April 26, 2005 at 9:14 am #51068
Four damning articles have now appeared in the Press in the last 2 years in the UK involving the same Estate Agent in Puerto Banus, Marbella re mis-selling and disgraceful lack of customer care despite their slogan of ‘Because we listen, because we care’, plus their recommendations of ‘dodgy’ lawyers.
It’s about time Spain’s regulatory bodies clamped down on companies like this and cleaned them, this will have a positive effect and generally help this questionable industry to regain some credibility.
I doubt though that they will get involved as they appear to turn a ‘blind eye’ to these scammers.
April 27, 2005 at 12:49 pm #58194
I still think someone should set up a vetting service for expats
April 28, 2005 at 9:36 am #58196
Care to explain?
April 28, 2005 at 10:53 am #58197
We should first start to name and shame these agents on our forums. If the response is huge which I am sure it will be then to lobby with the Spanish govt regarding these agents. The Spanish govt will probably not be interested as they get a huge revenue from us.
April 28, 2005 at 4:06 pm #58199
You would think that a forum like this is the perfect place for naming and shaming dodgy companies. However for various reasons it has to be approached with caution:
1. In my experience, when you allow free rein to mention companies by name, whether it be praise or condemnation, some of the most active participants are the companies themselves. They either sing their own praises, under the pretence of being satisfied clients, or slag off the competition. It quickly degenerates into nonsense, undermining the content of the forum and taking too much time to police. This is the main reason why we don’t allow it.
2. A free-for-all inevitably leads to serious allegations being made against companies. Serious allegations made in a public forum can, in some circumstances, land the forum management in court for abetting calumny. Therefore all allegations have to be backed up with good evidence and genuine aggrieved clients prepared to go on the record. That means it all has to be managed carefull.
So for the time being please feel free to describe your experiences, good or bad, but avoid mentioning specific companies by name. Acornestates, you’ve been spot on this respect so thank you for that.
But let’s not forget that there are good and bad companies in every sector and in every country – the Spanish property business is no different in this sense. And after all this talk about unscrupulous companies I would like to point out a few things that it is important not to loose sight of:
– There are many excellent estate agents in Spain if you know how to find them. More on this at Spanish Property Insight in the future.
– Spain is one of the best countries in the world in which to live and own property. The quality of life here is unbeatable.
– If you go about things the right way, use good companies, use a good lawyer, treat sales claims with scepticism and keep your wits about you, buying property in Spain can be as safe as houses and highly rewarding both in terms of quality of life and as a long-term financial investment. I have this theory about how technology and changes in the travel business are going to unleash Spain’s comparative advantage, which is quality of life. In the coming decades many of the wealth creators in the North of Europe will move South, bringing businesses and wealth with them. This process has literally only just started. But that’s a topic for another day. The challenge in the short term is to put the hucksters under pressure. I’m working on it.
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