This long-established profession perhaps doesn’t have the glossiest reputation around the world. Sadly, Tenerife is no exception to this tarnished image. The island is not helped by the fact that the industry is entirely unregulated in Spain. Whilst there are professional real-estate organisations such as GIPE and API, the vast majority of agents are not members and many are simply unregulated. Whilst this doesn’t necessarily mean the agent is unprofessional and won’t do an excellent job, it does mean that additional care must be taken when choosing an estate agent that wouldn’t perhaps spring to mind in the U.K. or other European countries.
Whereas a large number of ‘fly-by-night’ estate agents went out of business during the last recession after 2006, the recent upturn in the property market has coaxed a fair number of them back out of the woodwork. Some locals joke that almost everyone is an estate agent if or when the opportunity for an introduction commission arises. The situation is compounded by the fact that there are currently more buyers with cash than there are desirable properties for sale. Hence, when a property comes on the market via one estate agent, it is common for another agent to have a suitable buyer, whereby the second agent will seek a 50% ‘commission share’ for the introduction. Whilst this can work flawlessly in many cases, it injects a further degree of uncertainty into an already complicated transaction. Having trust in your primary contact estate agent is therefore of paramount importance.
Before working with an estate agent, the following questions may help clients to assess the professionalism of the firm:
1. Do they have a physical office with a landline phone number?
A surprising number of estate agents in Tenerife don’t even have a working office. Many float around working out of their bedrooms or the boots of their car using a mobile phone. Whilst some may be able to offer an acceptable service in this manner, the risks for clients are obvious. If/when a problem arises, such agents are notoriously more difficult to pin down than those with a professional office open to the public.
2. How long has the estate agent been established?
Longevity is often a good indicator when assessing the professionalism and integrity of an estate agent. Someone who has been here for many years in the same office with the same staff is generally a safer bet than some ‘Johnny-Come-Lately’ who you met in a bar and gives you a mobile phone number and doesn’t even have a business card.
3. Does the estate agent have a website?
Whilst not an obvious question, this is becoming increasingly important in the modern world. Most agents now agree that over 80% of their business enquiries come via the internet as opposed to less than 20% via ‘walk-in’ business. A professional website with a good Google rating indicates that the agent probably receives a greater number of enquiries and maintains a better number of contacts. It also demonstrates a level of investment and commitment on the part of the agent, as quality estate agency websites in Tenerife are notoriously expensive to produce, maintain and optimise.
Finally, when instructing an estate agent, don’t be afraid to stick to your guns and tell them exactly what you want. Many estate agents are experts in persuading clients to increase their budget or consider a property that doesn’t fit their preferred criteria or location. A good agent will give you an honest and realistic appraisal of your expectations and what is actually available within your budget, but they won’t try to sell you a pig in a poke.
However, don’t waste time trawling the internet through dozens of estate agent’s websites. Check out our Multiple Estate Agents Search Tool at the top of the page, where you can search through hundreds of properties advertised by various reputable estate agencies in Tenerife.