Hi Brian and all others.
Firstly, you should know that was bankrolled by AE chairman to set up on the Costa Blanca and regularly attends their exhibitions. As previously stated, always go for independent legal advice. you dont always need a lawyer, particularly on new builds and a gestor will suffice for a greatly reduced fee as opposed to lawyers.
In fairness I must state that with off plan properties, unless you are buying several at a time, all the agents have an agreed commision rate with developers. Effectively this means that if you go direct to a developer, you will pay the same amount for a unit as you would via any agent and this is a fact. The agents are given the money for bringing clientele.
Now, of course, certain Agents have certain agreements with certain developers and they will always try to push, push, push you into buying from that particular developer. This is where a buyer really needs to step aside from the situation and read between the lines of a sales pitch.
there is satisfaction in finding the right property for a buyer with some sales people, but the bottom line is money, make no mistake.
I had heard a while back that Torremar never had bank guarantees but that could be hearsay and its worth double checking.
At the end of the day, the Agents in general serve a purpose and from what I can gather, the commisions are not what they used to be. Competition is really tough for clients now and always remember ITS A BUYERS MARKET.
Now, if you go for a resale property, the bigger the company, the bigger their overheads, the more commision you will pay. OE are something like 8.7% standard. Always fight this! And look around. Often other smaller Agents have the same property at 4-5%.
The main thing with AE as is often expressed, their After Sales Service is essentially worthless although some do get lucky and have a fair run. Not good enough if you are spending 150K upwards in my book.
By the way. If you have paid your deposit by credit card and want to pull out, then speak to your CC provider. It has been known to recoup the losses up to 5 weeks later so all may not be lost. Try it!
Good luck, and if you have any questions, I will try to help