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Is it real to buy overseas property directly (without agent)

Discussion in 'Buying Overseas Property' started by dench121, Jan 3, 2008.

  1. dench121

    dench121 New Member

    I think it would be more profitable. I'm interested in property in US or Europe. If it is real then could you provide some boards with such advertisements. Thanks.
     
  2. Lewis

    Lewis New Member

    Of course it is possible and feasible if you really wish to.
    Do you have the time? Knowhow? Contacts?

    It's also possible to remove your own teeth but somehow you don't and pay an expert to do it for you - Why? Pull em yourself - save a mint.
    Same goes for your car, washing machine, roof, finding your mortgage, policing your own neighbourhood, going overseas to fight the Taliban - You can do em all yourself can't you.

    Why pick on the agent who is after all the expert in his/her field.

    Good luck whatever you try to do - love a little independent streak - it often means they can then defend themselves in court when it all goes horribly wrong.
     
  3. dench121

    dench121 New Member

    Thanks for such detailed reply, but I still wonder how much (in percentage of property cost) is an agent's fee per a deal?
     
  4. Lewis

    Lewis New Member

    In some countries I'd take in 2%, in some 6% and if dealing with new builds it may be as high (though rarely) 15%.

    If I purchase a property I'd pass it on for whatever I can get from the deal - the same way you will if you can mark it up.

    Most of this, is not profit . Taxes, advertizing, office costs, printing etc etc all comes from this percentage.

    Just like buying or selling in most other fields actually but without the 100% mark up that is put on your clothes/food/furniture for example.

    Hope this helps to clarify the situation.
     
  5. oregon woodsmoke

    oregon woodsmoke New Member

    In the USA, there is lots of property for sale FSBO (For Sale By Owner). Just google the town you want and put in for sale by owner.

    There are also national websites that list FSBO.

    I have purchased FSBO a couple of times but, normally, the price on FSBO isn't good. They are sold by people who want every penny for themselves and don't want to pay a commission. They usually will not deduct the cost of the commission they would have to pay off of the price.

    Also, when the seller wants to get the maximum return, they often will not fix things up. So some FSBOs are very nice, but many of them need work and cosmetic fix-up.

    FSBO also has the disadvantage that the seller doesn't really know what documents to prepare, nor do they have contracts ready to go.

    If you know the area well, and know prices well, occassionally you will run into a FSBO where the seller has made a huge mistake in pricing, and you can get a bargain.

    In the USA, the commission is not paid extra by the buyer. It comes from the funds that the seller receives. So there is no advantage to not using an agent, unless you find one of the very rare places where the seller has deducted the cost of commissions off of the price in order to try to get a faster sale.
     
  6. oregon woodsmoke

    oregon woodsmoke New Member

    I didn't answer one question.

    In the USA, Commission is negotiated by the seller, so it varies a little bit. Normally on a house, the commission is 5%-6%. On bare land it might be as much as 10%.

    The commission is split with half going to the selling office and half going to the listing office. Once in the office the broker usually gets half and the agent gets half. So when you buy, the commission is probaly 6%, and the selling agent gets 25% of that amount, and the listing agent gets 25% of that amount. Their brokers get the rest.

    Agents will sometimes reduce their own share of a commission if only a few dollars are all that are stopping a sale, but there really isn't a lot of leeway to play with.

    Almost all property listed for sale anywhere in the USA is going to be listed on the Multiple Listing Service. So any agent can show you and sell you any property for sale in the entire area, no matter who did the original listing.

    One of the things you are paying your agent to do is to get the property through escrow with all the paperwork details found and provided to the escrow company. The agent also maintains contact with the financing bank to make sure the loan is on track and that the bank doesn't need any additional information. That would be hard to do from over-seas with no knowledge of how the local laws work, or who to call if there is another document needed.

    Another place to search for FSBO would be in the classified advertising of the local paper. Most towns have their newspapers on-line, so you google to find the newspaper for the town you want and read their classified section for real estate.
     
  7. DC

    DC New Member

    I think it is true, you can buy without an agent, but also you have to see an agent as someone who is an expert in the field. And the value added they give, by knowing the markets can outweigh their fee, you can ask an agent how much they get. As the other gentleman said we earn different fees on different products.
    Importantly is know the client and what they want, working 7 days a week for many years gives you a better understanding than someone starting from scratch and DIYing.

