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Estate Agents - This one will cause a storm.


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#1 cretan-homes

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Posted 23 June 2005 - 09:58 PM

I am angry enough now to post this thread, but I would appreciate qualified feedback and comments.
I would rather not read snipes and throw away remarks, as what is posted here will go towards a survey I am carrying out here and on other sites.

THE FOLLOWING IS NOT IN ANYWAY RELATED TO THOSE COMPANIES WORKING WITH GREEK PARTNERS WITHIN THE SAME COMPANY, OR THOSE WHO SPEAK GREEK FLUENTLY.

I have to say WHAT IS GOING ON!!!

How many more agents am I going to see open up with a view to Getting Rich Quick, at the expense of the customer?

I am frankly amazed that people will buy property from expat, non Greek speaking agents!
If you were at home, would you buy a property from
someone who didn't speak the language or know anything about the area!!!!!

I am stunned that these agents are so delighted with themselves and do not have any qualms at selling so unprofessionally.

Before you buy a property from an agent, ask yourselves some questions.

1. If the agents are not Greek, or don't speak the language fluently, how can they understand your property contract and be 100% sure about the legalities of your purchase?
2. If they use other intermediaries, where is the cost of this service and are they registered as translators or agents themselves?
3. Do these so called intermediaries really understand the intricacies of property purchases?
4.How long has the agent been in the country and what do they really know of the region?
5. Did the agent just build one house and think they are now professional, or are they arrogant enough to think they can do a better job than the masters of the trade?
6. MOST IMPORTANTLY, DO THEY SELL TO GREEKS? THIS IS USUALLY A TELLING POINT AND ONE MOST AGENTS DON'T DO?
7. If they don't sell to Greeks, ask yourself why? Why would you trust your services to this kind of person, who is too unqualified to sell to a local?
8. Are they registered and do they give you receipts of transactions, with proper tax books, not just internet copies meaning zilch?

Being English myself, having run businesses here and speaking the language, I disagree with anyone trying to sell properties without being Greek, having a Greek partner or not speaking the language fluently.

There are so many ways in which a property purchase can be wrong or services not available, that a non Greek speaking person would not pick up on them and cause dramatic future problems.

Also an intermediary who sells t-shirts or cigarettes will not be trained to look for the details, but will be happy to take a substantial commission for their role in your property purchase.

PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE BE CAREFUL AND CHECK YOUR AGENTS CREDENTIALS!

Abbe and Yiannis Karavitis
http://www.cretan-homes.com
QUALIFIED AGENTS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

#2 Guest_Lala_*

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Posted 23 June 2005 - 10:13 PM

I can understand giving a warning to potential customers about going to unscrupulous members of the trade, but this seems to go beyond that, but the reason for your outburst seems to have been omitted.
If people choose to go to such an estate agent, surly that is their problem, or is it effecting your trade?
In any area I believe that the saying "buyer beware" stands good.
If there is no authoritative body in Crete regarding unscrupulous traders, would it not be pertinent to start something by those agents that are qualified?

#3 cretan-homes

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Posted 23 June 2005 - 10:31 PM

Yes Lala,

I agree that there is onus on the buyer to beware, but don't you agree that when people are investing usually a lifetime's savings, that there should be more onus on the agent to behave properly?
The main problem seems to be it is difficult for customers to see who are 'unscrupulous members' as usually they aren't members of anything at all!

Maybe you are right and the only way to conform is by having some sort of ombudsman, I will seriously consider starting up some sort of commission with agents who are similarly concerned about this problem.

This is a very good idea, thank you Lala. Dependant on the level of information and comments I receive on this and other boards, I will start to think seriously about setting this up....all comments welcome.

The reason for my outburst is twofold. Yes it effects all agents business, as there are more and more generalisations about conduct and tremendous suspicion, due to those running a business as a hobby. Secondly this discredits all agents working so hard to conform and offer a truely professional service.

Thanks again for the comments, this is all very helpful.

Regards,

Abbe
www.cretan-homes.com

#4 harribobs

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Posted 24 June 2005 - 12:20 AM

i don't go to interkriti anymore cos of this sort of stuff

#5 Kritsa Yvonne

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Posted 24 June 2005 - 10:59 AM

With hindsight we were a bit nave when we bought our property but were fortunate enough to use an excellent estate agent who ensured we were given appropriate advice and choices (contact me privately if they want to know who/where) but I have since heard of people who have not been nave but stupid!

Would anyone give power of attorney to a UK estate agent allowing them to act for both the vendor and purchaser plus allow them to "hold" funds until the purchase is finalised? So why they do it in another country really beats me!!!!! I know of one person who seems quite happy with this type of arrangement, paid over a substantial sum of money and has been told that buying a house in Crete will take circa 12 months - nice way to earn interest on someone else's money!!

