Reputable agencies?

Discussion in 'Portugal Property' started by Ady, May 17, 2008.

  1. Ady

    Ady New Member

    How do you sort out the reputable estate agencies from the rest, is there some Governmental control over standards in Portugal?
  2. omostra06

    omostra06 New Member

    there is a governing body called INCI, all estate agencies in Portugal must be registered with INCI, if they are not registered and have a valid AMI number then they are not legal. you should only use proper legal INCI agencies, much safer.
    this is the link to INCI.

    you can check out an agent on the INCI website to see if they are legal and registered, watch out as there are a lot of people out there on the web pretending to be estate agents.

    By clicking on an individual agent's name you can find out the validity dates of their AMI Nº and insurance cover.

    give it a try with our (moderated)

    just put the number in where it says No Licenca then hit the button that says pesquisar
    then click on the Estate Agents name or AMI number to see details of them, if you are checking someone out and they are not listed, then they are not a proper INCI licensed agent, also check that the license, insurance dates are still valid.

    you can also check details by putting in the company name or look under the town you are interested in, under councelho this will bring up all the agents listed.try putting in Tomar for our estate agency chavetejo

    give it a try, you will find there are a lot of illegal agents out there that wont come up on the inci site.
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 7, 2015
  3. Sooky

    Sooky New Member

    Care is still needed - even with registered agents. There are so many horror stories and broken dreams over here. Good recommendations, estate agents which have been in business for a long time and don't assume your own countrymen are honest or trustworthy - they are often the worst. Do I sound cynical? I am and I've only been over here for 5 years.
  4. ppp

    ppp New Member

    omostra is correct

    Hi omostra is correct that is the best way to check that they are legal and reputable and covered by insurance.

    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 7, 2015
  5. omostra06

    omostra06 New Member

    Hi Sarah,
    yes, people are much safer using licensed inci registered agencies, gives people peace of mind that they will be looked after properly and that everything will be dealt with legally and correctly. much safer than taking a chance with someone illegal operating from thier back bedroom.
  6. ppp

    ppp New Member

    Its really nut that bad

    While I admit there are some rotten apples in the barrel I dont believe that ripping people off etc is indemic at least not in the central region, most of the agents I know are trying to do an honest job. One of the problems are that wildly different prices show up for the same property on different web-sites, this happens to me also and I have to be constantly vigilant that another web-site isn't showing a property with a massively different price even though the commision is similar its simply that the owner has given two different prices for whatever reason but people jump to the conclusion that the agent with the higher price is a crook and its not usualy the case]

    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 7, 2015
  7. goisproperty

    goisproperty New Member

    We would like to add our support to a lot of the comments above - ALWAYS check whether the agent is licensed by INCI with a VALID AMI number. Very simply, if an agent has an AMI number the agent will display it, since it requires a lot of blood, sweat and tears to achieve one. If you are looking at a website which does not display an AMI number, then the agent will NOT be licensed. Even if an AMI number IS displayed, it is not necessarily valid, so needs to be checked on the INCI website. The best way to do this is to go to the link below, and insert the license number in question

    Then you can see if the company's license is still valid. Unfortunately, for some bizarre reason, INCI still lists agents whose validity has expired, so you must check this for yourself. If the license is no longer valid, you will receive none of the benefits or protections of INCI registration, as the agent will be acting illegally. TO BE A LEGALLY OPERATING AGENT IN PORTUGAL YOU MUST HAVE A CURRENTLY VALID INCI MEMBERSHIP.
    One more thing - check that the name registered with INCI is the same as the name of the company displayed on the website. Some agents operate under several different company names, and this is also illegal.
    All of this is in place to ensure that you have a level of protection within the Portuguese system. There are many good agents in Central Portugal - it is worth taking the time and effort to find one that you can trust.

    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 7, 2015
  8. As has been said there are many illegal agents and not all the registered ones are as careful as they might be. Perhaps length of time in business could indicate something but then I am biased-we've been here since 1980.
  9. goisproperty

    goisproperty New Member

    When we moved here 2 years ago we could not find a legal agent in our area. Through our own property buying experience we saw there was a need to protect not only the people buying property, but also the Portuguese owners, as they were losing out financially from the sale of their properties as well. Longevity is not necessarily a good guarantee. But if the company is registered, at least there are safeguards in place.
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 7, 2015
  10. omostra06

    omostra06 New Member

    I agree James, but there are illegal agents out there that have been in business for years, only because (as Patricia pointed out) there may be no other legal agents in a particular region, so if you want to buy or sell a house your almost forced to use the illegal guy, if there is no one else.

    agents that take the time, effort and expence to get registered and work within the law have got to be a better choice for anyone looking to buy a property here in Central Portugal. best not to trust your savings to someone that is illegal working outside the law, with no governing body to regulate them. they could be here today gone tomorrow.

    if you buy through an illegal and it all goes wrong, there is not much you can do!
  11. DAVID-S

    DAVID-S New Member

    very impressed,nice to see our colleagues showing off their hard earned AMI numbers,with the new laws inplace now we have to declare every transaction,who was involded down to the amount of commission & cheque number, when it came out last month we contacted the head of INCI & he didnt know how to fill out the form ,just replied you have a few months to get to grips with it.All done now:
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 7, 2015
  12. goisproperty

    goisproperty New Member

    Glad to hear so many people are working as licensed agents! The idea of the form is to increase the transparency of the industry and protect its customers. But you are right- it is a pain!
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 7, 2015
  13. villasluz

    villasluz New Member


    very difficult to answer, as there is money involved and human being sometimes forgets about honesty, when the smell of money is near.

    The most important is that you try always to be on the save side, starting by your own feeling:

    1) How was the first approach between you and the agency - professional?
    2) Did the agency seem organized and offered a good service?
    3) Was the agent who took care of you professional and well trained?
    4) Was your general feeling about the agency positive?

    Afterwards being on the save side regarding your purchase:

    1) Your real estate agency must have a valid AMI (license) number - as already mentioned - it should be visible in each branch, so have a look on it and check the name, the license number and the expiry date
    2) Your property purchase should be controlled by an excellent solicitor

    Good luck!

    Villas Luz
  14. aLGARVE18

    aLGARVE18 New Member

    Licensed Agents

    There is strict control over standards of estate agencies in Portugal and you should only ever deal with licensed agents working from registered premises. I have heard of a number of people who have burnt their fingers because they have tried to do a private deal with an unlicensed or private seller and unfortunately in this case there is no comeback. But a qualified agent has a license to protect and is aware that this license can be revoked at any time should they do business in an inappropriate way.
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 7, 2015
  15. Talkbusiness

    Talkbusiness New Member

    ami number? yeap- we have one. but one thing is to talk business, other is to actually come to the table. thats where it must be set straight.

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