A few tricks that real estate agents use

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06 Mar 2011 00:00 by bobueland Star rating. 6 posts Send private message

 Just a few tricks from the estate agents on the last trip to Spain.

1. First they show me the rubbish. By firmly rejecting to even consider those properties, they show me the half descent ones. By insisting that I'm not interested they show me the good ones. This process takes something like three days, and repeats with each new estate agent I meet.

2. I tell them from the start that I am not interested in off plan. The first properties they show me are off plan.

3. I tell them that I want quite place at least 300 meters from the highway. Many of the properties they take me to are next to the highway.

4. When they show me a property they invariably quote how some property next door sold for 100 000 euros more then the asking price of this one. As soon as they tell me this I know who I'm dealing with.

5. When I see a decent property I want to know the asking price. They tell me a price and when I get to the hotel I do a search on the Internet and find out that the asking price is 20 to 30 thousand euros less then what the agent quoted. I confront them and they say it was a regrettable mistake, but it repeats on the next property they show me. I then tell them that I would gladly buy them a beer and that we can chit chat, but that I will never buy a property from them. It happened so many times that I took this scenario for the norm instead of an exception.


This message was last edited by bobueland on 06/03/2011.

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06 Mar 2011 23:55 by claire T Star rating in Torremendo, Orihuela. 689 posts Send private message

EOS Supporter

Hi Bobueland - I take it that you came over on an inspection trip?  All agents are not the same and I personally feel it is much better for buyers to finance their own visit.  Then you can go into the agent's office and YOU decide which properties to visit, rather than being escorted around and only being able to see what the agent chooses.

Don't think that an inspection visit is a cheap option - you will probably be able to find cheaper properties - and stay firmly in control - if you make your own arrangements and shop around.  Many of us in small local agencies are on a commission-only basis, so if we don't actually listen to the client and show them what they are looking for, then we lose money - it is a great motivator! !




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07 Mar 2011 07:59 by bobueland Star rating. 6 posts Send private message

 Hi Claire,

No it was not an inspection trip, I would never do a thing like that. I financed my own trip. What I described is my actual experience although I also met some descent agents, but they were an exception, not the norm. What surprised me was that they were not very good at reading people. They lost time and money driving me around and ended up with no sale. But I think that's a calculation they do. If they can make 20 000 euros by finding a sucker it's well worth it. I do not claim that every agent is like this, but there are quite a few of them. I was actually impressed with their ingenuity. I would say that real estate agents in Spain are the most creative liars in the world.

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07 Mar 2011 14:00 by EOS Team Star rating in In Spain of course!. 4018 posts Send private message

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Like in any professional there are always good and bad, it just seems you got all the bad ones on your trip!  Why were they showing you off plan stuff?  No one sells off plan any more.

I know many estate agents and to be honest, most of them are pretty decent people.  A lot of the crap ones are no longer in business.

Hope you have more luck on a (maybe) next attempt.



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07 Mar 2011 14:03 by bobueland Star rating. 6 posts Send private message

 Actually I met two agents that seemed to be OK. they listened and tried to show me what I was after. The reason why the others showed me off plan, I suspect was high commission.

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07 Mar 2011 14:47 by Faro Star rating in London. 1139 posts Send private message

were they showing you complete off-plan (ie not built) or some of the many units on the empty completed developments etc.

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08 Mar 2011 18:46 by bobueland Star rating. 6 posts Send private message

 They showed me completed ones, but empty. Maybe I use the wrong term. Maybe they are called key-ready and not off plan. Anyway I wanted resale not new built.

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08 Mar 2011 19:02 by Faro Star rating in London. 1139 posts Send private message

that makes sense - lot's of agents are try to push these type of units claiming they have exclusive deals working with developers or banks.

They just never learn!

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08 Mar 2011 20:28 by spanishdreamproperty Star rating in Norwich/Playa Flamen.... 4 posts Send private message

spanishdreamproperty´s avatar

Hi. We are Dave & Bev Townsend, we run our own Spanish property finding bussines from the UK. We work for the buyer not the seller so we are not in the slightest bit interested in showing clients properties that don't fit their criteria or budget. We only work with highly respected agents in Spain who are members of certain professional bodies and therefore have to conform to codes of practice (as we ourselves have to). At you can find out about us from the web site. We started Spanish Dream Property after we bought our house in Playa Flamenca on the Cost Blanca south (can be seen at and Bev 's Mum and Dad live in the northern Costa Blanca so we have been travelling backwards and forwards for 20 years.  We know the good and the bad about buying!  As a business helping others through the process we speak from experience as well as professional knowledge. 

It is true that many of the companies using non-ethical practices have either gone or are well reduced in size but no doubt in years to come when the market is more bouyant again these companies will reappear under new names.  Buyers beware.  Use your initiative and common sense and don't let the idea of the dream get you carried away.  We offer very practical advice to buyers and are honest about both the costs of buying and owning a property in Spain.  Fortunately the banks are also more sensible in their lending criteria now so it is more difficult to get in over your head.

** EDITED - Self promotion **

Owning a second home in Spain should be great, and can be great when you follow sensible guidelines when buying.  The right house at the right price in the right location can give years of pleasure to both yourselves and friends and family.

This message was last edited by EOS Team on 09/03/2011.

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09 Mar 2011 15:33 by markrichardson Star rating. 2 posts Send private message

If you were in Andalucia you would have addition rights. All agents have to conform to a law called decree 218. This essentially means they have to provide you with an information sheet with all the properties details on including address, IBI, easements etc and various documents. If you view in that area, you might wish to include the following footer on your emails which a friend of mine gave me. If they are following the law and provide you with the information, it will give you an idea if the properties are worth viewing or at least, whether the agent is worth viewing with.

