June 5, 2010 at 12:27 pm #55657
I have recently been involved in a purchase of an apartment in a Spanish island.I was informed the price was 62500 euro by the Immobiliria agent. When I went to seeit I was told the one advertised was sold but another was available.I declined it next day but when I came back to England I changed my mind and was told it was still available. I was invited to send a deposit for a Reservation -the Secretary said this would normally be 6250 euros but these owners require 10000 euros. This I sent and subsequently I have been to the Notary and the Nota has eventually been deposited at Land Registry. Now I subsequently find out the Estate Agent signed a Reservation Contract for 47000 euros with the Vendor. As the vendor and I live in the same building and have friendly relationship. He thinks he has been ripped off. I did accept the price with the agent but also think I have been ripped off. There are other worrying aspects of this transaction but cannot give details of place and any names for legal reasons. I have given the vendorcopies of an email in which a price is stated and he has given me copiy of his reservation contract.Before I left Spain I suggested he went and saw a lawyer he has dealt with previously even though was not involved on this occasion.We decided to await the outcome of his visit there next week Is it illegal for an Agent to write two different prices to purchaser and vendor ? Actually I never signed my Reservation Contract as I was delayed by the Volcano but I paid the full purchase monies within the time by bank transfer and the lawyer attached to this company said that was Ok.I am wondering how this might be resolved!!! Comments appreciated.
June 7, 2010 at 8:59 am #98944
Oh dear! You REALLY need a very good Lawyer ASAP. Mark has recommendations of Lawyers from different areas of Spain if you cannot find one. You may need a conveyancing/litigation lawyer. Your transaction sounds typically underhand.
Hopefully someone here who has legal knowledge will respond to your post.
June 7, 2010 at 9:20 am #98946
Agent took a 25% commission. If I was you I would get a good lawyer between you and find out what your options are. You may find the agent did nothing illegal, albeit totally unethical.
If you don’t mind, send me a PM with the agents name. I will treat it in confidence. I just like to know who is getting up to this sort of thing.
June 7, 2010 at 11:18 am #98949
Can I just make the point, why are buyers paying deposits other than a nominal amount.
The market is in free fall, and the idea of paying a deposit to secure the sale and prevent the owner from selling to someone else is crazy.
I would only pay a nominal deposit of a few hundred Euros, the owner may not be happy but the reality of it is your terms or no sale.
With X million properties for sale (and prices falling fast) no sane seller is going to refuse sale to the one lonely buyer he sees after months and years in a property desert.
June 7, 2010 at 12:29 pm #98952
You are so right in what you say jp1. Truth is, some people are still not familiar with the market conditions. There are still the cowboys of REAs around it seems.
June 7, 2010 at 12:35 pm #98953
Thanks for replies so far/. I have written a bit privately to Mark about this and maybe some of the story will come back. When I went to view the property I could have mafde a smaller deposit but I initially declined it. On returning home it was getting closer to Easter and I was reluctant about this amount but I assumed that the owners wanted some security of this so they did not lose a sale as it was close to Easter and this was the lowest priced property on the agents books in this canary island. What I found subsequently the vendors had never asked for this amount which in my opinion was asking for money under false pretences. It is even more so in my opinion when the agent then signs a reservation contract for a lesser sale price with the vendor. In this country the police would be involved. But what is the Law in this matter in Spain. I have been told the police are never interested in these matters.
June 7, 2010 at 1:58 pm #98958
I am sorry that you have been caught in a bad deal, and my post isn’t a critism, I have been stung to a heavier tune by the market, but the fault was mine in not appreciating the true global picture, like many others.
I have posted so that other readers who may be considering buying now fully appreciate who has the bargaining chips. There is absolutely no reason why a buyer should pay any type of deposit, simply pay the full amount at the notary.
June 7, 2010 at 2:43 pm #98961
The point about the Reservation though is the Agent is not supposed to sell to anyone else. My belief now is never buy from any Spanish Agent unless you know them and have plenty of reassurance about their integrity. Never accept a lawyer who has any connection with an agent. Best of all find out who the vendor is and deal directly. If you are ethical you might pay the agent his lost fee but better go that way than risk being ripped of. I cannot understand how with all the meddling by the EU in National affairs -the raw deal our fishermen get. This is a damning inditement on the EU that they allow Lawyers and Estate Agents in Southern Europe to rip of buyers and that if ‘harmonisation’ means anything the practices in Spain need thorough. Overhaul -you would think so with several years Socialist Govt – that it might have been tackled -if not what hope with the Party Popular !!!!! If an agent requests a deposit saying the vendors have asked for that amount surely that is deception. If the Agent then signs a contract with the vendor for a loower price surely it is fraud under English law but is it in Spain ? It might cost a fortune in litigation to get the matter even heard yet alone judged in favour of the vendor and myself. If we can haul them in under the Law it makes it a different ball game -but there could be personal dangers ???
June 24, 2010 at 10:31 am #99287
I went to a firm of lawyers in London -spanish with a branch in Las Palmas who requred not far short of £1000 to review my case. I explained my complaint was against the agent and it might extend to the lawyer who operated with them. I explained I did not want a review that would only tell me what I already knew- what I wanted was action -my spanish vendor considers we were victims of crime in that taking a deposit saying that is what the vendor asked and then signing a contract for reservation with the vendor for a substantially lesser sum is fraud. Or is it simply ‘unethical’ in Spain. Is Spain in a European Union or is it a country with the rules of the mafia ? Well I paid this firm a much lesser sum for advice to get rid of them. They took the view that they did not think I paid much adrift from market value and they just gave the impression they were not interested unless I was interested in shelling out for 15 months to take to civil court. Well what other courses of action are open- I have thought about OMIC the spanish consumer agency. I have considered going to my euro MP/.
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