Connecting with estate agents is a key step in finding your dream home overseas, wherever that may be. According to a survey conducted by the National Association of Realtors, 87% of buyers end up purchasing their home through an estate agent and broker.
A good real estate agent is an invaluable resource for aspiring buyers. They will prioritize your needs, property requirements, location preferences and more, all on your behalf.
We spoke to David Rowat, managing director at Olive Homes, a leading estate agent in Portugal to share his top tips for buying in Portugal and a few things to look out for in an overseas estate agent.
Do your research
Make sure you do research before heading across to Portugal. Many of the agencies now take full advantage of the latest technology to showcase their properties. Some research at home can save hours and even days. Decide which area of Portugal is ideal for you.
There are many variances on price and climate. Once you have found an ideal location then think about the property. Will it be a villa, townhouse or apartment?
However, keep an open mind as you may well change your views as you start to look at the options and consider the advantages and disadvantages of each. Link up with an agent who will give you sound advice and find someone you can trust.
Most properties are not exclusive – despite what you may read – and once you’ve found a trusted agent, they will work with the other agencies saving you the inconvenience of having to repeat your requirements to everyone you meet.
Reputable estate agents
We recommend you only work with agents who have a reputable name, business or company behind them. If they don’t have a website, that’s not a good sign and if something feels iffy, it probably is.
‘The best agents will show you the areas, show you the properties, explain the buying process, explain the up-front fees, explain the ongoing fees and take care of you when you have found the perfect place,’ said David.
‘Extra services, usually offered free of charge, can include opening a bank account, connecting the utilities, introducing a solicitor and taking care of additional requirements such as furniture, removals, surveys and mortgages.’
Here at Property Guides and Your Overseas Home, we have an extensive network of reputable estate agents that we can refer you to. Afterall, referrals are currency in real estate and there’s nothing more powerful than a good (or bad) review. It could make or break you.
Usually, agents that work with Brits interested in buying in Portugal have specialist agents who speak both the native language of where you’re looking to buy, and English.
If you’re concerned about communication between yourself and your agent, you can ask for another rep – after all, they’re there to help you find your perfect home at the end of the day.
Communication is key
David tells us, ‘It’s not like selling a property back home. As estate agents, ‘We need to understand our clients are buying abroad, often for the first time and many of the processes here are different. It’s not acceptable to assume a client knows how things work.’
Instead, we need to inform and advise and take the clients on a journey that will result in the whole buying process being smooth and hassle free.’
Look at each estate agent’s reviews on Trustpilot for reassurance.
Be open to virtual calls
Another good suggestion was given by David Rowat: ‘We try to do Zoom calls as much as possible. They give a completely different experience to a phone call or email. With Zoom calls, both parties have set aside thirty minutes to have a quality conversation to exchange information. You can really get to know the client and what they are after. Conversely, the clients can decide if you are the person they want to deal with. Can they trust you? Will you deliver? It’s a win-win.’
If you still have questions or would like to be more informed, head to Your Overseas Home and check out our event line-up. We host regular webinars with property experts in law, currency and finance.
Keep up to date with news in Portugal on Property Guides.com/Portugal