Posted on 10 October 2008
No strangers to hedging their bets on eBay, the online auction house and marketplace, Ken and Tanya Griffith from Bristol have successfully bid for anything and everything on eBay, from cars to burger vans and from porcelain to…property!
Here’s their story.
Ken and Tanya Griffith, who run a busy pub and juggle their time between an active family life with their three children and the demands of being hands on landlords, were using the internet to research their dream of buying a property abroad when they stumbled upon an advertisement for an apartment for sale in Side in Turkey on their favourite online auction site.
“Well, like most things, when we get an idea we just run with it” explains Ken, who together with wife Tanya had been considering buying a holiday home in either Turkey, which Ken had last visited 15 years ago, or Morocco.
“We have done a lot of shopping on eBay over the past 5 years and while we were searching on eBay for some more bargains we came across an apartment that property agents Spot Blue were selling in Turkey. We linked through to their website and the process began. It really was as simple as that!” says Ken.
The apartment being advertised on eBay by Spot Blue, and which was subsequently bought by Ken and Tanya, cost them GBP 52,500 and rather than having to bid for the property against other online competitors they were able to deal directly with the sales agent Spot Blue.
“We researched Turkey some more via the Spot Blue website and went into discussions with Julian Walker, the managing director of the company after deciding that yes, Turkey was the location we favoured, and we were very excited and surprised at how easily everything came together.” Explains Tanya.
“It really was just like buying any other purchase on eBay except we didn’t have to bid for the property in the usual way! There are more regulations when buying residential property so the contracts all had to be done separately to eBay. But fortunately, because we’d chosen to buy with a reputable company it was all plain sailing.”
Ken and Tanya bought a two bedroom, two bathroom apartment in Side in southern Turkey on the Mediterranean coast and have paid a deposit and their first payment from savings, they are going to get a mortgage in Turkey to help fund the rest of the purchase. They are going to view the property for the very first time this month and intend to use it as a family holiday home away from the hustle and bustle of their hectic lives in the UK.
In speaking about the purchase, Julian Walker from Spot Blue explains that: “we use eBay to advertise our properties because it’s an excellent way to introduce the fantastic range of apartments and villas that we have for sale across the whole of southern Turkey to a wide audience. “
“We don’t generally suggest that our clients buy off the internet without having first viewed the development, not having spent at least a little time with us in Turkey…but if buyers like Ken and Tanya come along who have very little time but a very definite idea of what they want, I personally will work with them to make sure that they are well taken care of throughout the purchase process.”
Ken and Tanya can certainly verify that this was the case for them:
“Julian has been very professional, with no hard sell and plenty of real advice. We felt we could completely trust him and he is very efficient with follow up calls and general processing of information. We look forward to working with him more in future as the rest of the sale goes through.”
The Griffith’s story is becoming less unusual as greater numbers of would-be property buyers begin their research into homes abroad via the internet. Locations are decided upon, inspection trips are booked, viewing appointments are made, and in an increasing number of circumstances, deals are closed via the internet with the buyer making limited contact with agents and sometimes even less contact with the property that they are purchasing.
Discussing the growing trend of buyers using the internet to at least begin their research into buying a home abroad Julian Walker advises: “people need to be aware that they are taking a risk if they do no greater research than simply looking at property details on the internet before buying.
“We encourage all interested parties to take advice, to get independent legal representation and to certainly take a trip with us to Turkey to look at property. So far this year alone we have managed to maintain a 100% sales success rate with clients who take this advice from us and come with us to Turkey.
There are clients like Ken and Tanya who have time limitations or even a very clear idea of what they want to buy abroad, and we can of course accommodate their needs too, but for such buyers I would always advise the following”: –
“Get a lawyer who acts independently to your agent or developer, use a reliable estate agency which belongs to relevant trade bodies, thoroughly research areas, prices and rental potential and make sure you understand your contract and what you are signing. What’s more, only ever pay monies into lawyers’ or agents’ client accounts or escrow accounts, and make sure you retain some part of your payment until you take delivery of your title deeds.”
Currently being advertised for sale by Spot Blue via eBay are one, two and three bedroom off plan apartments in Altinkum. They are for sale from GBP 22,950 and are within a resort style development that affords homeowners access to communal swimming pools, a pool bar, gymnasium and fitness suite for example. There is also onsite security and a lettings service making these excellent investment properties or holiday homes in the sun.