If you are planning on living abroad in Ireland, you might be interested in purchasing a home to live in once you get to Ireland. For property sales that involve overseas or foreign buyers, estate agents handle the sales. Estate agents are also sometimes referred to as auctioneers.
While estate agents are used in property transactions involving foreign buyers, most British and German buyers also bring their own estate agents from their home country that works along with an Irish estate agent. If you have been looking at any expat papers or magazines, you have likely seen advertisements by Irish estate agents under the listing of auctioneers.
Estate agents in Ireland are regulated by law and legally required to be professionally licensed and qualified. When searching for an estate agent, look for one affiliated with the IAVI or the Institute of Professional Auctioneers and Valuers (IPAV). IAVI, which is the largest professional auctioneer group, members are required to display a valid auctioneer’s license in their office, so make sure to look for that. To become a member of the IAVI, estate agents have to pass a series of exams. You should know that rules that apply to estate agents also apply to foreigners, who cannot sell property without a license. This may be strange to people who are used to being able to sell homes FSBO, or for sale by owner.
By law, any deposit you pay to an estate agent must be deposited in an account so that the agent gets no interest on the money. There is no set amount that agents can charge you for their services. Typically the fees estate agents charge is between two and three percent commission.
It is helpful to do your own homework on what type of property you are looking for and even have a few in mind that you want to see before contacting an estate agent. Often estate agents have little details on properties and rarely have photographs of the places. You will notice that estate agents vary in their knowledge and efficiency. If you can get references on an agent, you might find the process a bit easier.
Irish estate agents typically only ask you to sign an agreement before viewing a property if you are buying at an auction. You should expect to be shown all properties by estate agents and will never have dealings with tenants or owners. It is customary to view places by appointment only and you can expect estate agents to be available during the week and on Saturdays.
Estate agents typically offer you other services such as insurance, decorators, and rental service managers if you will be renting the property out. It is important to remember that estate agents receive referral commissions from the places that they recommend, so they might not be sending you to the best place.