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New member - advice please!

Posted: 18 Jan 2012 22:59
by keving

I'm new to the forum and I would like to say how good it is, having spent much of last night finding my way around.

I've aleady picked up a lot of tips such as the need to get a good lawyer and to get a structural survey and independent valuation.

My question concerns how to deal with estate agents, at what point to make an offer and at what point to pay a deposit. I do not know to what extent the system is different to that in England.

I am interested in a re-sale property built in 2004 in Paphos, which I have yet to view. Title deeds are available. Let's say that I like the property after viewing it. Should I make the agent an offer there and then, and get the offer agreed subject to a satisfactory survey report? If I pay a deposit at this stage (what % should this be?) will the agent take the property off the market pending my survey report? Is the deposit at risk if, following the survey report, I decide not to go ahead with the purchase? Could there be an argument over the meaning of "satisfactory survey report"?

The second approach would be to say to the estate agent that I like the property and will put in an offer after I have a survey done. The downside here, as I see it, is that the property stays on the market and the agent could sell the property to someone who does not see the need for a survey, or who is quicker at arranging a survey than I am.

Which is the best approach?

I look forward to any advice.


Re: New member - advice please!

Posted: 19 Jan 2012 10:57
by Nigel Howarth
Hi Kevin & welcome to the forum.

You need to approach this with the help of a lawyer. You can make an offer, but it needs to be dependent on a satisfactory survey and Land Registry search.

If you are asked to pay a reservation fee, you need a written statement/agreement to say how much was paid, the circumstances in which it will be refunded and that it will be deducted from the full purchase price for the property. When you pay the reservation fee the agent should take the property off the market (and this should be in the agreement as well).

As reservation fees are usually non-refundable, you need this agreement so you can recover your money should the Land Registry search or survey highlight any issues.

If the agent takes the property off the market as he is supposed to, the risk of losing the property to someone else will be reduced.


Re: New member - advice please!

Posted: 20 Jan 2012 00:29
by keving
Thanks Nigel.

I appreciate the advice.

Is it common for an agent to ask for a reservation fee on a re-sale property?

What would be a reasonable reservation fee on a 250,000 euro property?

Finally, perhaps a more difficult question - how can I tell "good" agents from "bad" agents? I appreciate that you cannot name names, but generically are there any agents I should be wary of or avoid altogether?



Re: New member - advice please!

Posted: 20 Jan 2012 10:55
by Nigel Howarth
You're welcome Kevin - and yes, it is common for agents to ask for a reservation fee.

I don't believe there's a set fee - some agents ask for €2,000 others €5,000 - Pan may know about this as he is in the business.

It is difficult to tell "good" agents from "bad" agents.

Estate agents in Cyprus are supposed to be regulated by law and should be professionally qualified and registered with the Estate Agents Registration Council; a semi-state organisation under the Interior Ministry.

Some of these registered agents are members of the Cyprus Real Estate Association (CREAA) - see and some of these and others with the Real Estate Agent Federation (FIABCI).

However, there are good and bad estate agents agents who are registered and good and bad estate agents who are unregistered.

If you want to send me a 'PM' (click on the button below this message) with the name of the agent I will let you know whether I have received any bad news about them.

Regarding the reservation fee, it is important to have a signed reservation fee agreement drawn up by a lawyer describing the circumstances under which the reservation fee will be returned to you. E.g. If the sale does not go through because of a problem in the title the registration fee will be refunded - and if all is OK it will be deducted from purchase price.

It is safer to agree that your lawyer should hold onto the fee rather than the agent.