Choosing The Right Real Estate Agent
Having a good real estate agent can make all the difference when looking for help with your requirements. Whether it be purchasing, selling, or even renting a property, the process can be a pleasant experience, or the total opposite, depending on the realtor you choose to work with. Below are 10 points to consider when selecting the right partner for your real estate requirements, and some key characteristics to look out for in a successful realtor:-
1) Talk to several agents before choosing one
People often choose a realtor based on a recommendation from a friend of family member. While that is a great way to streamline the selection process, it doesn’t hurt to do your own due diligence to ensure you pick the right agent for you and your needs.
Make sure the agent is certified and licensed by the Real Estate Regulatory Authority (RERA). Two resources widely used are (1) ‘Search for Approved Brokers’ service available on the DLD website (https://www.dubailand.gov.ae/English/services/Eservices/Pages/Brokers.aspx), and (2) ‘Find Agent’ section of Property Finder (www.propertyfinder.ae).
2) Answers the phone
Having an agent who gets back to their phone calls, text messages and emails in a timely manner goes a long way in being able to provide a premium level of customer service. Strong communication skills and availability are key factors to look out for.
3) Make a connection
While buying or selling a property is an important financial decision, there is also a strong emotional element involved. As such it’s essential to enlist the services of an agent that truly understands your needs and whom you feel comfortable with. Working with a professional that has a positive attitude certainly helps make for a pleasant experience and builds a strong connection. Chemistry is key – this is a people business, it all comes down to individual relationships.
A resourceful agent has connections everywhere and is able to tap into their network to get things done more efficiently. They are registered with all the major developers, and have a solid database of prospective clients, home owners, investors; as well as other real estate agents whom they partner with. Some properties sell/rent because agents have contacted and shared the property details with other agents.
5) “I’m sorry, I don’t work with other agents”
Often agents listing a property for sale or rent will opt not to work with other agents due to their commissions being split. While they are free to choose whom they wish to work with, refusing to cooperate with other agents on the basis of commission is not only shortsighted but ultimately costs the respective property Owner, whose unit could have potentially been sold or leased from that lead. Any interest in a listing is always a chance to not only close a deal on that property, but also an opportunity for the listing agent to move onto bigger deals and forge new relationships with the broker on the other end.
6) “Mystery Shopper” test
Select someone that conducts his or her business in a professional manner and is willing to work with other licensed brokers in the business to ultimately get your property rented or sold. Test your agent! Have a friend call them to make sure they are saying the right things and genuinely representing you and your interests.
7) Pick a realtor who’s tech-savvy
There are a number of unique and innovative ways technology can be used to promote real estate. For starters take a look at how the agent presents their listings from the images used to the description of the property. Are they using professional photos that capture the spaces and elements of the property well? Is the information presented clearly with all features and benefits highlighted along with the agents contact details? Is the agent active on social media, and do they use it to market themselves and their client’s properties? All these tools, if used properly, can be an effective way of enhancing your property’s exposure, and show your agent is current and engaged with the industry.
8) Less is more
Many customers believe that the higher the number of agents advertising their property, the better chance they have of it being sold or rented; when in fact the opposite holds true. Not only does it create an illusion of oversupply with the clutter of duplicate listings, it carries a stigma that the suggested property owner is desperate to off-load the property, which translates negatively to prospective customers. Having one broker work on your real estate needs allows for a more customized and dedicated approach whereby the agent is motivated to deliver.
9) No Surprises
An agent that provides you with a clear and simple breakdown of procedures and associated fees to be borne along every step of the way leaves no room for surprises or unexpected expenses. Even if it is a minor admin fee, a professional agent realizes all these amounts add up and impact your total cost. Having these points listed over an email is the best way to ensure there is no miscommunication.
10) Provides Solutions
With new technologies looking to disrupt the industry and set a new benchmark for how things are done more efficiently, the role of the realtor will evolve to add value as more of a consultant and trusted advisor. Agents that are knowledgeable and experienced in the business will be able to go beyond simply showing you a property, to offering key insights plus pros & cons on the real estate play you are exploring. There are a number of things that can turn a deal upside-down. A good agent adds value by providing solutions to guide a deal back on track.