Property Viewing Hints
Viewing with our Developers
Most of the developers we represent have organised viewing trips, even if the development is at an early off-plan stage, in which case, construction may not have started; however, the developer may be able to show you a nearby project which they have completed; here are some tips about viewing specific new developments:
- If you are buying specifically for investment, make sure that we have provided you with all the factual information, projections, rental guarantee details and other investment factors in advance. There may be more information available than appears in a marketing brochure.
- You may have questions about the project or its financial elements to which we do not have the answers or which our developers would prefer to deal with direct. At the appropriate time before your visit, therefore, we will recommend that you review the information with and submit your questions to the developer direct.
- Availability of individual units changes daily so, if you are considering a specific unit, let us know so that we can check this. In any event, it is wise to have one or more alternatives in mind to ensure that you can secure the type of property you have selected.
- Many of our website features will only have a starting price for a development or a type of property on the development, stating “Prices from”. Generally, each unit is individually priced and, whilst most of a particular type or size will have the same price, there may be enhanced prices for different floors, better views, extra parking or other factors. It’s always best to check before you go to ensure that, if you are after a specific unit, its price is within your budget.
- Some developers allow a reservation to be made, subject to viewing, although this is fairly unusual. We can advise if this is possible and if an advanced reservation fee is required and on what terms.
- Make sure that you have advanced notice of the payment structure, which varies from one company to another. We can provide this. When viewing, you will be required to pay a reservation fee, usually between 3000 € and 10,000 € and more often than not, this is not refundable if you fail to proceed. The deposit, payable when the contract is signed after about 30 days, is usually between 10% and 50%, although some of our projects have 100% financing (less a token reservation fee) facilities.
- Most developers require you to make and pay for your own travel arrangements; some will provide your accommodation, others may just assist with booking it; some will refund all or part of your viewing trip costs when you have purchased. We will always ensure that you have the correct information regarding these arrangements.
- As a rule, arrangements will be made for a representative of the developer to collect you from the airport and take you to your accommodation, returning you to the airport for your return flight. If this is not the case and you will need to hire a car or use public transport, we will advise you first.
- Depending on the distance to be travelled, the availability and times of flights and the number of projects to be viewed, an inspection visit is likely to be from one to three nights and three to four days for short and medium distances up to one week for long haul flights.
- Before arranging a visit, be sure that, when you are there, you are financially able to pay, not just the reservation fee, but also the deposit and all stage payments. Failure to do so is likely to result in any money you have paid being forfeited to the developer.
- You should regard your visit as a business trip, not a holiday. If you are a couple or two business or investment partners intending to buy, only the two of you should make the trip. Developers tend not to appreciate the actual buyers being accompanied by a financial or other adviser, elderly relatives or children as all these can be a distraction to you, as well as to them!
- Please also take note of the last three points in the next section – ‘Viewing with our Agents’ as these are equally applicable to inspections with developers. We suggest that you also take note of the points under the heading ‘A Few Warnings’ which follow that section.
Viewing with our Agents
Jointly with the agents we work with in other countries, we will provide you with all the assistance you need in planning your visit to view selected properties; here are some tips about viewing resale properties and new developments for which they are agents:
- Availability of resale properties changes daily so, if you wish to view a property featured on this website, or the site of any of our agents, first check with us that it is still available, then arrange your visit and viewing with the minimum of delay, as the agents will not be of normally reserve a property subject to viewing unless a non refundable deposit is paid first.
- For the same reason, it is best to regard featured properties, including any you see on our agents’ websites or of which we have sent details to you, as just examples of the kind of properties available. We like to arrange a period of contact between you, the client and one or more of our agents, when the agent will get to know the type of property which most appeals to you. Prior to your visit, the agent will compile a selection of properties considered suitable for you to view and you may not previously have seen details of some of these.
- As a rule, never try to arrange viewing appointments unless you are financially in a position to proceed with the purchase when you are there. There is nothing more annoying to a property agent, in any country, to spend a day or more showing a client round properties, only to be told at the end that a house in the UK or elsewhere has to be sold first! Even a sale agreed, subject to contract, is not good enough, as a proportion of such sales will always fall through.
- Almost always, you will have to make your own travel arrangements for your visit and we will assist with information on flights and ferries as required. Don’t assume that an agent will meet you at an airport as this is unlikely to be possible and you may need to use public transport or hire a car. Your meeting with our agent will normally take place at its designated office.
- The same is normally true of accommodation, although our agents will usually provide you with details of local hotels which they can recommend. They may agree to book the accommodation for you, but you will be responsible for payment. We will advise you if a particular agent operates a refund of some of your viewing trip costs once you have purchased.