I was torn over whether or not to make this post as I do agree with the sentiments of Harribobs (above) but I also know how many people use this forum when they are thinking about buying a property in Crete therefore I hope you will accept this post in the spirit it was intended.

Yvonne

#6 harribobs

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Posted 24 June 2005 - 11:51 AM

I was torn over whether or not to make this post as I do agree with the sentiments of Harribobs (above) but I also know how many people use this forum when they are thinking about buying a property in Crete therefore I hope you will accept this post in the spirit it was intended.

Yvonne


i would have less worries if he was a regular poster, but

as what is posted here will go towards a survey I am carrying out here and on other sites

my feelings is this is just spam, using yannis site to advertise his own (which is against forum rules init?)

#7 cretan-homes

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Posted 24 June 2005 - 12:19 PM

Interesting comments, thank you for your replies.

I will be using all of these to help organise some monitory board and hopefully work with other agents to help stamp out the problematic few.

As an aside, this is not spam and I don't need to advertise my site on a forum as I already have a paid advert with Explore Crete, which obviously Harribob has not noticed.
This is also another reason I do not post, as I disagree with this form of advertising. Check interkriti etc and you will see my paid adverts.

Maybe you could also recommend another place I could ask for opinions from people interested in living in Crete, as you seem to think that forums are not the place to do this? I was under the impression that this was the whole point of forums, but maybe I am wrong?

All comments are welcome and I thank you for posting.

Abbe (she)

#8 yannis_s

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Posted 24 June 2005 - 12:42 PM

Harribobs,
thanks for protecting the forum but Cretan-Homes is promoted on ExploreCrete, so they are allowed to publish their website address in their messages on the forum. This is perfectly ok by the forum guidelines.
Abby of Cretan-Homes has also published a very useful article with tips for those who are interested to buy property in Crete: www.explorecrete.com/gazette/2005-05-realestate.htm
Abby also does a great job with the newsletter she sends to the subscribers of her mailing list and I believe she is a person who has a genuine love for Crete and its people.
I understand the worries of Harribobs but buying property in Crete is interesting for many people and there will be many discussion about it in the future. I do not mind this kind of discussions, as long as the ExploreCrete does not become a place only for expats and their problems. There are other more appropriate sites for this, like BritsinCrete and similar. Our Crete Gazette is also close to the expats community of Crete and Lou Duro, the editor, will be glad to receive any interesting articles.
About Abbys's message I would like to add the comment that Abby is right but rules never apply 100% and there are always positive exceptions. I know estate agents who live and work in Crete and their knowledge of the Greek language is poor but they have managed to work for many years and have many happy clients. In general, the longevityof a business in these cases is a good sign, worth checking by the future clients.
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#9 harribobs

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Posted 24 June 2005 - 12:53 PM

I understand the worries of Harribobs but buying property in Crete is interesting for many people and there will be many discussion about it in the future. I do not mind this kind of discussions, as long as the ExploreCrete does not become a place only for expats and their problems.


i would hate for this explorecrete to go down the same route as other forums , but it's obviously your call, Yannis.

posting the same message on many sites is usually known as spam, not matter how you dress it up

these are my last comments on this thread anyway

#10 cretan-homes

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Posted 24 June 2005 - 01:00 PM

Yianni,

Thank you for the comments.

Further to other posts, I am beginning to see the need for a monitering system and am amazed at the response I am getting.

I now also feel that after some postings, it would be good to have input from those agencies who don't have Greek partners and to have them tell us how they work? Maybe they are being discredited by the few, just as I have mentioned. Maybe they could also join a monitory board? Maybe my comments are too generalised?

It has been a great topic, I am gathering as much information as I can and am really delighted that people are so willing to offer opinions, both good and bad.

The one stunning thing is that most people think this is a marketing ploy and not a serious worry!

Thanks again for offering this service with impartiality.

Abbe

#11 cretan-homes

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Posted 24 June 2005 - 01:07 PM

Harribob,

This is a valid point and not one I had thought about. I have to say that I did not realise that posting the same message on other boards was considered spam. I just thought I would ask for as many opinions as possible in as many differnet places.
Nevertheless, I apologise for this and will not do so again, my inexperience at forum postings is coming out here.

Thanks for bringing this to my attention.

