Real Estate Agents! Who needs them?
First things first… on how agents become agents in this country…
Regulations in Europe and indeed in the world vary greatly when it comes to real estate.
Very briefly, I shall start by highlighting that Italian real estate agents, agenti di affari in mediazione or more simply agenti immobiliari or mediatori, HERE, have to get a license to offer services in real estate.
HENCE we are the professionals you go to for advice and assistance to selling and buying in ITALY because we specialize in real estate transactions and all that precedes and follows transferring and acquiring titles to properties for the parties and we are the only professionals that do!
- The laws and regulations for us to become real estate agents require that we attend specializing courses which are ‘open’ to those with, at least, a diploma, and I have a degree, and a spotless criminal record, as pre-requisites!
- For the best part of a year we train on evaluations, estimates, study taxation on real estate, laws and regulations, negotiations to reconcile opposite interests! contracts and so on.
- A certificate is released at the end of the classes proving our having attended them and, with that in hand, we can sit for exams to get the license at passing the exams and not everybody does!
- Once the exams part is successfully over, we get ‘the licence’ that has to go on record with the Chamber of Commerce of the province where you reside, it is Perugia’s for me, to be able to work as mediatore or agente or agente immobiliare
- This excludes any other profession while we work as real estate agents irrespective of our being possibly trained for other professions. We cannot work as translators, accountants, barristers, land surveyors, architects and so on, we cannot exert any other profession when opting for this profession! If we do other jobs too, we end up losing our licenses as we do at not keeping our criminal record spotless!
- Last but not least, all agents have to set up an insurance covering for professional risks.
OK than, but how does all this serve you i.e. why will it make a difference to have an agent by your side?
- Over time, you will be the ones to face the problems and costs of UN-professionally handled sales/purchases! It is evident that some of your time devoted to selecting a reliable agent is time and money saved now and in the future.
- Being aware that no one can work as a real estate agent and combine this profession with any other legally, unless renouncing the other! enables you to exclude those who illegally offer their services and for this are unaccountable!
- Having explained that we are not amateurs in the sector should be a good starting point! We have the know how and skills to reach a good and safe deal for you which will remain good and safe over the years. This is what counts in real estate and in such an important move in your life.
- Did you know that real estate agents services and their fees are recorded on sale/purchase contracts and that you make statements re this? If no agent is involved in a sale/purchase, you declare that you acted without the professional advice of a real estate agent and this stays on record as well. As further proof that agents are the professionals you go to for advise and help in real estate in this country.
- As for notaries they are the officers that guarantee titles origins and transfer titles in Italy. They do not carry out any search nor evaluations on properties. They warn the parties of the consequences of false declarations in notarized contracts, get copies of building licenses and habitation certificates and plans from the owners who are responsible for providing those but NO Notary in Italy has to check on building licenses and cadastral plans or files and what is actually on record ie no notary ever verifies that what is physically there is in line with what has been authorized!it It is not their responsibility to do so.
- Real Estate Agents know what files to collect and check and get these well before you enter any deal. Be aware that professional agents should not and CANNOT tie you to contracts ie written agreements you undersign, that are called preliminary contract of sale/purchase but are legally binding and with money involved anyway! without making you aware before you decide to progress of any relevant fact that may affect your decision re selling/buying or the agreed price.
PLEASE question and report of ANYONE who tries to do this! It is either not an agent or an agent, alas it happens in all professions, that is not paying tribute to what we have to do for clients also to abide by what is required of us legally.
- We agents can and do make the difference for our clients because we have the know-how, the skills and commitment to meet our clients’ needs. We agents may make mistakes, we are human beings and some of us are not that smart either!! BUT we do have an insurance to cover for these unlikely events, as a further guarantee that our clients are safer with us.
Please note that the main Agents Associations in Italy are F.I.M.A.A. and F.I.A.I.P so spotting the associations’ logo in an agent’s office or ad is also a further guarantee that you are in the right place/hands for professional advice…
I am with F.I.M.A.A. http://www.fimaa.it as you can see form their logo featured on my home page.!
The subject is inevitably technical but hey, this is how to get the basics right and this will always come in handy whatever your approach to selling and buying is.
Any question that comes to mind or curiosity in real estate is welcome! You can send it to firstname.lastname@example.org also through the contacts area in this website
Hopefully this is informative rather than boring, gosh boring defeats the object 😉
*The SECOND PART of this article on Real Estate Agents, who needs them! ie the civil code on what to expect from agents and give in exchange, fees and who pays them and so on is published next week. Hope this helps! At the end of the day this all comes to offering qualified help and support for your real estate needs.