During my first visits i meet a couple who had a very sad story to tell me about what had happened to then. There story made me look at the pitfalls of buying a property in Portugal. After other similar stories all about the same agent i made sure that i had the answers to questions before i started my search for my dream home.
I meet this couple in about October 2007 in a small bar in Gois on a beautiful sunny autumn day. They heard me talking on my phone and after the call they invited my to join them for a coffee. They asked me back for a meal later and they said they had a sad story to tell me. They then left to take there dog for a vets appointment.
I arrived to find the house they had was really nice. We sat on the patio area over looking the hills and valley that the house over looks.
There story started in the summer of 2005 when they stayed in Gois while looking at property in the area. They met with an Estate agent who unknown to them was not a Legal agent. Unknown to them they had no protection in law if things went wrong. The agent lets call him John " well that is his name " John was a conman. The first house they saw was the one they decide to buy. They feel in love with the house and the area around it.
They agreed a price and paid the agent the deposit and when the time came they paid the balance that was due. BUT somehow it was the agent who got paid not the owner. What they paid to the agent was not the sale price the agent charged app 30,000euro more than the real sale price. Of course when they found out they where upset as you can imagine. BUT under Portuguese law there was nothing that could be done as it was seen as a private sale. This spoilt what was to be there dream home in the sun. But it turned out to be there nightmare home in the sun. It turned out to be a nightmare because they where aware they had been conned. Sadly there dream was ruined and they sold up to move back to the UK.
I am glad that the agent i meet in Gois is a Legal agent and i have the power of the law to protect me in the purchase of my place in the sun.
It's a case of buyer beware make sure that the Estate Agent you use has an up to date Inci Licence number and works from an office.