood wrote:

    In the majority of cases clients of The Property Finders find that we save them a lot of money. Firstly, they never waste time looking at overpriced junk, or property with escritura issues, or no building licence, as all properties that we shortlist are visited and assessed by us first. All documentation is checked out in advance. If we see a problem we check out how to fix it, if it can be fixed

    I do not know the procedure, so I cannot comment.

    In what case your clients find that you do not save them money (you said majority of cases so it might be that some will not same money at all)?

    If one wants to buy a cheap property (say under 90K Euros) in say Altea/Denia/Javea areas, can you guarantee that, after paying you 1K + 2.5% x 90K = 3225 Euros, people will get a better price than by direct negotiations?

  • #90850
    Profile photo of Fuengi (Andrew)
    Fuengi (Andrew)
    Participant

    Hi Bdwood, If this system works for you, and people are willing to pay for the service, more power to you.

    @bdwood wrote:

    Last year I had a client buy in El Cuarton near Tarifa for such a good price that the bank valuation came in at 15% MORE than we were paying for it, almost unheard of in the current climate.

    I have to disagree with this point. A bank valuation should ALWAYS come out higher than the agreed selling price. Who in the right mind would buy a property where price was higher than valuation.

  • #90854
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    Anonymous
    Participant

    Just my penny’s worth. I used to operate as a buyers agent about 3 – 4 years ago. My charging structure was based on the difference between the asking price and the selling price (ie 10% of the difference). So a property advertised for say 200K and negotiated to 180K would give a commission of 2,000.

    By doing this the buyer knew I was acting in their best interests because it was also in my best interests. Most of the properties I used to find were privately advertised through word of mouth (ie from Spanish owners)

    There are times when a buyers representative who is genuinely acting on the buyers interests, can really help – and its not just the rich and famous that need one.

    What I used to find was that people came over here with their eyes wide shut and left themselves wide open to abuse by agents who rubbed their hands when they saw naive buyers strolling into their offices.

    Having someone acting on your behalf (truly on your behalf) is a great benefit if you don’t speak the language, don’t now the process etc.

    I also wrote a book to help people coming over here (A free download to anyone who asked for it whether using me or not, and some on here even reviewed it for me) to open their eyes to the pitfalls (and yes there are many)

    In all the cases the price differential between what they bought the property for and what the property was advertised meant they were never out of pocket as I only got paid if I could negotiate the price down – and in 100% of the cases did so (though in some cases I got paid about what it cost in petrol and lunches etc)

    Not everyone comes over here armed with knowledge and sites like SPI are great for informing people – but four years ago they weren’t as prevalent and buyers didn’t know about such forums until after they had been ripped off.

    There is still a role for buyers agents because not everyone LIKES to negotiate. Some people will pay what the owners ask because they are embarrassed to ask for a discount

    So in summary I wouldn’t discount the role of a buyers agent – but whether you need one or not is a personal choice that only you could decide- however as with choosing a selling agent you need to choose carefully.

  • #90856
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    Anonymous
    Participant

    I think Property Finders makes some good, well supported points. While this service may not be for everybody, I do see it having some value.

    Unlike many of the members of this board, there are people out there that do not live and breathe Spanish property. They don’t know the market and don’t have the time or inclination to do so. A couple of thousand Euros is a valuable investment in such instances.

    I find that most of the members on this board are so cynical and jaded about anything to do with Spain and Spanish property that they relentlessly attack and ridicule almost everything in relation to it.

  • #90858
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    Anonymous
    Participant

    @vbtudor wrote:

    Just my penny’s worth. I used to operate as a buyers agent about 3 – 4 years ago. My charging structure was based on the difference between the asking price and the selling price (ie 10% of the difference). So a property advertised for say 200K and negotiated to 180K would give a commission of 2,000.

    That is an OK deal for buyer/agent. As it does not involve any money upfront, it is an excellent deal for a buyer.

    In your experience did you feel that buyers were too aggresive or too lame with their
    underprice offers?

  • #90859
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    Anonymous
    Participant

    @AJSpain wrote:

    Unlike many of the members of this board, there are people out there that do not live and breathe Spanish property. They don’t know the market and don’t have the time or inclination to do so. A couple of thousand Euros is a valuable investment in such instances.
    .

    Why would anybody buy without knowing the market? There is now plenty of time to do the research, without the danger of being priced out on anything…

    A couple of thousand Euros is a month of work (unless the money is a gift) so it is not a joke. A couple of thousand Euros might be 0.5% for a 400K property but
    it is 3% for a 60K property…

  • #90860
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    Anonymous
    Participant

    Hi Flossmichael

    In my experience most buyers were guided by what agents had told them (ie if you place an offer then within 5% of the asking price or they will be insulted). Therefore they were nervous about making offers. However I have no shame (well in some things yes but generally when it comes to money anything left on the table is a gift and I dont like giving even to charity unless its a worthy cause).

    So I was happy te bargain hard. But I also used to make sure there were at least two or three possibilities so the potential buyers could walk away if need be. Unfortunately though sentiment plays its part (and is probably the biggest cause of lost money in a purchase of property)

    Some buyers were aggressive but were the exception rather than the rule

  • #90862
    Profile photo of katy
    katy
    Spectator

    Notice how the ones who come out in favour of this are mainly Agents. Some have now been property finders…how ethical is that when they were agents too. Cynical, moi! too right, I have seen it all 🙄 They are just the same inexperienced chancers who tried to sell property. Better to find yourself a good honest agent (there aré a few). If anyone wants a free property finder in my area PM me. She is a Spanish Agent and has been for over 20 years (not the UK 20 years when they have been out here since the boom started!)