    But sure you can do it on your own, but also you will have more risk as you do not know the ins and outs of the business so much. It is like a lawyer or another professional. You can represent yourself in court, but unless you know the systems you are not going to be as effective as the professionals who work in it day in, and day out.

    Ps. In some markets you have to use licenced real estate agents, for example France.
     
  8. Escott

    Escott Banned

    I use Craigslist.org as a source to both buy and sell. Free to everyone and a great resource! Huge thoughout the entire US and very good at different places not in the US.

    Check it out. Don't forget to mention my name so I get my commission!:)

    Escott
     
  9. Is it possible? Yes. More Profitable? Not in Florida. Simply because the seller pays my commission. A buyers agent work for free(my company gives you back 20%, so it makes you money to use us). If a home is listed, that listing contract pays a % or $ amount predetermined to go to the agents, so with or without one, that money is going to someone, might as well be someone representing your best interest.


    I could post some horror stories of people that tried to buy or sell on their own. It very easy to write a contract wrong and have the wrong legal description. Thus, having a contract on the property across town, or none at all.

    So would I suggest it... no.

    But some websites are fsbo dot com, buyowner dot com, owners dot com. But again, buyers agents are free why not utilize them?
     
  10. Olly

    Olly New Member

    Of course you can do it on your own in many, many countries. Is it wise? Well, here's a cautionery tale the like I've heard several times - in fact 81 to be precise. (Based upon all the participants who lost their money. So far ALL of their deposits which on average was around GBP 85,000.

    Where, in one of the safer places to buy, USA...Orlando, Florida.

    Property was sold to each of the UK buyers for a new development in the vacation area of Orlando - near to Disney World. The very well known and current member of the Association of International Property Professionals, sold each unit by having them sign a contract in collaboration with the developers appointed brokerage in Orlando.

    Because the UK Agency doesn't have a Licensed Realtor on their staff, they allowed their customers to sign a contract which allowed the developer access to their funds for absolutely anything he chose to spend the money on. In reality, the developer had the power to transfer funds from an escrow account into another escrow account which left him free to utlise the money and without accounting for its use.

    Needless to say, the development was never built and he disappeared with circa US $11.5M - unconfirmed rumours suggested Brazil.

    How do I know all this? I was approached by several of the buyers to assist with the recovery of their funds. Sadly, I had to explain what they had done and how the UK agent should be sued for its negligence. Unfortunately under current UK legislation this would prove too expensive.

    Had the buyers been aware they should have appointed a buyers agent to represent and protect them from non-standard contracts under Florida Real Estate Law.

    In America Realtors have to train and pass exams to gain their License. Update exams are also required to be passed every two years. And, an ethics exam every four. Their qualifying exams cover the Principles, Practice & Law pertaining to real estate in the State of their License. Since the laws vary from State-to-State, a Realtor is required to pass an exam for every State in which they wish to work.

    For information, I am a Licnesed realtor & International Property Specialist and I work across the Caribbean, USA & Europe with a number of team members & associates. I was trained and continue to do so with a division of the world's largest residential realestate corporation and proud to be in a position to protect people from the unscrupulous. Whether a developer, another agent, surveyor, government offical or even the private buyer or seller.

    In truth, I don't come across many that deliberately try to be underhand. Most people simply fail to recognise a situation or the meaning / terminolgy embedded within a contract / document. And, of course, the agent representing either party is not their to look after both sides of the transaction - only their clients best interests.

    That said, downright dishonest is not an option for a Realtor since unlike the UK, they can very simply be brought to book, fined or even sent to jail. Regulation is good for the consumer and I sincerely wish the UK joined many other parts of the world where this is standard - including several countries in Europe nowadays. Let alone the USA & Canada.

    I trust this is received as a strong warning while at the same time, stimulates every would-be purchaser of property to seek an agent they can trust and understand their business on your behalf.

    Wish you all every success...