Please note: As is my legal right in Andalucía, before or on viewing a property with a person acting in a business capacity, I will require a fully completed copy of the properties Documento Informativo Abreviado or Ficha Informativo in accordance with the relevant section of decree 218/2005. i.e for rental houses this is section 11 and for houses in their second or subsequent phases of transfer this is section 10. Please ensure this is provided along with any other relevant documents.

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09 Mar 2011 15:54 by mike_walsh Star rating in Torrevieja. 594 posts Send private message

mike_walsh´s avatar

I was in the estate agent business for years. If I was asked what the biggest problem was it was clients being economical with the truth. There's a saying in the trade: 'Buyers are liars'. There is some justification for it. I actually devised a form (which no one thought intrusive) which invited preciseness as their wishes - and essentially, their budget. It worked. I put round pegs in round holes and not surprisngly had an 9/10 success rate.

As an aside I don't think I ever sold a property to a single gent ; single ladies invariably bought. I often asked past clients, which of them made the decision. In all but one case, you guessed it; it was the lady. They are the gender who can make a decision.


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09 Mar 2011 18:32 by bobueland Star rating. 6 posts Send private message

General statements like buyers are liars and single gents never buy, is like many other generalizations just not true. I have bought more then one property without even asking my wife. And I do my homework, I know exactly my budget and what I am after. Iin my experience many agents in Spain just do not listen and try to get me to buy properties that gives them the best profit and do not care about client satisfaction at all.

This message was last edited by bobueland on 09/03/2011.

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09 Mar 2011 19:18 by Daniels Star rating in Waterlooville & Pent.... 220 posts Send private message

I am single and bought all on my own............ what a grown up big boy!!!!!!!!!

May be tomorrow.......... Always better today!!

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09 Mar 2011 19:25 by wend691 Star rating in Lincoln & Rojales (C.... 179 posts Send private message

nice one ... a modern man

Can you multi-task too? heehe

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09 Mar 2011 19:26 by Faro Star rating in London. 1139 posts Send private message

There is some truth in what Mike Walshe is saying and there are some time wasters who decide just to go view properties for the day with no intention of ever buying - some of these are the very people who think they will get a free buffet lunch at some timeshare or holiday club promotion and then get conned into buying!

But as he said a good agent by asking the right questions might spot these types. I believe they call them tyre kickers at the exhibitions!

We see them on here sometimes with comments like "looking to buy in Spain" but no idea of where or what ....

I am sure there are agents on here who have driven people up and down every road and hill for 3 days buy them lunch and beer and then these people head home to think things over and are never heard from again.

I have heard it from both side ...........

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09 Mar 2011 22:02 by bobueland Star rating. 6 posts Send private message

 Yes your contempt for the buyers is obvious. You do not really see them as people. No wonder buyers do not want to buy from you. I am in the process of buying a property in Spain. I am a cash buyer with a budget of 250 000, and I am looking at a property within 300 meters from the beach in one of the costas. But I will buy from owners directly and I refuse to go through agents. I am sure that there are good agents but the many rotten eggs makes the good one difficult to find. My experience so far is that it is very pleasant to talk to the owners. They give me all the information I ask for and more. For instance I often want to know the location of the property in question so I can look it up on Googlemaps before I decide if it is worth visiting or not. Owners do not have any problems with this, but when I ask the same info from an agent they get upset. They think that I want to cheat them on their commission. I would never do such a thing but they assume automatically that I am a crook and that attitude just makes me angry. Instead of being a help, I find agents to be gatekeepers and a hindrance to actually close a deal.  

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09 Mar 2011 22:11 by mike_walsh Star rating in Torrevieja. 594 posts Send private message

mike_walsh´s avatar

Let's face it; you just have a negative obsession about agents. I have been in the trade for many years and when it comes to bad eggs you find a far higher percentage in other trades: What do you do for a living if we may ask? For a new poster you are very confrontational: You just cleared the bar, sir.


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10 Mar 2011 10:06 by TP1 Star rating in Milton Keynes and Ca.... 161 posts Send private message

bobueland quote 1:  'I will buy from owners directly and I refuse to go through agents'

bobueland quote 2: 'when I ask the same info from an agent they get upset. They think that I want to cheat them on their commission. I would never do such a thing '

... and both in the same paragraph ... hmm i would be concerned if i was your Agent


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10 Mar 2011 10:28 by Faro Star rating in London. 1139 posts Send private message

It would be a good idea if the property search sites included more precise details at to the location of the property and now that IT is so good a link to google maps would not be a bad idea. But it would certainly be a good idea to name the urbanisation or bloque etc.

It could reduce time wasting on both sides.

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10 Mar 2011 13:52 by bbbreakfast Star rating in Bristol and Playa Fl.... 56 posts Send private message

bbbreakfast´s avatar

Faro could not agree more

During my visits half my time ws spent looking at URBs that I would not have contemplated in a million years.

Despite telling agents my requirements which were not extensive they still showed me properties that met few of them.

I eventually bought private after hearing about a property from a local I met on the urb i liked

Spoke to UK owner did viewing and some research and am now chuffed to bits with my home in Spain

Maybe I was lucky but I prefert o think I did my homework and was not swayed by sweet talking agents.


This message was last edited by bbbreakfast on 10/03/2011.

Slanche James

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