24th September 2009 at 5:12 pm #16870
To avoid having aggro with dodgy estate agents/property developers, there are some simple rules.
1. Get your own independent lawyer. If the estate agent tries to persuade you that you will save money and hassle by using their lawyer, run a mile.
2. Get a detailed written contract and get it checked over by your Greek lawyer before you part with a penny. If the estate agent tries to get a deposit from you before this happens, run another mile.
3. Get real. If an estate agent’s newbuild properties sell on price and seem much cheaper than anyone else’s, maybe there’s a catch?2nd October 2009 at 3:21 pm #17223scorpioMember since: 15th September 2009
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I totally agree with all your points 100 percent.
There is no point in getting into a slanging match with these people, see a good independant lawyer from the start, but if you have been led down the garden path already its never too late to change to another lawyer if your not happy.4th October 2009 at 1:04 pm #17450SolonMember since: 15th September 2009
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Having had a lot of experience with fast-talking builders/civil engineers out here I would add;
1. Remember the smile of the crocodile;
2. Offers of help and support as goodwill at the beginning are often added to the bill;
3. Be very wary of any contract that carries prices for measured work as every nook and cranny edge will come in that category as a separate linear meter;
4. Most of all: If the deal looks to good to be true it will be.4th October 2009 at 2:42 pm #17614
More Thoughts On The Dodgy Estate Agent/Developer
If you have suffered at the hands of a company like this, this description will be all too familiar. Maybe it will help potential future victims to give such dodgy operators a wide berth. They are almost an identikit of what you don’t want when you’re seeking someone to sell you a house.
Our bad estate estate agent thrives on giving as little hard, factual information as he can, keeping descriptions vague and preferably verbal. He works by keeping clients in the dark, committing as little as possible to paper. He gets other people – the engineer, the builder – to pick up the pieces of his bungling when his operations go wrong. His line is: “don’t worry about a thing, you’re an innocent abroad in Greece, we know all the ropes so we will look after you and you don’t need to worry your little head about the details. We will sort out the lawyer for you, the bank manager for you…” of course they will. In whose interests do you think that is?
A good estate agent will give you brochures, prospectuses, draft contracts, detailed written information about what lies ahead with the contract and the build. They will inform you about the building stages, what you have to pay and when, about the penalty clauses, the exact quality of materials, and they will provide detailed plans upfront so you can see exactly how big (or now small!) your dream house will be. They will make it clear exactly what is included, precisely what extra you are going to have to pay and what percentage the ‘extras’ will amount to. They will have a clearcut answer for every one of your questions, and encourage you to ask them. A good estate agent will be perfectly happy with the idea of you having your own lawyer. They will understand that you want everything in writing for your lawyer to check before you commit tens of thousands of pounds of your money. Otherwise, on what are you committing that money? On the strength of a pretty website, a phoney smile?
Our bad estate agent is an amateur with no qualifications who got into this business because he saw big profits beckoning. His house ‘designs’ are just something he downloaded from the internet. He builds nothing on spec, but waits for you to hand over your deposit. Then, he will get the actual dirty work of building your house done by a local man whose last job may have been, say, as a shopkeeper. This enables him to dump responsibility on the actual builder, who probably speaks little or no English, when the snags arise. He will cut his costs to the bone to maximise his profit, thereby building your lovely new home to the lowest possible standards. You will be amazed at the number of things which will turn out not to have been included in that “good” price. At the problems you won’t notice until it rains.
A good estate agent is committed to looking after the client’s interests. accepting responsibility when things go wrong, and maintaining a professional manner. This bad estate agent will drop the mask, the moment customers starts asserting themselves, and switch from jovial matiness to ranting rage or sullen cold-shouldering.
A good estate agent encourages potential customers to visit houses he has built and talk to the occupants – at their leisure, without him around. He is proud of his work and knows this can only do him good. The bad estate agent moves his operation into a new area once his bad reputation begins to spread. As the number of dissatisfied customers mounts, he makes great efforts to keep the new clients at a distance from the fed-up ones. Any new client is warned to have nothing to do with “so-and-so” in the locality, because they are “trouble-makers”. If you are unhappily involved with such a dodgy operator, stand up to him, because he is a coward as well as a bully. And get a lawyer fast, if you haven’t already.
Finally: if you are thinking of buying: be aware that it is a buyer’s market in Crete now. There are any number of good, reliable estate agents desperate to flog you a sound newbuild. There are many bargains to be had in ready houses whose owners want out. There is no need to have anything to do with an estate agent with whose reputation you are not entirely comfortable.4th October 2009 at 4:10 pm #17727
Thank you wiser
That has touched a cord,it should be on the front page of Britsincrete.
Until something bad happens no one has a clue how you feel,
depression you have all the emotion’s rolled into one.
Each day can be so different but the same,your all fired up or down like a jack in the box.
You wake up each morning, its same old morning like yesterday,ifs and buts if only we could turn back time.
Sincere people talk to you yes you appear to listen but the trust in the peoples gone,you want to kick a concrete bollard
but you know it will hurt so badly.
You don’t need physical pain to bring you back to reality,you
hurt mentally every living minute,hour,day of your life you have to live on this earth.