- Don’t think of viewing a property without being familiar with the part of the country where it is situated. It’s easy to get excited about a stunning looking property, only to visit and find that you don’t like the region! Spend a few days there without viewing properties, just getting to know the area. Most of our agents will be happy to meet you and show you the features of their areas, subject to other commitments.
- Similarly, narrow down the area of your search as much as you can. Many of the countries where we operate are far larger than the UK, with regions which are completely different. For instance, if you are familiar with both the Aegean and Mediterranean coasts in Turkey, spend enough time in each to eliminate one, then narrow it down further if you can, before thinking of viewing properties. That will help us – and, especially, our agents – to help you.
- Don’t be too ambitious when planning a viewing trip by car, bearing in mind the distances involved. Just one department in France has a much larger area than you can cover for property viewings in one day or even two. Many of our agents, especially in parts of France, know each other and will work together with you to plan a viewing trip which is realistic.
- Don’t make appointments and fail to keep them! Not only is that a lack of courtesy, it also causes our agent considerable inconvenience and, possibly, a loss of other business. Remember that the agent has blocked out the day for you and may have refused other appointments. If there are special circumstances such as illness or a vehicle breakdown, be sure to contact the agent at the earliest opportunity.
- As a rule, don’t mix holidays and viewing trips. Buying a property needs you to be focussed and you are unlikely to be if you are on holiday at the same time, as there will always be distractions. Ideally, a trip to view and buy a property should be regarded as a business trip. It will still be fun and you will enjoy the local hospitality with our agent, but you should keep the holiday separate. Think how hard it will be to appreciate and compare the finer points of different properties and look after small children at the same time!
- Be prepared to pay a reservation fee or deposit when you are there. In France, for example, you can sign the preliminary contract (Compromis de Vente) to secure the property and a deposit, normally of 10%, will be required. This will be reimbursed in full if you change your mind during the “7 days of reflection” required by French law.
- If you may be making a major credit card transaction, such as payment of a deposit, during your visit, warn your credit card company in advance, or the company may place a security block on your card if it is unable to contact you by ‘phone to check the authenticity of the transaction.
- If you may want to apply for a mortgage in the local currency with a local bank during your visit, make sure you have all the necessary proof of earnings with you. This will normally be your most recent pay slips, supported by bank statements, if you are employed or the last three years accounts if you are self employed. To be safe, check with us first.
- Please make sure that you are contactable on a mobile ‘phone throughout your journey and stay in the country of your visit, so that our agent or we can contact you if necessary. Don’t forget to take a charger and appropriate adapter!
A Few Warnings
Whilst we are not afraid of competition, we consider it prudent to point out that some elements of competition may not just be damaging to your wealth, but also to your health! Here are some situations to be wary of or to avoid at all costs:
- If you are attracted by incredibly cheap inspection visits being advertised by a developer or agent, bear in mind the following:
- You may be herded round numerous properties or developments, most of which will not be of interest to you, but may interest others within the group in which you find yourself.
- It follows that you will not receive individual one to one attention, which is exactly what you need in order to make an informed decision about your purchase.
- You may be subjected to very high pressure sales tactics during and after your visit, which may result in you making a very poor purchase or leave you feeling harassed.
- This is really a “numbers game”! They fill their inspection visits, they know that the high pressure will bring some reservations, they know they will later get cancellations, but they will finish with enough buyers to make the exercise worthwhile. That is not the way we, our agents or the developers we represent do business.
- You are contemplating an important purchase which will involve a considerable outlay. It cannot be worth compromising this for a few hundred pounds or euros.
- There is hardly a country in which we operate where the local people have not seen and taken advantage of the opportunity to make money “on the side” which property deals offer them. Thus, every taxi driver, barman, waiter and others will, given a chance, tell you they have a friend with a wonderful cheap property nearby for sale! The likelihood is that, if such a property exists, it is probably over-priced, illegal or just rubbish, but the probability is that they are in the pay of unauthorised agents or developers who are after their next con trick!
- Don’t try to bypass us or one of our agents by going direct to an owner or, particularly, a developer, believing that you will get the property cheaper as a result, as there will be no commission to pay. The fact is – you won’t! The commission element has already been factored in to the price and that will not be altered, especially on a new development as, to do so will cause the developer major problems with the other buyers when, inevitably, they get to hear about it!
- So, not only will going direct not save you money, it is likely to result in you wasting a great deal of time and money, as you will not get any of the professional help which is so vital with a foreign property purchase. That’s bad enough for your wealth and, as for your health, if you happen to fall into the wrong hands, there is no knowing what might happen.