    I repeat, have a look at Property finders agent first post on here, they are so good they advertise on here in property wanted to find a ….Townhouse 😆

  • #90864
    Profile photo of Fuengi (Andrew)
    Fuengi (Andrew)
    Participant

    @katy wrote:

    Notice how the ones who come out in favour of this are mainly Agents. Some have now been property finders…how ethical is that when they were agents too. Cynical, moi! too right, I have seen it all 🙄 They are just the same inexperienced chancers who tried to sell property.

    Don’t know if your including me in this, but I’ll say this anyway. Not our place to decide how you or anyone wants to buy/sell a property. Whethers its going through a buying agent or paying an agent a fee to market your property, or a commission only on sale. Horses for courses at the end of the day.

    @katy wrote:

    Better to find yourself a good honest agent (there aré a few).

    Wow, actually happy to hear you say that. Got the impression sometimes that you though all agents were satans spawn (there are a few 😉 ).

    @katy wrote:

    If anyone wants a free property finder in my area PM me. She is a Spanish Agent and has been for over 20 years (not the UK 20 years when they have been out here since the boom started!)

    lets not go down this route. Look at what happened between JJB and lawbird!!!

  • #90870
    Profile photo of Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Participant

    “Notice how the ones who come out in favour of this are mainly Agents. Some have now been property finders…how ethical is that when they were agents too. Cynical, moi! too right, I have seen it all They are just the same inexperienced chancers who tried to sell property”.

    Must admit Katy your post ozzes with cynicism. To attack the ethical behavious of agents / property finders and tar them all with the same brush only to then have the hide to promote a “good honest agent” to whom you just happen to have their details…

    You have all the attributes and show the behavioural characteristis of the AGENT to which you have shown so much disdain! Talking down one whilst talking up another.

    Whilst i do not doubt the quality of your contact its a little hollow given the nature of your post.

    Yes there are good Agents and bad Agents… but does’nt every profession have this? Surveyors, Policemen, Doctors…

    I can vouch for the latter three!

  • #90872
    Profile photo of Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Participant

    there is nothing wrong with property search agents; they can be very effective and operate up and down the spanish coasts. But, they don’t charge upfront fees; they charge the vendor 2,5% or generally share the selling agents commission. Let’s not think that the “jewels” are all sold privately with no commission and only via select buying agents. A good buying agent enjoys superb relationships with local agents, lawyers, banks etc and can narrow down a potential search for a buyer. It’s all about local knowledge; ie your local patch – not covering a huge area like Andalucia from the UK – otherwise there is a danger in selling a property in an area where you are totally unaware of the iminent arrival of a multi lane highway through the piece of paradise.

    As regards agents in general; well my experience is that in most coastal towns the majority are decent. eg, I live in Marbella and you’ll find the old established lot ( some twenty) have been here for twenty years, enjoy good relationships with their customers, have excellent local contacts, are pilars of the local community – soccer coaches, rotary members, untiring supporters of local charities, childrens homes etc …. yes, they have all made a small fortune over the last twenty years but that is normal if one is consistent and builds up a good reputation with buyers and sellers alike.

    SHARKS ? of course, it’s the nature of any selling business – but crooked I don’t think so – at least they’re here today and here tomorrow – not like all the crowd that come and go leaving trails of debt in their wake ; not to mention the tears !!

  • #90874
    Profile photo of katy
    katy
    Spectator

    @marcoloco10 wrote:

    “Notice how the ones who come out in favour of this are mainly Agents. Some have now been property finders…how ethical is that when they were agents too. Cynical, moi! too right, I have seen it all They are just the same inexperienced chancers who tried to sell property”.

    Must admit Katy your post ozzes with cynicism. To attack the ethical behavious of agents / property finders and tar them all with the same brush only to then have the hide to promote a “good honest agent” to whom you just happen to have their details…

    You have all the attributes and show the behavioural characteristis of the AGENT to which you have shown so much disdain! Talking down one whilst talking up another.


    I merely used it as an example as to how easy it is to find property…I am suprised that so many of you pop up to defend the indefensible.

    Fuengi, if anyone wants to check my credibility they will find that I have NEVER worked in Spain, never needed to, neither my Husband. Although if people are paying bwood all that money whilst she is sitting in the UK. I may consider doing it myself 😉 Just imagine I could run it from the laptop whist sitting round the pool 😆 Especiall the way my investments are going.down!

    UBEDA…the scheme you descibe sound like the USA whereby a buyer finds a buyers agent, at no cost. The agents share the commission, the one we hired really worked he butt off 🙂

    !

  • #90879
    Profile photo of Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Participant

    @marcoloco10 wrote:

    Must admit Katy your post ozzes with cynicism. To attack the ethical behavious of agents / property finders and tar them all with the same brush only to then have the hide to promote a “good honest agent” to whom you just happen to have their details…

    You have all the attributes and show the behavioural characteristis of the AGENT to which you have shown so much disdain! Talking down one whilst talking up another.

    Yeah, Katy is an AGENT, thank you Marcoloco for pointing it out. 😆

  • #90880
    Profile photo of katy
    katy
    Spectator

    I shall now disappear into space like JJB 😆

    Anyway, I am a PROPERTY FINDER 😉 (since reading this thread and seeing how popular they are ) 😆

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