Six tips for choosing the right agent

Six tips for choosing the right agentImage Credit: Supplied

Whether you are putting up your property for sale or planning to move into a new home, consulting with an experienced realty professional will help you make an informed decision. Finding a good agent is therefore an important step in any real estate transaction. Here are six tips to zero in on the best agent who can match your specific needs.

1. Be vigilant: Some agents tend to lure customers by promising higher sale value for their property. However, in such a scenario do your own homework and ask the agent to show his or her sale history for similar assets.

''Don't listen to the advice of the first agent you meet, as many work for the commission and not the client and, therefore, tell them what they want to hear, rather than what can be realistically achieved,'' says Zarah Evans, Managing Partner of Exclusive Links Real Estate. A thorough background check of the agents and their work practices is crucial to determining their capabilities.

2. Know an agent's role: In Dubai, the agent generally takes both the buyer and seller through the entire deal with no lawyers involved, says Laura Adams, Managing Director of Carlton Real Estate. ''The agent's role is to help negotiate a price that both the seller and buyer are happy with, and when the property is to be transferred, draft all relevant paperwork and get them signed.

''In addition, if it's a mortgage deal, the agent can even coordinate with banks to ensure transparency.''

3. Ask for the licence: Choose an agent who is registered with the Real Estate Regulatory Agency. ''Without a qualified agent, sellers will run the risk of not getting the price they want as the sale will take longer,'' points out Chris Whitehead, Managing Director of ERE Homes.

''Moreover, wrong pricing may be advised due to an agency's lack of knowledge and fewer buyers will be generated due to lack of or incorrect advertising.'' He adds that a good agent will have immediate answers to any property-related questions and a full understanding of the buying and selling process. Whitehead advises clients to speak to previous customers to ascertain an agency's track record. Those that refuse to provide references should be avoided.

4. Ask questions: Conducting a proper interview will help determine an agent's competence. Evans recommends clients to question the agent about the company they work for, its culture, ethics and what it will do to help buy or sell the property.

''They can enquire into the agent's history of successful transactions in that area and understand the marketing initiatives and activity that the agent will put in place to achieve results,'' she adds.

''Ask for unbiased market information to support the recommended sale or purchase price. Moreover, once the right agency has been appointed, build on that relationship, provided the agent performs and delivers what has been promised.''

5. Look for comfort: An agent is a partner in achieving your dreams and goals, so look for one you can talk to and spend time with on more than one occasion.

Evans advises clients to be certain that they feel comfortable about the agent and are confident he of she will act in their best interest. Maintaining good communication is a good start in developing rapport.

''The requirements of the buyer or seller need to be established along with the motivation for the sale or purchase of property, as well as the timelines that need to be observed,'' says Evans. The agent should also outline all the costs of buying and selling and their obligations and commitment to the client.''

6. Give them time: You should grant an agent at least two to three weeks to find a property you want or sell yours, says Adams. Don't be in a rush.

Some clients tend to approach as many agents as they can to speed up the process, but doing so will only send the wrong signal to the market.

For instance, if buyers deal with multiple agents, sellers might get the impression that there are a lot of buyers on the market and will thus increase their asking price.

''On the other hand buyers may also think there is something wrong with a property because it's been advertised so many times, and then offer less money,'' says Adams.

Here's a guide on understanding the mortgage procedure

Source: Hina Navin, Special to Property Weekly


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