If you are going to purchase property in Cyprus you will probably be dealing with an estate agent. In Cyprus, the only person other than the legal owner of the property that can advertise it for sale is a registered estate agent. With this in mind, it is not surprising that most of the property sales that take place in Cyprus are handled by estate agents.
Foreign buyers that are not residents almost exclusively utilize estate agents. Some foreign buyers even use an estate agent from their home country that will work in cooperation with an estate agent in Cyprus. If you are only interested in working with an estate agent from Cyprus they advertise extensively abroad and typically maintain user friendly websites. All estate agents in Cyprus have people on staff that speaks English as well as some other foreign languages. You should have no problem locating an agency that speaks your native language.
When you are searching for an estate agent to work with it is important to make sure that the estate agent is registered. Law requires that estate agents be professionally licensed and registered with the Registrar of Estate Agents. Regardless of this law, there are some unregistered agents in Cyprus. You can ask for your agent’s registration number and have it verified if you are unsure of their status.
While it is not required, most estate agents are members of the Cyprus Real Estate Agents’ Association (CREEA). It is advisable to get an agent that is a member of CREEA as all members are required to have indemnity insurance. Members are also required to have extensive knowledge of immovable property law, have experience selling property, have a clean criminal record and not be bankrupt.
There are no government restrictions on the fees agents can charge in Cyprus. Typically the commission is at least 3 percent of the selling price but it usually around 5 percent of the selling price. If you are asked to pay a deposit fee to your estate agent you should make sure that it goes into a separate bonded account.
There are not listings of all the property available in Cyprus and for that reason estate agents guard their list of properties from others. For that reason, it is important to make sure that properties you might have seen in brochures or on a website are actually available for sale before you travel to view it. When you are ready to view a property the agent will take you there personally. You will not have any dealings with the owner or tenant directly when viewing properties. For this reason, it is important to make appointments with an agent as opposed to simply showing up unannounced.