Most professional bodies in society have awritten code of conduct and this strictly appliesto the real estate business.
At the same time enterprises that are based on trust require fewer rules and regulations andfewer bureaucratic enforcers and therefore canfunction more efficiently.
The best real estate companies in Portugal operate within an ethical framework that is rooted in a healthy balance of the two: a system of written law and morality married to a sense of fair play and human values.
All reputable real estate companies in the Algarve belong to the Portuguese Association of Real Estate Agents, a national body that represents the interests of the profession and adheres to both the written and unwritten code of behaviour.
In Portugal, real estate agents have to obtain a licence from the Government and they have to comply with its regulations. Agents are insured against liability claims and are obliged by law to have a book of complaints that you can demand to see and make a written entry if necessary.
There is, of course, always a risk of making the wrong choice but the Algarve is a closely-knit community and news travels fast. Ask around and you will soon find out if there is an agent you should avoid.
Long before trying to sell a property a quality real estate agent will always spend an appropriate amount of time analysing his clients’ specific requirements: his reasons for purchasing, his budget, and his preferred lifestyle and taste. Only when the agent has ascertained these criteria will he be in a position to offer advice and eventually present suitable properties. On behalf of a vend or a good agent will advise on market value, consider carefully the reasons for selling, timing, and present options for marketing the property.
Focusing on a client’s needs and respecting them is one of the unwritten canons of good real estate service. Once a decision to purchase has been made an agency should guide its client through the entire purchase procedure.
This will include help in selecting a lawyer, a financial consultant if any funding is required or advice on offshore purchase, assistance with the choice of architect or builder (if required) and any other support that will ensure a smooth transfer for both buyer and seller.
A word of warning. Some visitors to the Algarve are often persuaded that it is cheaper to go direct to an owner by way of introduction and bypass the services of a real estate agent. But asking the locals if they know of a nice property for sale can be a perilous path to tread. If you needed expert medical help you would obviously go to a qualified doctor. The same is true in real estate. Go to the experts.