    Olly:D
     
  11. dually

    dually New Member

    I'm an Realtor in California where we must have 50 pages of sales documentation that are revised on an ongoing basis to reflect new laws, new judgements and typical homebuying problems as they arise. These are designed to protect the seller, buyer and their agents against real liabilities that have arisen in the past. Before doing RE, I bought and sold (one of each) without an agent. Knowing what I know now, I consider I was lucky. Sure you can buy without an agent, but you will possibly expose yourself to all kinds of risks. In some jurisdictions you will be quite vulnerable if you don't know the local conditions. Courts are much less forgiving if an agent is involved and screws up than a FSBO. That's why we carry Errors & Omissions insurance.
     
  12. dave99

    dave99 New Member

    Consider Egypt - Hurghada - Red Sea Residencia

    My development is sold via me - NO AGENTS -

    Deal direct with the owner - all Tcs & Cs from me.
    .
    .
     
  13. wherestheview

    wherestheview New Member

    Course you can buy direct.

    Go to Google 2.68 million competing web pages for sell house online!!!!
    There must be something in there you want.

    Just make sure you use a good solicitor.
     
  14. Aegean

    Aegean New Member

    You can cut the agent out but remember you can spend loads of time and money looking around for a property. The agent will capture your needs and do the work finding what you want and arranging inspections.

    In the end it's up to the individual if they use or not but what is required is a good Lawyer to ensure your interests are fully looked after.
     
  15. Aegean

    Aegean New Member

    In addition to the above - as it is overseas property you are buying a good agent works for his commission as he should be looking after you interest when you are away. some will say that is the layers job but in reality it is the agent who keeps an eye on things and ensures sale moves forward.

    It is in his interest to do this as if he gives you a quality service it is possible you will recommend him to family and friends which any agent loves as it provides them with good leads.
     
  16. Vicens_Ash

    Vicens_Ash New Member

    Spanish Commission Rates

    The going rate in Spain is 5%. Some work on less to undercut the competition. I agree with teepeeseller. You really need to do your homework before commiting without a professional, as all sorts can arise once you've been tied into a contract.
     
  17. mickthepropertyguru

    mickthepropertyguru New Member

    Thats a good one, typical agent. The dentist will charge maybe £60.... Its not difficult for me to buy a washing machine...........as for policing there are some great neighbor hood watches, I always buy my cars privately and never had issues, Who would want to do fight the Taliban, thats why we pay tax so governments should be able to resolve international disputes :)

    I bought my first apartment through an agent and if my research suggests that the value is good then i have no problem buying through an agent again.
    Here is some information for the first time buyer. It is not directed any agent in particular.
    When people buy an investment, they never ask so whats your cut or what percentage will you take if i sell the property through you later on.
    This all adds up.
    Agents may say "we will introduce you to a rental company"...........I dont feel that it is difficult to find your own rental company
    Some agents/companies don't even deal in Resales.........which means they may not sell your property for you anyway when you want your money back. They usually deal only in offplan developments because of the huge fast gains they can make.

    Some property companies actually own so called independent "Mortgage companies" that they urge you to use .If not they usually refer you to one and get 1000s on referring you to them. The same happens when when they refer you to "Currency exchange specialists". In the end average joe pays through the nose.
    This does happen sometimes.

    Agent in America have to study for a license to practice in the property game. Here in Western Europe most agents are people recruited by company's and given the pitches in how to sell property in different regions. There is very few things your property company here can do if the developer hits hard times in which you have invested. They can close at any time or turn their back on you and leave you in the cold. Overseas property companies here are middle men not like the USA where there is a strict licensed code of conduct and by law they can be held accountable. FACT.

    Is it feasible to buy and sell property without an agent.? yes But you will need a good lawyer who deals in property and who has local knowledge. If necessary get the contract scrutinized by a second lawyer. Of course it is. Research is the key, people think that investing is easy, it should takes weeks if not months of research before any decision is made. Then and only then will you feel confident to make a decision.
    Agents will play on this fear of the unknown. So roll your sieves up, start looking on every forum, talk to agent to get information, talk to lawyers, then visit the area you are interested in for maybe 4 days, make appointments with agents to show you property, talk to the rental companies the agent refers to and talk to other rental companies of your own research, make your own appointments to see properties without agents and then consider which would make more sense. Maybe you will buy with the agent maybe you wont but at least you will know a lot more than you did and have confidence that you made the right decision.

