Buying or selling a home is probably one of the biggest financial transactions that you will ever make.
To help you, it is imperative that you find and work with an honest real estate agent.
However, with some Spanish Property agents, this is not the case.
Similar to other industries, there are some rotten apples in the world of Spanish real estate.
One of the most popular regions for Spanish property investment over the last 20 years, the Costa Blanca, has had its fair share of crooked agents.
It’s a fact that due to the now “liberalised” legal requirements of acting as a property agent, many people ventured to the Costa Blanca thinking it’s a fast money generating scheme.
With such a mentality, their main goal is to make a profit, by any means possible, lying included.
Due to the fact that real estate agents on the Costas do not need to obtain a license, this alone has led to the flooding of unscrupulous agents roaming around the resorts.
According to the Colegio Oficial de Agentes de la Propiedad Inmobiliaria or API, agents should promote ethical behaviour such as honesty.
Below are some of the lies told by unscrupulous real estate agents. Knowing this can make it easy for you to read in between the lies and make an informed decision.
When & How Agents Lie
Most unprofessional real estate agents lie about their experience.
In their eyes, adding more years of experience to their CV can help attract clientele.
Others spend a lot of time tweaking their websites using dubious methods to rank at the top of search engine result pages, giving the impression they are to be trusted.
Others pay for fake positive reviews.
If you are interested in hiring an agent to help you buy or sell on the Costa Blanca, you can know the true credentials of a real estate agent by doing some detective work.
Here are a few things you should be keen on when looking to hire a real estate agent.
As mentioned earlier, this is something that real estate agents heavily lie about.
The good news is you can spot an inexperienced agent from a mile away.
Just look at the number of years they have been online.
If it’s anything below what they suggest, it should raise some concern.
We spoke to Mac McCarthy, the owner of Valuvillas, a real estate agency in Javea on the Costa Blanca recently and he confirmed how so called “experienced” agents seem to be appear daily in the area, all claiming to be professional and well versed in the legalities of purchasing property in Spain.
The truth is, the nearest they have been to being a “bona fide” agent is when they sat next to one on the plane flying over.
Some agents might try to persuade you by adding a few details on how long they have resided in the resort or their recent employment as an agent for another company.
You shouldn’t necessarily buy into that.
At the end of the day, you should hire a real estate agent that knows what they are doing.
One who can predict a problem before even running into it.
Or somebody that can remedy a situation as it arises.
If the person you are talking with doesn’t strike you as having this foresight, it is best to find another.
Real Estate Listings
An honest real estate agent will have many active listings on its website.
Therefore, before hiring an agent, always confirm on their for-sale section.
If there are no active listings, you need to be very careful.
Exceptions can be made for a few only exclusive buyer broker agents.
You should also confirm that those listings belong to that particular agent by clicking on them.
Because there are some who might want to dupe you by putting listings for another agent on their company website in the hope of earning a commission.
As you may know, real estate agents do have a specialty.
It could be a specialty in the type of buyers they deal with, a neighbourhood, or even a type of property such as luxury villas or plots.
You need to know that there is no universal real estate agent.
If this is what one is selling you, be careful.
There are some agents who find it hard to understand what they are at the moment and what they inspire to be.
Some agents can advertise how their specialty is in selling high-end areas, yet they have never sold a single high-end home.
Others might try to showcase property in certain neighbourhoods that they have never sold a single property in and are unfamiliar with the area.
This is one of the biggest lies told by real estate agents.
In the real estate industry, fixed commissions do not really exist.
Some agents might even put it on their website that their commissions are non-negotiable.
You need not take that seriously.
Commissions are meant to be negotiated.
Therefore, never be afraid to negotiate the best deal for yourself.
“There’s Lots of Buyers Interested in Your Property”
This is another frequent lie.
It’s undeniable that your agent could be in contact with many people interested in buying or selling a home.
But what are the odds that all these people are interested in buying your exact type of property?
You should be sceptical when an agent tells you that there are a lot of buyers interested in buying your property.
Because that is likely to be an outright “porky pie”
How To Tell Whether an Agent is Legitimate Or Not
If your agent has been boasting of how many deals they have closed, it’s advisable to ask for their sales record.
The other way to achieve this is by asking for references.
You can always ask around your neighbours, expats who have spent time in the area, bankers, lawyers, etc.
They might know a thing or two about that real estate agent.
If there are testimonials on their websites, you could try to reach out and confirm if the agent is reputable.
As we conclude, you need to differentiate an honest real estate agent from a dishonest one.
Use the above tips to identify dishonest Costa Blanca real estate agents and save yourself from being misled.