October 19, 2006 at 4:16 pm #52375
I have a property not far from Marbella which I bought off plan. It’s sat empty and unfurnished since the purchase completed last December. I bought as an investment and realised I’d made a mistake when the mortgage valuer’s report came in reporting that the price I was legally committed to pay was more than the value of the property.
Since completing, I have been trying to identify a good estate agent to market the property for sale. I talked to a couple of UK-based estate agents, a couple out in Marbella and also the company I bought through. None of them are interested/willing/able to list the property for me. I booked a flight and a hotel, came out to Marbella to meet with a couple of agents and eventually signed up with Viva. Viva listed the property and promised to advertise it in Hot Property…and then they went quiet on me for a while.
I then had a phone call from a guy at Viva explaining that they were changing their commission policy and instead of the 7.5% commission I’d signed up for, they were proposing to charge me 2% commission plus 1% to handle the conveyancing. They said I could still sign up with any other agent (I hadn’t intended to in any event) and if that other agent sold the property, I wouldn’t be expected to pay Viva any commission. They said if I really wanted my solicitor to handle the conveyancing I could (although I’d still have to pay them the 1% charge). Then they said they’d require 20% of the 1% conveyancing charge up front.
When I received their t&c’s, things didn’t add up. There was nothing in the t&c’s about being able to use another agent, nothing about not paying Viva commission if another agent secured a sale, nothing about not being tied into them re conveyancing and there was no clause that dealt with terminating the contract at all. The t&c’s also stated that a prospective purchaser would be required to pay their deposit to secure the property to Viva and I didn’t fancy this at all. I wrote to them setting out all of these and despite chasing, they aren’t responding to me at all now.
I want to point out that I’m completely cool with what is effectively a 3% commission – after all, I was resigned to paying 7.5%. However, I’m growing increasingly concerned about Viva’s lack of availability, the contradiction in terms and, above all, the fact that my property is still sitting there empty.
Can anybody PLEASE give me some advice on how best I should go about selling this property because I don’t know where to look, who to talk to or what to believe any more.
October 19, 2006 at 4:44 pm #66908
My daughter was in the same position, there is a long thread on this is you do a search. My opinion, I would not pay any money upfront, my daughters house was removed from their database because she refused. There seems to be a very confusing situation on the CDS at the moment. many agents are claiming to be in a network (but I thought VIVA was the network). 2 of the agents she rang to list her property never got back to her. VIVA claim in their latest property supplements to be selling lots of properties since their commission cut eg. listed for 18 months sold in 1 week at low commission, but I think the reduction would be very small to shift a property of only 200,000 euros as the reduction would be small.
In the year that my daughters property has been for sale Viva have only brought 4 viewers a smaller agent at 5%commission brought 3.
October 20, 2006 at 7:01 pm #66953
I would first ask you how urgent your need to sell is? The actions that you take depend on the speed with which you need to sell.
If you are not in any great hurry to sell, probably the best thing to do is sit back and get some/any income from it as a rental. Wait for the market to pick up and sell in a few years time. That way, there is a chance that the level of competition will have died down and there may not be such a glut of new-build flats to compete against.
Sadly, if you are desperate to sell, then you need to do a fair amount of work to ensure that you are the best informed vendor on your development/in your area – you need to be the one to drive the sale through as the agents will have plenty of distractions with the many properties they have to sell.
Basically it will be down to price – if you asked 20,000euros for it there would probably be about 10 buyers (from this forum) who would buy it in the next 24 hours. Obviously that is unrealistic but if your need is urgency then there will be a price that beats all competition and therefore puts your flat at the top of any prospective buyers list.
If you want me to be more expansive with an answer feel free to PM me but it may be quite a painful experience. I don’t cover the coastal CDS but have plenty of experience in shifting property.
October 25, 2006 at 9:09 am #67020
Thanks to both of you for the advice.
I don’t have a desperate financial need to sell but neither do I want to have to furnish the property and rent it out with all the associated management issues invovled. I’m quite prepared to take a fairly serious loss (I’m already about 100,000 Euros out of pocket on what the property is (or rather was as Viva have STILL not responded to me) being “listed” at. This is taking into consideration the shortfall on the purchase price, the IVA tax, the solicitors fees, the mortgagees charges, etc.
How about auctions? Are there any local/national/international residential property auctions dealing with residential property?
October 25, 2006 at 10:14 am #67023
There is a property auction firm in Nerja they have a website
It looks like their next auction is on 24th November. I don’t know the risks associated with auctioning your house, but perhaps someone with more knowledge will advise you.
I also found on Google another site
http://www.direct-auctions.com/en/services.asp which is based in Mabella.
Good luck with your sale.
October 25, 2006 at 10:17 am #67024
I find that alot depends on the location of your property. What nationality are the other residents in the area. If its popular with the dutch (for example) go with an agency that caters to dutch.
In terms of what agent to go with. The one that instills confidence. The IN used to charge 7.5 for cheaper properties all the way to 5% for the expensive ones.
In my personal opinion I would not go with Viva. maybe they’ll sell it, maybe they won’t but with a 2% commission (+ 1% conveying) few if not other agency is going to want to get a 1% commission. IMO better to go with a smaller agency that will charge 5% but that can prove that they have active partners in the area/along the coast. Most seem willing to split a 5% commission.
DON’T go with any agents that makes grand promises. If the bank valued you property at say 250.000 don’t go with an agency wants to list your property at 400.000€ just to get your listing.
Make them back up their info. Why list at that price? How do you market your properties? any other charges? What happens if you sell privately? look at what they advertise (no point listing with an agency that concentrates of off-plan), etc….
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