Nobody is allowed to advertise property (unless it’s their own) other than a registered estate agent, and the major property sales in Cyprus are handled by estate agents, especially those where are involves non-resident foreign buyers.
It’s ordinary for foreigners in many countries, especially in the UK, to employ an agent or marketing company in their own country who cooperates with Cypriot agents and developers. Many Cypriot agents also advertise overseas, as well as in expatriate magazines and newspapers in Cyprus, and many also have their websites.
All Cypriot estate agents have English speaking personnel and many of them know other foreign languages. For the reason that Cyprus is a small island, many agents have property listings that are covering all the popular areas and they are knowledgeable about the whole island.
Estate agents are strictly regulated by law of the Republic of Cyprus and must be professionally qualified and recorded with the Registrar of Estate Agents. However, there are some unregistered ‘agents’ operating on the island. At the end of 2004, a new law was approved to protect house buyers and control unregistered agents. The CREAA - Cyprus Real Estate Agents` Association - is monitoring those who call themselves estate agents, property consultants or property finders. If they were not registered, they are operating illegally and it is strictly recommended not to use their services. You should always ask for the estate agent’s registration number and to check it if you are not convinced that it’s genuine.
As soon as an agent is registered, he may choose to be a member of the Cyprus Real Estate Agents’ Association (CREAA). Although this is optional, most of the agents are members of CREAA and you’re strongly advised to use their services of to protect your interests. Members should have professional indemnity insurance and possess a thorough knowledge of the law concerning immovable property. They should be able to speak Greek, have extensive practice in selling property or be a university graduate in a relevant subject. They should also have an untarnished criminal and civic record and not be a bankrupt.
If you have a disagreement with a member, CREAA will intercede on your behalf and, if necessary, arrange a lawyer for you for a nominal fee. You may be provided extra protection if the agent is a member of an international organization, such as the International Real Estate Agents’ Association (FIABCI).
Government does not make any control on agents’ fees in Cyprus and an agent’s commission is usually paid by the vendor. Normally the vendor includes the agent’s commission in price. It is usually charged at least 3 per cent of the selling price (plus VAT at 15 per cent) but the standard fee is 5 per cent (plus VAT).
However, check in advance whether you have to pay and how much. Buying your property, also check whether you have to pay commission or any extras in addition to the sale price (apart from the normal fees and taxes related to this property).