The internet has become an increasingly popular way to search for properties. From the comfort of your own home, you can search through hundreds of properties from many different websites. At face value, it seems an excellent way to conduct a property search. However, the method is far from perfect.
The internet is an almost completely unregulated space that companies and individuals can use to promote their services. It’s rather like the lawless ‘wild west’! For less than the cost of a mobile phone, it is now possible to build a website and advertise properties for sale.
Recent trends in the Estate Agency industry in Spain and other so-called “emerging markets” show that many individuals have done just that, preying on innocent foreigners who know no better. The ‘cowboys’ who inhabit these new frontiers obviously have no training or expertise in estate agency; however they are able to appear to be substantial organisations on the internet. They will not have the administrative support or ethical codes that an agent such as 4ever Spain will have in place.
Therefore, the first valuable tip, when using the internet, is to take care only to search the sites of a reputable agent.
However, it is not just these ‘one man bands’ that use unscrupulous tactics to generate interest in their services. Even some of the more established agents are guilty.
One very common tactic is to continue to advertise properties that have long since been sold. These properties bolster the apparent size of an agent’s portfolio, and of course, if they are a year or two old, then the prices will seem remarkably low.
Some agents have even gone as far as to put ‘dummy’ properties on their sites, to entice the unwary. What this means for the innocent property hunter is an incredible amount of frustration as they are forced to continually enquire about these non-existent properties.
4ever Spain’s website is refreshed constantly. Properties on our site are updated in real time directly from our own databases, so any changes in the property’s status are immediately shown on the site.
What this means is that the frustration of viewing out of date information is completely removed, and the user can search with peace of mind. Even more importantly, all properties on our website are legally correct.