News: Rogue estate agents targeted in Bulgaria

Thu, 29 Mar 07

A campaign targeting rogue estate agents has been launched in Bulgaria...

Leading the campaign and rallying the public is specialist English language magazine Quest Bulgaria, which caters for people looking to buy property in Bulgaria.

The goal of the campaign is to stop property being sold at inflated values; put an end to the sale of unregulated land and end the ractice of false pricing on deeds. The campaign also aims to stop dual pricing on Bulgarian and UK property websites with the creation of a code of conduct in line with European protocols.

The mission statement for the campaign is: "Quest for real estate ethics in Bulgaria; honesty, integrity and transparency".

A quest for real accountability

Quest Bulgaria Managing Director Chris Goodall said: "We receive hundreds of emails and letters from buyers, agents and lawyers regarding real estate transactions - the good, the bad and the ugly of what's been happening.  It is clear there is a desire for change.

"Whilst most agents are honest and provide a decent service, there are some who are being very greedy and spoiling it for all, especially for buyers.  We want to put a stop to non-accountability and establish a system whereby both real estate professionals and consumers have recourse in the case of any dispute".

Mr. Goodall continued: "A free-for-all attitude in the real estate market has been destroying buyers and investors confidence in Bulgaria. Through a code of practice will come more confidence and more sales while at the same time protecting the investment of those who have already bought into the country. It will enable Bulgaria to stand out over other Eastern European countries as the top investment and property choice."

Overwhelming support for the new code of conduct

Supporting the call for a code is Chris Downham, managing director of Bulgarian Home Loans. He observed: "There are definitely a few bad apples out there who can flourish while the market has so few rules. By developing a code of conduct to clamp down on these cowboys, we believe we will stamp this out."

Stephan Dimitrov, chief executive officer of Allied Pickfords International, also supports the code: "Quest Bulgaria has picked up the baton of EU entry and continued the momentum for aligning this country with other member states. The campaign is long overdue and we are fully behind it.

Chris Goodall added: "It is vital that we get people behind this campaign and vote for honesty, integrity and transparency in the estate agency business in Bulgaria." 

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