Investing in real estate is not a one-time thing that you do. You have to think about many factors before you decide on spending your hard-earned money to rent or buy a house. An important part of house hunting is working with a good real estate agent to help you with your property search.
With so many agents to pick from, how do you narrow down your search and settle on working with one over the other? These tips will help you make better-informed decisions and to know what to look out for when looking for a real estate agent.
Ask for Referrals from Friends and Family
Once you decide on the location you want to move to, it is easy to find an agent to specializes in that location. For instance, if you want to move to Waiyaki Way, there are agents with listings that have different amenities that can work within your budget. If you have friends and family who live in the location you want to move to, chances are they used an agent to find their house. Ask for recommendations on the best agent to work with.
Look for a Knowledgeable Agent
An agent should know the ins and outs of the neighbourhood you want to move to. If there are any risks with the house, he should be honest and tell you about it from the get-go. An agent should tell you about any challenges related to security, a water crisis, and any investment opportunities in the area. Another important thing he should know about are the social amenities in the area. Are there hospitals, malls and schools?
Focus on the Individual
You’re going to spend a lot of time with your real estate agent, so you both need to be working towards a common goal. Finding an experienced agent is good but that should not be the only thing to consider. He needs to have great communication and negotiation skills.
Carry Out Proper Research
People use different ways of searching for property. Some will do a walk-in, others will use property portals such as BuyRentKenya and others will use Facebook and other online platforms. Whichever method you use, always research the agent. Does he work under an organization or does he work alone? What type of listings does he have? Are there any online reviews about the agent? You want to know what people who have worked with him are saying. Don’t blindly pay for anything before you have done proper research.
Find an Agent Who Cares
Agents will charge you a fee to help you with your property search. You should know exactly what you want to make it easier for your agent to show you different houses. The agent should not be in a hurry to find you a place so that he can make money from another property seeker.
Make sure to ask as many questions as you want and don’t feel pressured to settling for something just because the agent wants to get paid. A good agent should also always put your interests first instead of only focusing on making money from you.
Lastly, you have to exercise patience when house hunting. Having an idea of what you want might not be the same as what you find on the ground. Start the process early, decide on what you can compromise on, and stick within your budget. Don’t strain yourself paying monthly bills which you can avoid.