Tips For Choosing A Great Real Estate Agent

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. 

How dedicated is your agent to his/her job?

Is your real estate agent working full-time or part-time? A full-time agent is much more likely to put in the work as opposed to a part-time agent who dabbles in the market or has to supplement his/her time with a second job. 

 

What is your agents real estate track record?

In the industry, experience counts but that doesn’t mean all experience is proof of a good candidate. Solid experience is a good starting measurement when choosing an agent, but you should also look at all other aspects including how your agent handled past clients and projects. The best way to help you decide if an agent is a good fit for your real estate needs is by asking for references. You should ask for the names and phone numbers of a handful of their most recent clients. You’ll want to know whether the people that they have worked with are happy with the agent’s work. When you talk to their references, ask questions that can help you gage what it will be like to work with the real estate agent, such as how easy it was to reach the agent whenever they had questions and concerns, and whether they felt that their agent was a good advisor and support throughout the process.

 

Here are some questions yo can ask the agent(s) you are interviewing:

   •     How long have you been a Real Estate Agent for?

   •     What are your credentials?

   •     Are you a licensed broker/realtor?

   •     What is your experience and education?

   •     Is being a real estate agent your full-time job?

   •     What is your marketing strategy? How will you market my home?

   •     How much do you charge for your services?

   •     How much do your properties normally close for? What is the price range of most of the homes you have sold?

   •     On average, How close is the closing price to the asking/selling price on homes you have sold?

   •     How many homes did you sell last year?

   •     How many clients are you currently representing?

   •     What makes you a good property agent in this particular market?

   •     Which neighbourhoods do you primarily work in?

   •     How many homes have you sold in this (specific) neighbourhood?

   •     Do you work on your own or as part of a team?

   •     What type of support staff or resources do you have?

   •     How will you keep me informed about progress? How frequently will you be checking in with me for updates?

   •     Do you have any references? Can I see you references?

 

Referrals from friends and family are a great way to search for real estate agents too.At the end of the day, when all interviews and research are done, it’s important to trust your instincts and narrow down to the top contenders. 

Hong Kong - real-estate-agent.jpg

Engel & Völkers

Hong Kong, Real Estate Agency
Shop A, Ground Floor, 95 Caine Road, Mid Levels
- Hong Kong
Hong Kong
Phone
+852 2561 3616

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