Buying a property will likely be one of the largest investments you will make whether it is a holiday home, or your forever home. Finding a trustworthy estate agent to sell your property is just as important. In order to make the right decision, you need to find a reputable, licensed estate agent
Firstly, let me tell you the difference between an unlicensed agent and a licensed agent.
A licensed agent holds a license from The Cyprus Real Estate Agents Association (CREAA). This means any contract signed with a licensed agent is enforceable by law protecting both the estate agent and the vendor.
A licensed agent also must carry insurance to protect the purchaser against either the agent or developer becoming bankrupt.
An estate agents fee is paid by the seller. A buyer should never pay an agent a commission or a “finders fee.” Smaller companies can be flexible and have lower commission rates if exclusive contracts are signed. A contract is signed before marketing begins, and if there is no sale then, there is no fee.
Unlicensed agents are actually working illegally. There are a few “estate agents” in Paphos that have websites marketing lots of properties, however, they are not licensed which can causes problems. They may try to lock you into an agreement with a higher commission rate and there is no law protecting the buyer or the seller if anything goes wrong so, please check credentials.
An unlicensed agent can not legally handle any money. Lawyers generally handle all finances and legal matters in order to simplify a transaction, but it is illegal for an unlicensed agent to do so.
Questions for your Licensed Agent from Buyers
Yes, but the Lands Office will officially determine what the value is and it may differ slightly from the valuer’s amount and this affects the transfer fees.
How can we secure the property?
Generally, a good faith deposit is recommended in order to take the property off the market. We usually ask for a reservation fee of 5000 euros which is paid in the first instance to the purchaser’s lawyer in order for him/her to do the necessary checks before paying it to the vendor’s lawyer. The remaining payment terms are then detailed in the contract which is drawn up by the lawyers. If no deposit is given then the sellers and agents are free to show the property to other clients. In an aggressive market or on a bargain-priced property it is important to provide the deposit so you do not lose the property to another buyer.
Do you recommend lawyers?
Many estate agents can recommend several lawyers that they know to be professional and have a good reputation. Never use a lawyer that anyone says must be used and/or offers free services. Call several lawyers and ask questions, make sure they specialize in conveyancing. Fees can be discussed beforehand also. Your chosen solicitor can inform you of all costs involved in buying a property and advise you on your purchase.
Questions for a Licensed Agent from Sellers
On average how long does it take you to sell a property?
In Cyprus, we have seen properties remain on the market for up to a year mainly due to inflated pricing. Your agent can and should advise on the fair market price and also give you tips on home staging, improvements, and updates that could be done to increase the curb appeal and attractiveness of the home. They should be able to give you some examples of how long other comparable homes took to sell.
Do you have references I could contact?
If you have not chosen a sole agency agreement then a seller is free to market their home with as many agents as they like. Some sellers prefer only one agent to have access to their home while others want as many as possible. The advantage of having one agent is that it is easier for sellers to deal with one professional company that they can trust. In addition, many have a network of partners and associates, we can market the property and increase the number of viewings and opportunities to sell the property.
How will you market my property?