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Don't go it alone! Use an Agent

Don't go it alone! Use an Agent

Old Apr 10th 2006, 7:05 am
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Unhappy Don't go it alone! Use an Agent

I have just finished watching a programme, Real Story with Fiona Bruce about an English couple who wanted to live in Spain in the Valencia region and were murdered when they went to view a villa which had been privately advertised.

It seems the whole thing was a set up, the villa was too cheap and the advert was purely to lure people in so they could be robbed and then killed.

Such a sad story. What a cruel and calculated act.

We may have a minefield to negotiate with some estate agents, but it does bring it home that at least you have a degree of safety when you view a property with an agent.

However, always make sure someone else knows where you are going and who with before you go property viewing. And make sure your agent actually has an office and landline number and is in some measure accountable.

Be careful.
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Old Apr 10th 2006, 7:24 am
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Default Re: Don't go it alone! Use an Agent

Terrible story and could so easily happen here
But how did the woman who sold the computer to the killer let him sign the slip with a different name to the card and what about the ID, passport or whatever ?
Everywhere I go you need a passport or photo driving licence as ID, especially with a UK card.
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Old Apr 10th 2006, 7:35 am
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Default Re: Don't go it alone! Use an Agent

Hi jdr,

It has happened in UK the other way round. Remember Suzy Lamplugh the Estate Agent who was kidnapped and killed by a "Client".

Regards,

John.
Originally Posted by jdr
Terrible story and could so easily happen here
But how did the woman who sold the computer to the killer let him sign the slip with a different name to the card and what about the ID, passport or whatever ?
Everywhere I go you need a passport or photo driving licence as ID, especially with a UK card.
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Old Apr 10th 2006, 7:40 am
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Default Re: Don't go it alone! Use an Agent

Yes I remember that story, you have to be sooo careful today, even more so in a foreign country.
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Old Apr 14th 2006, 11:05 am
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Default Re: Don't go it alone! Use an Agent

Originally Posted by susique
I have just finished watching a programme, Real Story with Fiona Bruce about an English couple who wanted to live in Spain in the Valencia region and were murdered when they went to view a villa which had been privately advertised.

It seems the whole thing was a set up, the villa was too cheap and the advert was purely to lure people in so they could be robbed and then killed.

Such a sad story. What a cruel and calculated act.

We may have a minefield to negotiate with some estate agents, but it does bring it home that at least you have a degree of safety when you view a property with an agent.

However, always make sure someone else knows where you are going and who with before you go property viewing. And make sure your agent actually has an office and landline number and is in some measure accountable.

Be careful.
Unlike the UK, where it's more likely that the estate agent will be murdered when showing a property to a punter.

I'll get me coat.
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Old Apr 16th 2006, 1:21 pm
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Default Re: Don't go it alone! Use an Agent

If a criminal wants to target you they will, whether it is following you home from the pub, hijacking your car because you have your suitcases in the care etc etc. A number of criminals have used Real Estate Agents to money launder. The advert should have said something in itself if it was too cheap that all was not well, people often also become a victim because of greed, something for nothing. The Nigerian scams come to mind....many people have died in relations to them as well..

Originally Posted by susique
I have just finished watching a programme, Real Story with Fiona Bruce about an English couple who wanted to live in Spain in the Valencia region and were murdered when they went to view a villa which had been privately advertised.

It seems the whole thing was a set up, the villa was too cheap and the advert was purely to lure people in so they could be robbed and then killed.

Such a sad story. What a cruel and calculated act.

We may have a minefield to negotiate with some estate agents, but it does bring it home that at least you have a degree of safety when you view a property with an agent.

However, always make sure someone else knows where you are going and who with before you go property viewing. And make sure your agent actually has an office and landline number and is in some measure accountable.

