Making sure you are protected
Perhaps it is the warm sun that fries the brains of some people visiting Tenerife, but it seems that many seem to throw caution and common sense to the wind when they come to buying a property in Tenerife. They happily slap down thousands of Euros or Pounds in deposits for properties, without a care for the security of their hard earned cash. They blithely accept a salesman’s patter… after all, he’s a nice chap and they met him by the pool… he’s bound to be telling the truth!
Back home, on familiar ground, they are different people. But as the temperature rises, so it seems does our gullibility. Many people have learnt the hard way, that suntan lotion does not provide adequate cover for all eventualities.
Estate agency in Tenerife is a deregulated industry, and as such it means that almost anyone can set up their own agency and start selling properties to the unsuspecting public. More regulations apply to someone who sells beans in a market than to those who sell property.
Both buyers and sellers in Tenerife need to take particular care about choosing Estate Agents in this uncertain climate and even using a company that has traded here for years is no guarantee of security. All it takes is a bad year or maybe a change in personal circumstances and that seemingly solid agent can do a moonlight flit. Now that the days of ‘easy money’ are past, more and more Estate Agents are closing their doors… and their bank accounts!
Even more common than the disappearing deposit is misrepresentation or omissions by the salesman.
At the end of the day, there is only one failsafe way to be protected from all these problems, and that is insurance. The type of policy that an estate agency should carry is called ‘Professional Indemnity Insurance’, common in other countries but a rarity here. It’s rare because insurance companies like to minimise their risks, so they won’t insure an agent without a proven track record and effective systems and practices in place. It’s also rare because it is expensive for an agent to take out, so either they cannot get it or they do not want to pay for it. But from your point of view, it is the only way to guarantee the safety of your deposits and the information that an agent gives you.
The best advice you can be given for your own peace of mind and security is to ensure that the estate agent you’re dealing with is covered by a Professional Indemnity Insurance. The agent you choose MUST be covered by this Insurance, which guarantees and underwrites client deposits. This advice is obviously just common sense, but for some, the excitement of purchasing in a foreign country can make them throw all caution to the wind. Make sure that you are not one of those.
At Tenerife Property Shop, our motto is “Safety and Security”, and so we naturally protect your interests with this insurance, but very few others (if any), do as well. Don’t let the relaxed atmosphere and shining sun distract you… and make sure you’re covered by more than suntan lotion!