Having the right real estate agent on your side can make or break your hunt for the perfect home There is a lot at work in the real estate process starting from point A to point Z: consider the time you must commit to researching your locale, neighbourhoods, filtering through homes that match your lifestyle choices and budget, setting up apartment visits with landlords and property management, negotiations on price, repairs, furnishing upgrades and other lease details, finalising the lease agreement - the commitment level and dedication to handling these tasks with perfect execution is a colossal undertaking that most non-experts get lost on, especially if you are searching for a home to BUY. Going at it alone is not for the faint of heart.
Luckily,you don’t have to go at it alone if you know howto find a great real estate agent that can help you navigate the rough waters.Having a solid real estate agent on your side can do wonders especially in hot real estate markets like Hong Kong where competition is fierce. A well-connected and experienced real estate agent can give you valuable advice to make the entire process easier and more efficient, all at the same time saving you money as well. So how do you choose a good real estate agent? Where do you start? Finding the right real estate agent takes balancing solid credentials and personal chemistry. You want to choose someone like you,someone you enjoy working with and spending significant time with -after all,the home-hunting process is more of a triathlon and less of a 100-meter sprint.You need someone who’s good at safeguarding your personal and financial interests - and overall - somebody that you find trustworthy.
The biggest mistake you can do is work with the first agent you come in to contact with. It is so important to interview a number of agents to find the one with the experience, skill set and personality that matches your needs. Here are some important questions to keep in mind when choosing an agent who will match your needs:
How knowledgeable is your agent?
How much local, insider knowledge does your agent have on the given market? Has your agent ever worked with renters, buyers or sellers with similar needs to yours? Do they have specific insights on to the various neighbourhoods that you are interested in?
How connected is your agent?
An outstanding agent comes with an expansive rolodex - a broad network of relationships that can be highly valuable to you, the client. A good network is important because this is where your potential buyers, sellers, landlords, and first-hand insider information from other industry professionals come from.Nobody works alone in this market. A great agent should also have a network of experts in different areas of the real estate field such as contractors,technicians, handymen, interior designers, architects and other necessary industry professionals who can help their clients with anything from full renovations to small fixer-uppers and designs.
Is your agent a good communicator?
Have you ever worked with someone you can never locate? A dozen missed calls to the office, a handful of unreturned emails and minimal to zero updates? Nobody wants to work with someone like that. Are you able to get your agent on the phone or have questions answers and concerns noted promptly or are you constantly chasing down your agent for updates? If it’s the latter, you need to think twice about continuing to work with this person.You can see how reliable someone is just from the first few encounters. You canal ways ask for your agent’s references to find out how solid their work ethics are - a good and trust worthy agent would not and should not deny you of such a request.
Is your agent a skilful negotiator?
The necessary component behind every closing deal is a skilled negotiator. If your agent doesn’t know how to negotiate, you are in hot water! Your agent should be able to guide you through a successful lease, sale or purchase process. The process can include anything from: providing suggestions, offers and counteroffers, strategies and advice for competitive markets, and any contingency plans you may need to close a deal.
What credentials does your agent have?
Does your agent have the credentials to back it up? There are a lot of scammers out there these days, so make sure that your agent has first and foremost a real estate license. Don’t be afraid to ask for your property agent’s credentials. Credentials allow you to verify the authenticity of an agent and check whether or not they are actually certified and trained to do the job that you need them to do. It will give you a clearer idea of whether or not the person you are interviewing has what it takes to represent you on the real estate market.