Very often I receive complaints from my clients like:
– „On the pictures we saw one property and the real estate agent took us to another.“
What is the reason for this? Naturally, this is a false offer, which aims to shine above the rest in quality and price and some naive tenant to call. From there began torment and messing about. The agent did not hear what you are looking for, and guide you apartments that does not match your search, nor would you rent.
Does this has ever happened to you? I’m sure the answer is „Yes“.
Unfortunately, most people who call such offers still wholeheartedly believe that this apartment exists somewhere in the recesses of Sofia. Yes they exist, but not in Sofia perhaps somewhere in Europe or the US or any other Bulgarian city, but not where you are looking for and for where you are calling. Surely you will find your home with such broker, but at what cost ?! Instead of making three or four viewings of the apartments that will really appreciate and choose the best offer from them you will go to 10-20, maybe 30 viewings and rent something on the verge of despair. They could even save you also the cons of some home, leaks, bad neighbors, mold which will subsequently further bitter your life.
How to recognize such real estate agents?
Usually this type of „real estate agents“ have many offers in all you will see the words „само за частни лица“, „За ЧЛ“, „За клиенти на агенцията“ and similar (this is in Cyrillic, mainly because 99% of the offers are in Bulgarian and if you want to avoid scam you have to learn them in Cyrillic) . The idea of this text is mainly directed towards brokers from other agencies or more precisely not to receive calls from their colleagues. Usually the pictures look professional, clean, shiny apartments with new furniture. The description of such apartments is very short, one or two sentences, finishing with any of the above expressions. The information is brief and very often even the size is unusual, such as One-bedroom apartment 90 m2. Not that there are no such apartments, but they are rare. Another signal a fake offer is the price – always based on other offers is at least 10-15% lower and something like – € 263, € 256, € 232, etc.
Yet still there are people who believe that this exists!
If you continue to believe that such apartments exist, but for some reason the agents are not willing to show them to you, here are some more things that would alert you that this is scam:
- In the first contact they don’t pick up the phone and after a few days you receive an incoming call that you called and you must be looking for an apartment;
- They answer the phone, but say that is has just been rented;
- There is no Act 16;
- Exactly such tenants as you, the owners do not want;
- The owner is abroad and will come back in a few months, but he has the key;
- The apartment is for rent and sells both and will have to make viewings while you live there and after the sale is being made you will have to leave it;
- The apartment is given short term – for about two months;
- The owner requires a minimum of 12 months prepayment and that’s why the price is so low;
You have reached to a view with them, what can you expect?
These people will represent by all sorts of agencies with strange names, often not even say his and her real name. If you ask for a business card or any document by which to identify themselves, definitely they will refuse or again lie. Can happen to go to several bogus viewings – the real estate agent tells address and time of the meeting, but 10 minutes before calls you and says that apartment is given. The aim of the exercise is that you can not spend some time on other, real, viewings, while they have nothing to show you.
However, since the industry is increasingly spreading on the Bulgarian market and to find an apartment without the help of a real estate agent is extremely difficult tenants rely entirely on their „guide“ on the field of real estate. They trust so much that they do not notice how blatantly are lying them and as blind people followed them wherever they take them.
How can we avoid such areal estate agent?
The key is to want a recommendation from a friend, a man who really does the job professionally. When you find a broker recommended before you begin work on demand to meet with him or of course if you are not in Bulgaria clear everything on email. You can pre-check your prospective agent by typing his phone in Google Search. There you can see reviews, offers and much more. After all it comes not for small money investment and you will not order pizza but you will rent or buy a property that you will use for a long time. Demand to see pictures in advance on e-mail, to find out whether it is worth looking at the apartment. Ask for detailed information from the real estate agent concerning the property, let him tell you everything he knows, even the bad stuff. So you can be sure that this person works not take your money, but to help you find the home on which you will enjoy and you will live with pleasure.
Don’t be the next victim of these „real estate agents“.