Wednesday 20 February 2008

How Informed are Overseas Property Agents?

You would sometimes have to seriously question how much knowledge certain overseas property agents actually bring to the equation when they are selling you 'their product'.

On a recent trip to Portugal I was staying in Lisbon the evening before a trip to the Blue Coast which stretches south of the capital. An agent looking to get some editorial into the paper emailed me to tell me that he was launching a new project on this very same Blue Coast. Intrigued, seeing as I was in the area, I emailed back to find out where the project was located on the off-chance that I might be passing it and could drop in to take a look. I didn't recognise the location in the replying email so I asked my Portuguese colleagues where it was. They informed me that it was on the Silver Coast, north of Lisbon and actually closer to Porto than it was to Lisbon.

When I queried the agent he agreed that it was indeed a good deal north of Lisbon and asked me if I was passing 'to take a photo for him'.

It sounds pretty ridiculous, but the consequences of such actions are potentially financially crippling for those being suckered by 'agents' who are selling property in every corner of the planet without any knowledge of the areas in question.

It begs the question about how many agents have actually even seen the products they are selling into the Irish market, let alone done proper due diligence on them.

When you are looking for information from an overseas property agent make sure you give them a good grilling to find out if they actually know their product and have, at the very least, actually seen that it exists.

Caveat Emptor

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