My thoughts to you wiser are, you know the truth so clearly
once i think we were friends.6th October 2009 at 2:23 pm #17809scorpioMember since: 15th September 2009
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I think I also recognise you too, and nicely put – my sentiments exactly hope everyone reading this takes in all that you have said.7th October 2009 at 9:42 am #17874
Mmmm Scorpio. Interesting that you say that you think you recognise ‘boot sale’. So do I. They go by another user-name on this forum…….
Yes, ‘boot sale’, you have been rumbled! Trust me, I know I’m right! :D7th October 2009 at 2:40 pm #17926AnonymousMember since: 1st January 1970
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Reading Wiser’s post there appears to be some confusion as to the roles of various people involved in house sales/purchase. You need to know exactly who you are dealing with and what they do. Just to clarify matters a little:
An Estate Agent sells property which is owned by others. He can only provide you with the details that the owner has given to him. Of course, he can obtain additional details from the owner if requested but he cannot always vouch for the accuracy of those details which is why you employ your own lawyer (and surveyor if buying an existing property). Just remember that an estate agents income comes mainly from commission paid to him by the people whose property he is selling. (These are his clients; the potential buyers are his customers.)
A Property Developer usually buys a plot of land, gets an architect to design one or more houses to fit the land and then either builds the houses or employs a builder to do this for him. He then sells the finished properties, often using the services of an estate agent. It is with the property developer that you have your formal contract and not with the estate agent who will invoice the developer separately for his services.
A Builder will build a house to someone else’s design (usually an architects) for a quoted price. He will often suggest additions/modifications to the design for you to accept or refuse. Obviously these should be included in the total price.
Our bad estate agent is an amateur with no qualifications who got into this business because he saw big profits beckoning
All estate agents in Greece have to be licensed. That is the law. If your “bad” agent is not licensed he can be prosecuted. If he is licensed you should report him to the authorities to get his license revoked. Your local KEP office will advise you how to pursue both of these options.
He builds nothing on spec, but waits for you to hand over your deposit etc.
Remember the difference between an estate agent and a property developer?
A good estate agent is committed to looking after the client’s interests
I cannot argue with that! I can only point out, as I said earlier, that his clients are the people who’s property he is selling and not you.
A good estate agent encourages potential customers to visit houses he has built and talk to the occupants – at their leisure, without him around.
A good estate agent encourages potential customers to visit houses he is selling etc. Estate agents don’t build houses!
Just like “The Enforcer” I too recognise the same people posting under different names here and also making troll posts on other forums, frankly I don’t think it helps your case.
Lastly, whatever the previous posters may think, I am not unsympathetic to their plight. Buying property in a foreign country is a minefield and everyone should exercise the utmost caution. Let the buyer beware!
(Sad & needs to get a life)7th October 2009 at 4:10 pm #17970
776C66250 wrote: Reading Wiser’s post there appears to be some confusion as to the roles of various people involved in house sales/purchase
776C66250 wrote: Estate agents don’t build houses!
Thank you RIC and I am sure you mean well, but you are factually wrong, and I am not in the least confused.
I have been referring advisedly to a dodgy estate agent/developer because the (obviously hypothetical) company I have mentioned does indeed conflate the two roles. This particular company describes itself on its website as “real estate agents”. It does act as agent offering for sale a few existing houses on their owners’ behalf but its major role is as property developer, working just as you have described, featuring the off-plan house designs on the website.
This combination of roles is by no means unusual and I can think of several reputable companies who work in exactly this way.
My warnings about suspect agents/developers do not relate to this combination of operations, except in so far as a dodgy operator will try to push you towards one of his newbuilds rather than a ready house – there’s a lot more profit in it for him.
I don’t intend to debate the niceties of English grammar here, but a “customer” is someone who may be interested in doing business with a company; a “client” is someone – buyer or seller – who actually is doing business. You are right in one small respect: I should have said: “our bad estate agent was an amateur with no qualifications”.
For your reference I haven’t posted on this subject on any other forum. I have posted here because Gerald has kindly invited such frank discussion; because I am concerned for people I believe to have been misled and exploited, and because I hope to prevent others from falling into the same trap. That’s all.7th October 2009 at 4:58 pm #18008AnonymousMember since: 1st January 1970
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Thank you Wiser for clarifying that.
I was obviously confused because, although the title line mentions estate agent/developer, every paragraph of your post begins with either "A good estate agent" or "Our bad estate agent". There is not a single mention of Developers in the text of your post!
You may know what you understand and mean but others may not.
John7th October 2009 at 5:07 pm #18041
To The Enforcer
See you signed to up today from the UK yes I think I know Scorpio that’s all, no conversion with the person who i think I know for many months.
You say you know me that’s ok with me, I do not go by other users name have no need to.
