To begin, fees in Poland are different from other countries and a basic rule of thumb is that buying or selling will cost you 3 % + VAT of the sale/purchase price whilst renting or letting will cost a months rent + VAT. These are headline costs and as we will explain, there is lots of room for negotiation. Additionally, being aware of these fees can be very important when deciding to sell or let as your buyer or renter will certainly include this information in their decision making.
We would add another feature of the process is that any agent you contract to help can do a deal on your behalf with another agency agent and in most cases they just split the total commission when a deal is completed.
In the third of our series we will look at
Renting a Property
The first issue is where are the properties advertised. See our previous article series on the best property online portals in Poland for more details on where to look. This article is concerned with what to look for and why.
What are the options?
When renting a property in a new city or one that you are not totally familiar with it can be both daunting and intimidating. You want to find a place that is safe and convenient and not get ripped off in the process with excessive fees or indeed the rent level itself.
The Direct Approach
You can look at the offers on the property portals that are direct and do not include any agency mediation. In many cases, dealing with the landlord directly can be perfectly safe and effective but as with life, there are no guarantees. If you have a Polish friend then we would suggest that this is the way to go as they will be able to provide you with both local information and language assistance. The only real downside to this approach is that the majority of properties are not offered directly so you may be limiting your choice.
Using an Agent
If you do decide to use a Polish property agent then essentially you are hiring a friend with benefits. Assuming you use BigDoor24.pl to find an agent that speaks your language, removing this barrier as an issue, you can then get a the help of a professional who has access to all the landlords in the city and provide you with proper advice on the location and type of apartment that suits your needs and budget. They will also be responsible for the rental contract and you can query any part you want reassurance on.
Agents should also be helpful in just advising you about the general requirements (where to buy a kettle, tram etc ).
There is no obstacle to speaking with lots of agents and settling on the one who best suits your needs i.e. honest, hard working and LISTENS (not all do!) to your requirements.
Can you negotiate the fee?
There is more demand these days for properties to rent than there are properties available so you are not in the strongest position. However, depending on your budget, you should definitely try to negotiate. Agents referred to you by BigDoor24 already have to give you a 25 % discount but if you are renting something for zl. 5000 per month you may be able to get more off.
Also, be aware that if the property is exclusive to the agent then it is likely they are already being paid by the landlord. This may give you more room to negotiate.
It is best to negotiate when you have chosen a property rather than at the first meeting as a too early agreement may actually work against you. (i.e. The Agent doesn't bother working too hard for a lower commission).
The value of a property agent can be quite a subjective decision but hopefully the above will help you get the most from whatever decision you make. We have lots more articles in our Blog section that may also help in your adventure or just like us now on FB to stay up to date.