In Portugal we have a saying… “O barato sai caro”… In other words… “If You think it’s expensive to hire a professional to do the job, wait until You hire an amateur!!!”
If you’re thinking about buying a home In Portugal, you’ve probably considered whether or not you need a REALTOR®.
REALTORS® and additionally Real estate professionals are frequently depicted in a bad light in the film and television industry, leading to the presumption that they are untrustworthy. What’s more, there are no laws that force you to hire a REALTOR®, so what’s the point you may ask???…
In truth, buying a home without the help of a REALTOR® carries dangers and might lead to problems you are unaware of. There are lots of great and honest REALTORS® here who put their clients needs first!!!
Buying a home is a significant deal, possibly the most important purchase you’ll ever make!!!
Before you decide to buy without a REALTOR® or even worse without any representation, you should be informed of the dangers, as you may find that the potential drawbacks of going out there alone outweigh the potential rewards. If you’re not careful, buying a home without the help of a REALTOR® might be financially disastrous!!!!
Please do read the entire post and first allow me to explain a few simple things!!!…
❖ There is a difference between a REALTOR® and a real estate agent or professional inPortugal!!!
First let me share with you a few misconceptions about what it means to be a REALTOR®…
Although there are many real estate professionals in Portugal very few are REALTORS®… Always look for the R®!!!...
A REALTOR® is a real estate professional who is a member of the National Association of Realtors (NAR®), a professional association. NAR® defines the term REALTOR® as a federally registered collective membership mark that identifies a real estate professional who is a member of the association and subscribes to its code of ethics.
A REALTOR® is the only real estate professional who is committed to treating his clients with ethics.
A REALTOR® finds the dream home for you and protects your rights.
A REALTOR® negotiates the best price and uses industry-leading market data for this.
A REALTOR® knows its neighborhood, neighbors and volunteers to make it better.
The REALTOR® Code of Ethics makes REALTORS® your advocate in one of the biggest transactions you will ever make.
A REALTOR® is not just a home or business search, it is a human connection to the best property for you.
A REALTOR® is supported by the largest professional trade organization, protecting its property and community long after contracts are signed.
❖ Now that you know what is the difference between a REALTOR® and a real estate professional in Portugal, please allow me to explain to you what is a buyer agent and why you need one!!!
Whether it's your initial home or permanent residence... A vacation home or even an investment property... Buying a home can seem like a daunting task. Fortunately, REALTORS® can make the process less daunting. As a buyer, you'll want to find a buyer's agent who can help you get the perfect home. But what is a buyer agent and how does one differ from a listing agent???…
Work with a REALTOR® that has the ABR® designation to get started!!!...
What is a buyer's agent???...
A REALTOR® buyer's agent is a real estate professional who guides the buyer through the process of buying a home. As a REALTOR® buyer's representative in a real estate transaction, the buyer's agent has a legal obligation to protect the buyer's interests and work to ensure they are getting the best deal possible. While there are some REALTORS® who specialize in working with buyers, most of them work as buyer agents or listing agents, depending on the specific transaction.
Buyer's Agent vs. Listing Agent
In a real estate transaction, there are usually two real estate agents involved… A buyer's agent and a listing agent. The buyer's agent works on the buyer's behalf, while the listing agent represents the seller's interests.
The buyer's agent will help the buyer navigate the real estate landscape, finding properties and advocating the buyer and their unique needs. The listing agent, on the other hand, is responsible for listing a property from a seller. A listing agent has a fiduciary responsibility to look after the seller, ensuring they secure the best possible terms for the sale of the seller's property.
Rather than hiring their own homebuyer's agent, some buyers believe they can find a property they like and work with the listing agent, or even worse work directly with owner and I’ll get to that in a just a bit, to complete the sale. While this type of double agent can be done, it is highly discouraged because it leads to a conflict of interest. When it comes to the negotiation process, there is no way for an agent to be loyal to both parties to the transaction. Buyers and sellers have inherently different interests, especially with regard to the purchase price.
So what’s the good news???…
The good news is that having a buyer's agent on your side not only saves you money, in addition to no costs to you (unless You sign a buyer’s representation agreement where you are hiring a REALTOR® and where you will be responsible for the fees), because the seller pays the full sales commission to the listing agent, and hence you have no one to help you make sure you're represented in the negotiations.
If you decide not to have buyer representation, the listing agent, who represents the seller, will normally take the full commission!!!
When listing agents are under contract to sell a home for sale, the commission that the seller has agreed to is already in the contract and includes the amount that would be paid to the buyer's agent. If an unrepresented buyer is involved in the transaction, the listing agent is entitled to the entire agreed-upon commission.
The Accredited Buyer Representative (ABR®) Designation
The Accredited Buyer Representative (ABR®) designation is for REALTORS® who focus on working directly with buyer clients at all stages of the home buying process.
Now that you know what is the difference between a REALTOR® and a real estate professional in Portugal, as well as what is a buyer agent and why you need one, I want to share with you the risks of not using a REALTOR® when Buying your home in Portugal.