Be careful.
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Old Apr 16th 2006, 10:10 pm
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Default Re: Don't go it alone! Use an Agent

Originally Posted by Mercedes
If a criminal wants to target you they will, whether it is following you home from the pub, hijacking your car because you have your suitcases in the care etc etc. A number of criminals have used Real Estate Agents to money launder. The advert should have said something in itself if it was too cheap that all was not well, people often also become a victim because of greed, something for nothing. The Nigerian scams come to mind....many people have died in relations to them as well..
It is true 'there is no such thing as a free lunch' but can even the canniest of us say hand on heart we have not, or would not, look at something that seemed too good to be true, just out of interest?

In this particular case, the house was very isolated and that would have put me off and probably made me suspicious but sadly when people are out in the sunshine, anticipating an exciting new opportunity in life, it must be very easy for a few, dreadful, ruthless people to take advantage.
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Old Apr 17th 2006, 12:20 am
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Default Re: Don't go it alone! Use an Agent

Originally Posted by susique
It is true 'there is no such thing as a free lunch' but can even the canniest of us say hand on heart we have not, or would not, look at something that seemed too good to be true, just out of interest?

In this particular case, the house was very isolated and that would have put me off and probably made me suspicious but sadly when people are out in the sunshine, anticipating an exciting new opportunity in life, it must be very easy for a few, dreadful, ruthless people to take advantage.
The key is to check things out. If something looks too good to be true, then it is. Do background checks, get references, find someone else who has trodden the path, or knows the people. If you can't find any of these, ask the people you're dealing with for them so that you can check them out before you even meet and then check out the referees themselves. Cross-check the property details so you can spot if there are any abnomalities in what you're being told and what is on record.

Easy to say with hindsight, of course, but if nothing else these incidents should serve as a lesson to us all to be cautious and suspicious in any dealings involving strangers - and I include estate agents that I don't know amongst those
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Old Apr 17th 2006, 2:57 pm
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Default Re: Don't go it alone! Use an Agent

Originally Posted by susique
It is true 'there is no such thing as a free lunch' but can even the canniest of us say hand on heart we have not, or would not, look at something that seemed too good to be true, just out of interest?

In this particular case, the house was very isolated and that would have put me off and probably made me suspicious but sadly when people are out in the sunshine, anticipating an exciting new opportunity in life, it must be very easy for a few, dreadful, ruthless people to take advantage.
No, especially if its in an expat newspaper or through an expat agent, even moreso if they are south amercian. I'm probably more cyncial in thinking there is something wrong with it, especially if its in a popular location. Maybe in the middle of nowhere, miles from civilisation I may have a different view, but thenI would only be interested if I was a hermit...which I'm not....

I think anyone coming to Spain should trust no one and then maybe they won't get ripped off, even moreso if they are foreigners, I include Brits in that, as I find they are often the worst culprits. If people want to use an agent they should find a spanish one that has been around for quite a while and is known to the locals, the same with lawyers and come recommended, other than that, keep a wide berth. My first year here I had loads of people try and rip me off, if they succeeded, I got my money back, threatening them with the fact they had no idea who I knew and they really wouldn't like to piss me off for the sake of a few hundered Euros... Surprising enough it worked and monies were returned, so you can use the bad guys to your advantage....
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Old Apr 17th 2006, 10:33 pm
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Default Re: Don't go it alone! Use an Agent

There are a lot of dodgy characters in Spain but there are a lot of good, honest, hardworking people too.

If you hang around sh** chances are you will get sh**!
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Old Apr 18th 2006, 5:20 am
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Default Re: Don't go it alone! Use an Agent

Originally Posted by sunnysenorita
There are a lot of dodgy characters in Spain but there are a lot of good, honest, hardworking people too.

If you hang around sh** chances are you will get sh**!
Trouble is when you arrive you don't know who is okay and who isn't do you? It's only by being here a while you get to know who is okay and who isn't. My first couple of years here was a hard learning curve, (in comparison to other countries I had lived before -) and people that I thought would be okay weren't. But since I've been in a Spanish community I have found I haven't been ripped off, and any expats I do business now with come through recommendations of people I know and they have done business with. Yes the above are around, but finding them is the hardest part, especially if you arrive here without knowing a soul. Which I did.

I don't hang around shit, never liked the smelll...
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