    The only thing agents have over you is information!!! Be careful from people who would like you to believe otherwise. He/she is either looking after their commission
    I think researhing an investment is very enjoyable and is one of the best parts about investing........... People are getting lazy, Selling your property is the hard part about investing but if you do the proper research at the start you will be fine. ie Exit strategy !!! Agents are pushing new developments all the time, because it makes them far more money.

    Ok lets say you buy a property in XXXXXX and in 5 years the market has matured and you have made 100% profit (minus CGT (20%) and Buying Costs(6%-8%) and Selling Costs(5% - 10%) Who are you going to sell your property to.........well now the investors are nearly all gone and you are left with people who want a second holiday home, peace and tranquility by the beach...........most wont want to buy on a complex that has 400 or worse 800 apartments. Again do your homework and use common sense. :)

    I bought my first apartment through an agent and if my research suggests that the value is good then i have no problem buying through an agent again. It mostly in emerging markets that you have to watch closely for this.
    I am open minded and will definitely listen to your arguments and criticism.
    Thank you for your attention.
     
    Last edited: Feb 15, 2008
  18. mickthepropertyguru

    mickthepropertyguru New Member

    Exactly true.
     
  19. Lewis

    Lewis New Member



    No arguments or criticisms from me, agree totally with most of your points. Read my various posts on here and you will find where I fit on the spectrum of this business. I do not fit into what you have decided is "typical agent"
    If an individual wants to got it alone - bless 'em, do it.

    I'm an agent and I still use other agents to get access to their properties, local contacts etc. Makes sense to do so for me and saves a lot of grief and time and yes frequently money too.
    I do deal in resales and in commercial/industrial investments also.
    No ties to any management company in particular though I'm willing to recommend the one I use for my own properties to anyone who has not made their own arrangements. I don't recommend any legal team other than to tell the client to contact the local embassy and ask them for a list of legal advisors. I have a top tax advisor I am willing to pass to clients if they ask.
    The only team I have, and it's our own in house team is a team of builders and a project manager if the client wishes and repairs etc doing. I have two architects who I use for my own work who both speak English as well as I do - why wouldn't I want to pass their contact details to anyone who wants them? I have an insurance broker who I pass clients to and get a commission for doing so if it results in a sale but if aclient has his/her own ideas on insurance fine.
    Mortgages - I only wish I were large enough to own a mortgage company - not sure now is the right time to be considering this though.
    There are few companies offering mortgages in the country of my choice so I am willing to pass these details to any client as without finance I doubt there would be many sales.
    Research - read my various posts to see my views on this - nobody should even be considering talking to an agent until they have researched, lived in area etc, most will read a place in the sun and make a phone call nd then the sharks will devour them.
    MOST of my clients will have researched my country of choice as it does not immediately leap into the imagination as the place of their dreams - the more they research it the more they are likely to realize the sense of choosing my area.
    So what is it you do for a living that you don't want to do for a profit because people can do it for themselves then? I'm heartened because I really thought altruism was a figment of others imagination.
    Can't be bothered to turn this into a personal riposte though - life really is too short. Especially when I agree with so much of what you say anyway.
     
  20. mickthepropertyguru

    mickthepropertyguru New Member

    Thanks for such a detailed response. :)
    To be honest my mails posted so far are aimed at the novices who knows little or nothing about investment and to try and give them an idea of what can happen so when they go into a property show exhibition they may know what to look out for and know the sign of pressure tactics used to get them on an IF or to sign on the dotted line.
    Also creating awareness of whats involved in buying property. They are not directed at any agent in particular.
    Its the big corporations i have issues with not the little man. The little man is actually being squeezed badly by the large greedy giants that are charging huge commissions from developers. I should have made this clearer in my post as it was not aimed at you.
    I have no problem with agents as i have bought through one and will at some stage will again but i fell for the young family man with a big mortgage walking into exhibitions knowing nothing. As i said on most of my mails, I'm trying to enlighten and not to offend. Nothing personal intended. I have had experiences that i feel may help someone.
    Your business sounds very exciting and makes me wish i was doing the same thing :)
     
    Last edited: Feb 16, 2008
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