❖ Lack Of Law Transparency
Real estate law is complicated and it differs in Portugal from the Country you are currently living in. To avoid future legal issues, you must follow the text of the law. Before you sign a contract, you must know how to read it.
You must complete all required papers precisely and accurately, as well as meet all deadlines. Legal blunders and omissions in your documents can cause major, long-term, and costly problems.
❖ You May Get Confused
Purchasing a home is not as simple as, say, buying a car. Both buyers and sellers must adhere to Portugal’s standards, and buyers must ensure that they are not overlooking important information that could cost them money.
For example, a purchase contract should have adequately defined contingencies that address whether you may back out of a purchase if specific faults are discovered during a house inspection. A contract may also state whether you can push back the closing date if you have trouble selling your current property or additionally if you are using a mortgage and home appraisal comes in below purchase price… Again should have adequately defined contingencies that address whether you may back out of the purchase!!!
❖ No Comprehensive Real Estate Market Analysis
Buyers who do not utilize a REALTOR® will not be able to use the professional’s exclusive tools. These contain extensive market statistics that enable REALTORS® to determine a fair price for their buyer’s property, ensuring that the buyer does not overpay for the property. REALTORS® use cutting-edge techniques and have a thorough understanding of the real estate market to accurately determine the worth of any property in a given location.
❖ No Network Of Experts
Mortgage brokers, building inspectors, land surveyors, soil analysis specialists, lawyers, solicitors, notaries, accountants and other REALTORS® rely on a network of qualified professionals who contribute to your transaction. Buyers who do not use a REALTOR® may fail to consult with professionals who can assist them in making educated decisions, or they may consult with someone who lacks the required skills.
Remember the saying we have in Portugal???… “O barato sai caro”… Well once again keep this in mind… “If You think it’s expensive to hire a professional to do the job, wait until You hire an amateur!!!”
❖ No Proper Inspection
Deciphering a home inspection report can be difficult. The inspector will make a list of all potential issues, with the report possibly containing 20-50 items of concern. Some of them may be things to be concerned about, while others may appear to be significant but are not.
A top-tier REALTOR® can help you figure out which inspection requests are unreasonable. A REALTOR® sees these reports regularly, so they know what is relevant – the information on which you will base your negotiation talks.
Without a REALTOR®, you will be unaware of the various inspections that are recommended in your area. Apart from this, they might also tell you how to choose the correct house inspector to begin with the process.
A mold inspection, insect infestation inspection, radon inspection, or other particular inspection may be required. If you skip the required examination, you could end up in a home with serious problems, and a REALTOR® can help you not make the wrong choice.
❖ You May Overpay
The home’s price is determined by the owner, who may or may not be aware of the home’s actual value. Homeowners have a habit of exaggerating the price of their properties.
You won’t be able to check the authenticity of the price established by the owner because you won’t be able to do so on your own. For those selling for sale-by-owner, the most common method of determining an asking price is to use rudimentary methods.
Anyone with half a brain understands that the chances of seeing an accurate house valuation on any internet tool are better than spotting a Unicorn… Some sellers have no idea what they’re doing!!!
If something appears to be too good to be true, it most likely is!!!… Other sellers just choose a number from a hat based on their needs or desires for their future home.
“This is why I highly discourage buyers to work directly with FSBO’s (For Sale By Owner)!!!”
One of the significant advantages of hiring a REALTOR® is having someone on your side who can assess the house’s market value for you. Buying a home without the help of a REALTOR® carries a significant risk of overpaying. Once again keep this in mind… “If You think it’s expensive to hire a professional to do the job, wait until You hire an amateur, or even worse not hiring a REALTOR® at all!!!”… Please keep reading as I’m almost finished… ❖ No Proper Disclosure Sellers are not required to report concerns with their homes in Portugal. Caveat Emptor in Latin, or “let the buyer beware,” is the term used in Countries where this is the case. On the other hand, REALTORS® in the real estate industry are held to a far higher standard. If a REALTOR® in Portugal is aware of an issue with a property, they must disclose it!!!… There are very few situations where a REALTOR® can avoid revealing a defect that would cause a buyer to reconsider buying a house. In Countries where non-disclosure is permitted such as Portugal is one of them, some sellers may attempt to sell their home as a for-sale-by-owner. Some of these homeowners may even advertise their home as being offered “as is.” If you’re buying a house from a for sale by the owner and they’re selling it as-is, be aware, you might get fished!!! ❖ So in Conclusion… REMEMBER… “If You think it’s expensive to hire a professional to do the job, wait until You hire an amateur, or even worse not hiring a REALTOR® at all!!!” It’s a huge task to learn how to buy a home without using a REALTOR®, and buying a home is likely to be one of the most significant financial transactions you’ll ever do. You can save money by doing it yourself, but there are several benefits to hiring a REALTOR®… So please think twice before you try to do it yourself!!! Feel free to schedule a call at your convenience on our calendar through Calendly and let’s see where our team and I can add value to your home purchase experience in Portugal!!! Link to schedule call on Calendly
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