Abbe

#12 Dinny

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Posted 24 June 2005 - 01:42 PM

[i]
Hi Abbe,
I understand your concern! This is a problem that any professional working seriously in his business will always encounter: People trying to make a profit in a business without the proper knowledge. I work as a translator (only into Danish, my native language) but I can assure you that every day has its challenges in form of machine translations - which are utterly ridiculous and make the "laugh of the day" on translator sites - and translators offering to work at rates that will not even pay for their internet connection. Customers, of course, will notice only after a long time when their customers in turn complain about a poor translation of a manual or whatever.

The only weapon you have is "QUALITY". No use feeling sorry for whomever gets burned by trying to save a buck - they will have learned the lesson by next time they need a similar service and in the meantime will have spread the word of the problems they encountered with non-professionals. Yannis is right when stating that you should consider the actual lifetime of an agent's business before judging him an imcompetent just on the basis of his nationality. Amateurs don't last for long. They might be able to grab a few Euros from your share of the market - but they won't be around long enough to seriously threatening your business. Do your marketing right and in the end you should be happy about these intrusions.... they'll make YOUR star shine more brightly! :wink:


#13 Guest_Lala_*

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Posted 24 June 2005 - 02:40 PM

I used to be a regular visitor to interkriti, I no longer visit or use the site because for me it has lost the interest it used to hold. It now seems to contain messages that in my view would be better sent via email, as the content is personal to the two posters. The posting of interest for me were the ones that highlighted the life there. I enjoyed making the comparisons between Crete and Cyprus.
I have no interest to read postings from ex pats wanting to do their shopping, building etc. These kinds of postings were always there, but there was enough other interesting things to read, this is no longer the case. I also became bored with the constant spamming by a few expats, that regardless of the nature of their post content, Spam their site. A little cheeky plug, if the content of the posting can be manufactured to fit, I feel can be acceptable, provided it is not over done.
I believe that we have become over sensitive to Spam and now become irritated by it.
One thing in favour of this forum is that Yannis is actively involved, this makes the forum Police redundant, and they all seem to be expats, and I like that. Knowing that if there was an unacceptable posting here, Yannis would remove it or deal with it appropriately.

So long as there is no mud slinging, and no inappropriate spamming, is it not advantageous to have a "tame" estate agent using the forum?
If the estate agents are professional business people and have paid advertising on this site, if they are users of the forum I am sure that they would answer questions that you might other wise have to pay good money for to get an answer. While this would be of no interest to me, I would have thought that it could be to some users.

#14 cretan-homes

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Posted 24 June 2005 - 02:42 PM

Thanks Dinny,

I agree with your comment longevity is a test of professionality and agree that this is the way to show true colours.

Thanks for your reply, I will certainly take on board that it is a learning curve and as you can see I am learning all the time! So good to hear other opinions.

Kind regards and thanks again.

Abbe

#15 yannis_s

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Posted 24 June 2005 - 06:44 PM

Harribobs,
I think your definition of spam is wrong. If I post a message on several forums it may mean that I have an important message to spread. For example, I have recently published a series of articles about the Labyrinth of Messara, an unknown story about the destruction of a very important monument of Crete. If I had promoted this article on several Crete-related forums, who would say that my message was spam? It would clearly be a message drawing attention to a very interesting subject.
In the same way, many sites now use RSS feeds, which is a way to offer information about a site's new articles and updates to the visitors of several other sites.
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#16 Lala

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Posted 24 June 2005 - 06:53 PM

Do you think the difference of opinion about Harribobs believing it was spam was that he perceived it as advertising rather than information?

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#17 yannis_s

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Posted 24 June 2005 - 09:15 PM

Lala,
yes, I think you are right. I understand Harribob's concern but Abby's message should not be considered "spam".
There is a line between "information" and "spam" and crossing the line is not difficult. It is a matter of balance and I am glad we all care to preserve it on ExploreCrete :)
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#18 yannis_s

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Posted 24 June 2005 - 10:36 PM

The following has been copied from a (new) site of a real estate agency:

"We are also the first ethical estate agency on the island"
As Greeks say: In Greece you are whatever you declare...

"Greek people often sell property when they are in desperate need of cash. Thus they are often willing to accept far less than market value for their properties, sometimes by as much as 50%"
Dreaming is free, isn't it...

"All of our staff speak fluent English - even our builders"
Last week I needed a translation for a new article. I asked my plumber for help and he had it ready in one hour...

:)
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#19 Dinny

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Posted 25 June 2005 - 10:41 AM

Thanks for the warning, Yannis! I recon I'll meet some tremendous competition when I move to Crete! :) :lol: :D :D :D :lol:

#20 Belfield

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Posted 24 April 2007 - 01:16 AM

hi
i read all comments regards estate agents etc but at the end of the day can any one recommend one that gives sevice before and after, as i am a new mmber i am only trying to find out the ins and outs, thanks for your comments.
belfield
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