The Association of International Property Professionals has recently completed it’s 2007 consumer survey and, perhaps not surprisingly, the biggest fear of British overseas property buyers is the fact they feel a high chance of being mislead, either by an agent or a developer.
According to the AIPP’s survey, 69% of consumers are worried about being given unreliable or misleading information and 44% said that being unable to independently check information is a concern. Only 17% are worried about being pressured using hard sell techniques and only 34% were worried about overpaying for property.
94% of the survey said they would feel less worried if overseas property companies were forced to follow professional guidelines and face penalties if they broke them.
Paul Owen, chief executive of AIPP said, “Consumers have sent a very clear message to the industry to clean up its act. Unfortunately, the overseas property market has been littered with marketing messages and sales pitches that guarantee this, that or the other, but buyers are increasingly aware that these claims are not always based in fact.”
Many agents make unrealistic claims for rental returns and in some cases, deliberately mislead consumers as to the local tax laws, a case in point being the recent introduction in Spain of hefty rental income taxes.
“Our survey shows the overseas property industry has its work cut out to convince the public of its credibility,” said Owen. “Its biggest message is that the majority of British and Irish buyers would like to see industry-wide professional standards adopted in the international market.”
“At the heart of the AIPP is a desire to improve the market by providing education and training and setting out professional standards of operation. Our members are bound by a Code of Conduct and any failure to adhere to his code leads to disciplinary action.”
“More agents and developers need to listen to what consumers are saying in this survey, ultimately that they want greater levels of assurance and recourse if things do go wrong.”
The AIPP can be found online at AIPP.org.uk and have recently passed the 300+ membership mark although we were unable to find a comprehensive list on line.