If you want to buy a house, is it better between private individuals or through an agency? | Economy

If you want to buy a house, is it better between private individuals or through an agency? | Economy

A private individual who, after publishing an ad on a specialized website on the internet, visits a potential buyer who has shown interest in his home. A few weeks later, they formalize their agreement before the notary and carry out the transfer of ownership. If this is undoubtedly the most common picture when talking about the sale of housing, a survey of the Organization of Consumers and Users (OCU) shows that direct treatment between individuals was adopted in less than half of the cases the year past (45%). On the contrary, 37% of buyers preferred trust in a real estate agency (a quarter of them declared not having had a good experience) and the remaining 18% went through other routes.

The purchase process and the elements on which the user should set depend on who the seller is or who acts as mediator in their development. Even so, in the opinion of the spokesperson of the OCU, Ileana Izverniceanu, there are valid councils in any case. "First: take extreme caution and be clear about both the needs and the economic possibilities, since the risks of a compulsive purchase or induced by a skillful seller they would have here many more serious effects than we suffer in any purchase of a consumer product, "he warns.

And there will also be a distinction between a purchase on a flat -that is, a house that is not yet built- and a second-hand house. In the first case, the characteristics of the promotion will be meticulously ascertained through the documentation provided by the promoter. In the second one, the focus will be placed on the legal situation of the dwelling (real owner, eventual charges or mortgages, occupants), its environment day and night (to avoid unwanted noise or smells), and its material state (termites, aluminosis, humidity, and isolation, among other sources of problems). "Although in some cases you can claim, the important thing is to take precautions before buying to avoid surprises later", summarizes Izverniceanu.

Between individuals

When the seller is a private individual who transfers a used home to another private, their mutual relationship is governed by civil legislation. If deemed necessary, the buyer can claim for hidden defects within a period of six months, or ask for the nullity of the purchase by mistake in the consent, or the resolution of the sale if he thinks he has been sold cat in the wild. If the home is less than 10 years old, the guarantee periods provided for in the Building Management Law are one year for finishing defects, three for problems with habitability, and 10 when faults are detected in the structure.

The general director of the brokerage company Tu Solución Hipotecaria, Ricardo Gulias, highlights some of the difficulties that can arise in the purchase and sale between individuals. "What happens when there is a mortgage burden on the farm that is very old but not expired? And if there is an inheritance, who puts the heirs in agreement? What if the seller does not live in the buyer's city? What if there are embargoes on the farm? "He asks. "Sometimes, the presence of a professional is essential to carry out a sale," he argues.

Through an agency

For this reason, many decide to go to a real estate agency, although 26% of the buyers who did it last year declared themselves dissatisfied with the experience, always according to data from the OCU. On the seller's side, things do not seem to go better. From the organization point out, for example, that "the exclusivity clause – for which the agent intends to charge the commission in any case, even when there has been no effective mediation on their part – still campaigned for their respect, despite having been declared abusive on several occasions. "

"Inside the sector there are authentic out of series but also botched", Admits Gulias, who, to detect if the agency is serious, suggests observing the documentation that gives to the buyer. "If you give us the current simple note [un documento expedido por el Registro de la Propiedad que informa sobre quién es la persona propietaria del inmueble, las posibles cargas asociadas y las limitaciones de uso], copy of the cadastre, status of the community of owners, whether or not there are spills, the energy certificate, the certificate of habitability [en las Comunidades Autónomas donde está prevista], information on whether the ITE is past or not, and how much is paid from the community, it will be difficult for the real estate company to not meet our expectations, "he says.

Bad habits

When the client has opted for a property and is convinced that he wants to acquire it, it will be necessary to make a contract of payment and signal or reservation, in which the offered price will be fixed ". "It is when the real estate company should deliver the simple note of the house", underlines Gulias. In the reservation the owner of the property will be located to make the deposit contract, in the case of accepting the proposal. In this contract, the final price and expiration date will be established, as well as if a few days are granted for the eviction of the house and if the furniture is left in the house, among other details.

"The agency can provide mortgage counseling and linking the operation to the viability of the loan ", Gulias emphasizes," but the client can not coerce to use this service obligatorily ". Disregarding the process once they have received the fees is another bad practice pointed out by both Izverniceanu and Gulias. According to this expert, it is an extended custom among real estate calls low cost.

Beware of illegal practices

In the resolution of problems that may occur in the purchase and sale of a home used through an agency, we must distinguish the responsibility of the seller and the intermediary. "Between the buyer and the agency, there is a consumer relationship, to which the consumer regulations and the general rules of civil law apply," explains Izverniceanu. His advice is that, from the beginning, the conditions of the mediation for the buyer be clear, as if a commission will be charged or if the advertised price already includes all the expenses.

Alongside a majority of serious agencies, there are also practices that Izverniceanu does not hesitate to define as "illegal". One of them is to include binding commitments in mere visiting sheets that the potential buyer signs when inspecting a home for sale. Or have a document signed where the agency passes on to the seller an offer from the buyer with a reduction on the advertised price. "The problem is that this document already includes the firm commitment of the buyer to acquire that house if the seller agrees to the offer, without the buyer really being aware of it," Izverniceanu warns. "Even cash advances are usually requested to move that offer," he adds. So reiterate his advice: be prudent.


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