Experiences with Algarve estate agents

Dear Editor,

Thought our experiences and views (while trying to sell our house) might be of interest to your readers.

We have had several estate agents contracted to sell for us and have found many issues over the last year, some good and some bad (even very bad).

– We sought views from over eight agents as to the correct price to market the villa at. Recommendations varied from €200,000 to €500,000 which indicated to us the lack of professionalism and training in valuation skills.

– Fees that were requested varied from 1% to 7% and few agents could justify the high level of fees compared to UK where 1% to 1½% is the norm. Few agents could quantify what work they would be doing, particularly as all documents, photographs and a detailed description of the villa were supplied to them by us. Some agents were even prepared to share commission fees.

– Some agents failed to visit the villa before bringing potential buyers to view the villa and expected us to answer questions posed by their potential buyers.

– Some agents brought along potential buyers who had already viewed the villa with another agent.

– Few agents bothered to supply feedback after a potential buyer had visited.

– Many potential buyers who were brought to see the villa were very obviously not the least interested in buying this specific type of villa and had obviously not been briefed by the agent of the details of the villa and its location, before coming to view it.

– A few agents, on the way to a viewing and accompanied by potential buyers, had to telephone to assist them to find the villa.

– There was a general lack of attention to detail regarding viewings, planning and briefing of clients.

Overall many agents left us with the strong feeling that despite us paying them, they were more interested in what the potential client wanted as they had many properties on their books, and not on marketing our property for us.

Robert Hamilton