Think this is the wrong thread for you to use to ask about who’s, who’s, think you have to go on the thread General Questions.8th October 2009 at 6:15 pm #18069david and NadiaMember since: 8th October 2009
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Just read cretan aggro and have to reply, just built a new villa in the epano sissi area, local builder and used their own lawyers on their advice in fact from the start of the new build we have been advised by the most professional builder / architect / lawyer we could ever have dreamed of, the finished product is a wonder to behold, fitted up to the highest standards down to the taps, many brits in the area have been amazed at the quality and finish of the villa which was very nice to hear as they all had nightmare stories ! it is a family run business and i cannot praise them enough, they all made buying my future home a very pleasant and unstressed period, Yes we had a local lawyer, they drove us there and arranged all the paperwork, it was very easy, Yes we took a local builder without obtaining any advice , Yes we trusted them to build as promised, our new home in the top quality materials, no regrets at all and would do it again ( with the same company ), not all local builders in Crete are not to be trusted, on travelling to sissi now, we always pop in and have a meal with all concerned and still feel like part of their family, is this advertising ?? I would also tell you if they were awful, Giakoumakis real estate in Malia by the main crossroads but on the main road :) apart from handing over the cash , a very memorable experience.16th October 2009 at 1:41 pm #18094
That was good to know David and Nadia,well done all the very best in the future.
We have also heard many reports regarding good real estate agents the one that sticks out the most is Extantas real estate and property sales company,we have not heard a bad word spoken.
Remember if you find a property through a agent make sure you have first a lawyer also contract you can understand and make all payments by bank transfer or cheque so you have written proof of what you paid, a lawyer recommended by the agent may have a conflict of interests.
Beware of unlicensed agents–"please do not use them"
Buyers should stay well clear of anyone dealing in property without a licence in other words, illegally.
To obtain a licence, the agency owner must have a clean European financial and criminal, make sure to ask to see the agents licence.
They must also have a registered real estate office, be registered as an employer and pay full Greek National Insurance to themselves and their workers.
So you have made the choice of a new build remember the most frustrating period of the construction is the planning consent process, without properly authorised permissions no construction work on any type of property is permitted.
If you are thinking of renovating a property yourself all is not straight forward, you must use a architect to conform to strict standards.
You must obtain a building licence, pay taxes and IKA insurance for the build,you must have official tax invoices.
Rumors has it there is a wind of change blowing through the real estate industry, there are no shortage of illegal companies especially companies hiding behind European laws concerning advertising on the Internet.
These companies are not paying taxes and are also not helping the country that they live in, often by choice.
They are parasitical in a country that can ill afford parasites so need to be stamped out and frowned upon for their behaviour.
Please do it right ask questions its your money they need,
get it right first time ask questions.
Do not let these people walk away with your life’s savings,
again I say ask questions.
Do not accept a signed agreement it is not a legal document here, must be a legal contract involves seller, lawyer, notary’s office. "Do it right".
I will not be answering any questions of the above, not here for a slanging match please do your own leg work.
There is a web sight that could be of interest to some16th October 2009 at 2:21 pm #18115
I am deleting this post because
a) it is merely promoting another forum
b) adds nothing to the discussion
As webmaster I have no interest what goes on in other forums, just BritsinCrete.
admin16th October 2009 at 7:13 pm #18131
Sorry been told that the web I mentioned is unavailable, that’s my fault sorry its all lower case.
I tried to enter the web site from my last thread it would not do so even after allowing pop ups, then had to enter the www. into a web search able to do so no problem.
Lower case……….. http://www.greekpropertysociety.com17th October 2009 at 9:02 am #18146eranimMember since: 15th September 2009
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I am trying to understand the last but one post from The Enforcer. Is it saying that the post from Boot Sale is promoting another forum and not adding to the discussion or was there another post that was deleted or is it in fact someone trying to be funny. I think that so far there has been a lot of information that could help prospective purchasers provided by various people on this subject and it would be a shame if they are stopped from posting on this site.19th October 2009 at 7:11 am #18160
In reply to Eranim (#15), I was merely pointing out that an individual who uses this forum (and another), posts under a variety of different names. And does so to stir the s***.
Apparently my posting was deleted because I referred to this other Crete-related forum and, of course, here on BIC "we are only interested in BIC".
It’s a shame that those individuals who post under numerous pseudonyms are not so effectively weeded out. But hey, who am I to say?19th October 2009 at 8:12 am #18168eranimMember since: 15th September 2009
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I don’t want to get into a battle with you ‘The Enforcer’ but are you not doing yourself what you have accused others of doing?
Just have some pity for those poor people who have lost their money, their house or both and if possible try to enderstand how they must be feeling.
Me, I would be so upset if I had worked hard all my life only to lose everything to a company that promised the earth and didn’t deliver. Also if I had the chance to warn others I would do. Hence this forum.
BIC keep up the good work19th October 2009 at 8:34 am #18176
Erinam: I don’t want to get into a battle with you ‘The Enforcer’ but are you not doing yourself what you have accused others of doing?
The Enforcer: No, I don’t post under a variety of different names. Enough said.21st October 2009 at 9:13 pm #18184
The address of Consumers Institute (INKA)
7, Akadimias street.
Athens, 106 71.
Telephone 210 363 2443.
These people can be very helpful, if you have problem they will start court proceeding’s on your behalf, if an injustice has been done. You may need to be a resident in Greece "I think", they are all volunteers not all can speak English.
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