Real Estate in Cyprus - 5 Awkward Questions for Estate Agents
Although there is an absolute profusion of companies offering real estate in Cyprus to foreign buyers, overall standards and attitudes towards clients do vary widely from company to company.
How can a client tell ethical agents selling real estate in Cyprus from their less principled counterparts?
Here are five questions which should make any unprincipled estate agent in Cyprus feel decidedly uncomfortable:
Do you have an exclusive arrangement with any one developer?
Quite a few of the larger property developers in Cyprus are willing to pay larger commissions to agencies who are willing to sign exclusivity agreements.
Whilst this obviously benefits the agent in question, it severely limits the choice of properties available to their prospective clients and often results in the customer being actively pressured to buy a property which does not fully satisfy their needs.
From the client’s point of view, it is best to choose an independent agency who deals with a number of property development companies, since sole agents are often under the control of their affiliated developers and thus unable to act in their client’s best interests at all times.
To see what Cyprus has in store for you, please search our database.
Do you earn the same percentage of commission from each developer?
Although it may seem like a small consideration, this is conceivably one of the most vital points for any prospective homebuyer to consider since, given the extra incentive for the agent, he or she is likely to try their hardest to influence the buyer into purchasing a higher commission property instead of leaving the client free to make a decision. By contrast, an agent who receives the same percentage of commission from each associated property developer will be able to provider unbiased advice without a few extra pounds getting in the way.
Do you charge your clients a ‘finder’s fee’ or any other hidden surcharge?
These days, hidden surcharges such as ‘Finder’s Fees’, ‘After-Sales Charges’ or ‘Progress Report Fees’ for off-plan real estate in Cyprus are fortunately becoming rarer. Any prospective homebuyer would nevertheless be well advised to ask their agents about any hidden fees or surcharges which may become payable on completion of a purchase, as these can often amount to over one percent over and above the price of a property.
Do you also sell real estate in North Cyprus?
Any estate agency who also deals with dispossessed Greek-Cypriot land in North Cyprus is obviously quite happy for their clients to make investments which will most likely result in a catastrophic financial loss eventually. Why should their attitude to clients in the Republic of Cyprus be any different?
Am I entitled to any compensation if my property is not delivered on time?
According to Cypriot property law, any development company who exceeds its scheduled completion date for a property by a period longer than 30 days is required to pay the buyer a set monthly amount to compensate for the late delivery of his or her home, until such time as construction is finished and the home is ready for delivery. Oddly enough, this is the one point which homebuyers are most frequently left in the dark about, mainly because not all agents are actually familiar with the laws concerning the buying and selling of real estate in Cyprus.
Whilst the above questions by no means represent a ‘fail-safe’ when choosing an agency to help you find a property in Cyprus, they will go a long way towards helping you to identify slightly less ethical Cypriot estate agents.
For the time being, many British homebuyers are still focussing their attention to the areas around Paphos and Polis in the island's west, despite the fact that there are some truly superb investments to be had in the Larnaca region.
Whilst real estate in and around Paphos has already experienced major price rises during the past five years, properties in Larnaca have thus far been somewhat slower to appreciate in value.
This however is due to change, as the European Union has provided massive grants for the improvement of the region's infrastructure. Including the expansion of Larnaca International airport, as well as the construction of a new golf course and a second marina and the redevelopment of Dekhelia Road (the town's tourist area), these improvements are sure to have a dramattic impact on property values in the short and medium term.
For more information about investment opportunities and real estate in Cyprus, whether in Larnaca or elsewhere, please contact us.
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