Spectator on facebook

Spectator on facebook

"Living room real estate agencies"proliferate, but few are real pros

Following the 1989 fall of Communism, real estate agencies sprouted up all over Slovakia. Some blossomed into professional deal-brokers, others wilted due to lack of resources. The preponderance of agencies is largely due to the fact that anyone who has a general trade license can sell or lease real estate. They do not need to be specifically licensed as a real estate agent. Illustrating this point are the nearly 300 real estate agencies listed in Bratislava business registries. The biggest agencies are united in the Association of Realty Offices of Slovakia (ARKS), which has 20 members, and the Union of Real Estate Offices of the Slovak Republic (ZRKSR), which has 42 members. Membership in ARKS, whose members are mostly in Bratislava, is more expensive than membership in ZRKSR, whose members are more geographically dispersed.

Following the 1989 fall of Communism, real estate agencies sprouted up all over Slovakia. Some blossomed into professional deal-brokers, others wilted due to lack of resources. The preponderance of agencies is largely due to the fact that anyone who has a general trade license can sell or lease real estate. They do not need to be specifically licensed as a real estate agent. Illustrating this point are the nearly 300 real estate agencies listed in Bratislava business registries.

The biggest agencies are united in the Association of Realty Offices of Slovakia (ARKS), which has 20 members, and the Union of Real Estate Offices of the Slovak Republic (ZRKSR), which has 42 members. Membership in ARKS, whose members are mostly in Bratislava, is more expensive than membership in ZRKSR, whose members are more geographically dispersed. To gain membership, agencies must pay a fee, adhere to the standards of the associations, and keep commissions between 3 and 6 percent. These associations can refer you to their members and if any problems occur, the association is a good place to turn to for help.

Beware of what Melánia Čupíková of ARKS calls "living-room real estate agencies." These are agencies with one employee, working out of a flat, with little or no experience.

When approaching a new agency, ask for references. Find out what their experience in the real estate market is. the number of projects they have completed, what their fee is, and whether they are members of any association. Some agencies might hesitate to give you a number of projects that they have completed.

We list real estate agencies in Bratislava (see pages 6 and 7). All claim to be able to meet any needs, yet few of them were able to provide complete information. HB Reavis and Bratislavská Realitná Kancelária were the only ones to provide the number of square meters they have sold or leased. Ten of the agencies have people who speak at least some English.

Real Estate Associations

ARKS, Nevädzová 5, 821 01 Bratislava, Tel/fax: 07/578-7223
ZRKSR, Ružová dolina 27, 824 69 Bratislava, Tel: 07/523-7455

Top stories

In praise of concrete

It was once notorious for its drab tower blocks and urban crime, but Petržalka now epitomises modern Slovakia.

Petržalka is the epitome of communist-era architecture.

Slow down, fashion

Most people are unaware that buying too many clothes too harms the environment.

In shallow waters, experts are expendable

Mihál says that it is Sulík, the man whom his political opponents mocked for having a calculator for a brain, who “is pulling the party out of liberal waters and towards somewhere completely different”.

Richard Sulík is a man of slang.

Blog: Exploring 20th century military sites in Bratislava

It seems to be the fate of military sites and objects in Bratislava that none of them were ever used for the purposes they were built for - cavernas from WWI, bunkers from WWII, nuclear shelters or the anti-aircraft…

One nuclear shelter with a capacity for several hundred people now serves as a music club with suitable name Subclub (formerly U-club).