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Where to live in Malta or Gozo?

Letting agents - bait & switch

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Letting agents - bait & switch

Postby maxine » Wed 13 Nov 2013 16:23 GMT

Has anyone else noticed how the letting agents, including those that advertise on ToM that they have 10,000 properties to let are all lying through their back teeth?

We spent a couple of hours going through 4 websites and found a handful of apartments that we were interested in viewing. After contacting each of the 4 companies, everyone of them told us that the property we were interested in was no longer available but that they had 'hundreds' of other properties that we could look at.

Classic 'Bait & Switch' techniques - I think we will start looking at the classifieds before using an agent.
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Postby Playbyte » Wed 13 Nov 2013 19:02 GMT

Hi Maxine

We have been reviewing the estate agents for a while now and I agree with your findings.

We haven't thought of looking at classified ads though so would appreciate knowing which paper you look in.

We are looking forward to coming over next April and hunting through all that we can and we have one thing in our favour - a Maltese couple who have become friends and are willing to help in our search.
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Postby maxine » Wed 13 Nov 2013 20:45 GMT

The main ones I have found so far have been the Times of Malta who have a classified section online and Freeads Malta (google it for the url) who seem to have a wide selection but you need to be wary with some as they are 'free' ads with no obvious management of who they are or what they say.

I'll let you know if I find anymore.
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Postby JJ » Thu 14 Nov 2013 11:31 GMT

The reality is that with no incentive for exclusive listings, landlords register their empty properties with every estate agent and then don't let them know when they're taken, and with so many empty properties agents don't have time to keep ringing round landlords to check the status of their properties (and with the slightly strange way of thinking from many landlords, they'd probably stop using agents who called too often).
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Postby maxine » Thu 14 Nov 2013 13:16 GMT

I could see that however if the Estate Agent doesn't know if a property has been let then how can they have lots and lots to show me if I go and meet them at their office?

Just seems a strange way to do business :)
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Postby JJ » Thu 14 Nov 2013 13:21 GMT

Admittedly the listings are pretty pointless, recently I found that barely 20% of what was advertised was available. You'll probably do better to simply tell the agent your budget, preferred areas, style (house/flat/penthouse, modern/traditional) and specific requirements (pool, garage, lift) and leave them to do the work and get back to you with what's available.
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Postby ozzy » Thu 14 Nov 2013 13:52 GMT

I did what JJ suggested 2 months in advance and the estate agent only had 5 property's to show me that fitted my requirements .... when there was a load of adverts on the agents site ....
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Postby Playbyte » Thu 14 Nov 2013 13:56 GMT

OK Ozzy so what did you end up doing that got you a place?
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Postby ozzy » Thu 14 Nov 2013 14:06 GMT

ozzy wrote:I did what JJ suggested 2 months in advance and the estate agent only had 5 property's to show me that fitted my requirements .... not many when you compare it to the number of property's you think are available on the agents site ....
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Postby maxine » Thu 14 Nov 2013 17:07 GMT

Well we have taken your advice and sent our list to one of the agents and will see what he comes back with. I asked him nicely not to waste his or our time with unsuitable properties and I think I gave him a reasonable budget to work to. Let's see what happens.
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Postby Playbyte » Thu 14 Nov 2013 17:27 GMT

Good luck Maxine.
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Postby ozzy » Thu 14 Nov 2013 19:28 GMT

I got a place within my budget and requirements ... but expected a wider choice from what I saw listed on the agents site in the couple of weeks leading up to my viewing time
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We too are planning to long let for a year

Postby Newquaykas » Mon 5 May 2014 13:38 GMT

Hopefully in gozo, but am hearing people when they say that the estate agents don't seem to actually have the properties they are advertising!
Looking in the Sunday times And making our way through all the estate agents.
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Postby mickh911 » Mon 5 May 2014 19:24 GMT

have a ride/walk round the area's you like. look for property to rent direct from owner signs, ask in bars/shops, nearly everyone knows someone with property to rent, just make sure you are up to speed with rental prices
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Postby JJ » Wed 7 May 2014 12:06 GMT

But if you have any requirements (modern, view, town centre, not town centre) make your requirements very clear or you'll be shown round some right gothic horrors.
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