The rise of towering condominiums in the metropolis brings the country’s real estate industry a little closer to heaven as people have changed the way they look at investing in real estate.
In fact, Metro Manila ranks 4th among Asia-Pacific’s most attractive markets in real estate investment and development prospects, according to Urban Land Institute (ULI) and PricewaterhouseCooper’s research “Emerging Trends in Real Estate® 2014.”
People’s options are no longer limited to buying a house and lot or renting an apartment when it comes to their residency, because buying condominiums (in terms of units) have allowed them to afford small, functional homes with cheaper monthly fees and good quality amenities. Selling condo property or renting is much easier, too, as people seek homes near the workplace, school, and other major parts of the city.
Whether you’re buying, selling, or renting our property, you need to hire a real estate broker to get you started. They can help you get the flat of your dreams and save you from inconvenience what with years of experience. They also know how things work in the market that you don’t. Here are some tips on how to find the right real estate broker for you.
Referrals are Golden
Ask your relatives or friends who’s the real estate agent they trust, or if they know someone who can help you buy a property. Their experience is not only the best predictor of your satisfaction. Since an agent's personal network is his bread and butter, he’s likely to work harder knowing that a friend or client will hear about his performance.
Widen your Options
Don’t be too complacent with a single referral. You owe it to yourself to consider other promising candidates and what they have to offer. Spot your next broker in: a) an open house, b) the “For Sale” signage of the property you’ve been eyeing on, c) a local real estate company where you can ask for a recommendation, or d) newspaper/online ads.
One of the most important qualifications of a licensed broker is that he passed the real estate licensure exam. In that case, make sure they are registered in the Professional Regulation Commission or PRC.
Donald R. Brenner, professor emeritus at American University, suggested that choosing the best real estate agent should be like how you’d hire other professionals.
“The only way to find the agent that's right for you is to sit down with them and ask questions," he said in an article in Bankrate.com.
When you schedule an appointment with your prospect broker/s, make sure to ask him…
If he has a resume. Every professional has one, and it should indicate his PRC license number that you can verify later. Ask him about his experience in the industry, the current market trends and the like.
If he works in a commission or fee basis. Sometimes, brokers can get swayed by the commission and be biased on a certain property than give you what you really need. Hiring someone who operates on a fee basis can be an option. But once you do, be sure that he asks to be paid after you’re done with the transaction as a safety measure.
How he plans to buy/sell your property. This could give you a head start if your prospect broker can potentially make you a sale in a short period of time.
If he works part time or full time. Full-time brokers keep up with the local market, financing considerations and laws, while part-timers can provide full-time attention to one client at a time.
It also won’t hurt to do a background check online prior to the interview. Confirm your findings during the meeting. The process may be tedious but it’s a good shot. You can check out DMCI Homes broker's accreditation here.
Within Price Range
Make sure he handles homes in your price range. Some agents specialize in high-end properties and won't give their best effort on properties under a set value.
Education is Key
It’s okay if the real estate parlance is alien to you, but this doesn’t mean your real estate agent should keep you in the dark. You need an agent who will both know the answers to your questions and would gladly take the time to explain them. He should also educate you on how people get duped into transactions so you can avoid condo rental scams and the like. Remember that you’ll be signing documents and paying a hefty amount of money so you should know what you’re getting yourself into.
Same Work Schedule
It’s important that your broker can work for you on a time you’re available, say weekends or days off. The broker should arrange the itinerary and accompany you to tour different homes, and give you his opinion about the houses you viewed. He should also organize the open house for your prospective buyers.
Ask your agent what else they can do for you. Can they help arrange a house inspection? Refer to real estate attorney? Conduct a study of the property’s value?
Mortgage broker Ken Go said that experienced mortgage brokers are a big help as they can source out different lenders to find a suitable financing package for you.
“Make sure you not only feel comfortable but confident that your mortgage broker can deliver and close your loan on time,” he wrote in AsianJournal.com.
Avoid a real estate agent who encourages you to bend the truth to get the mortgage you want.
“It’s part of the mortgage broker’s job to make sure you get a mortgage which you can afford and which is right for your circumstances,” Go said.
Some agencies represent both the buyer and the seller, and these are the ones that you should avoid.
"The same person cannot equally represent both the buyer and the seller," said Brenner.
Home is where the heart is, and so is your life. Whether you’re buying, selling, or renting a property, make sure you deal with someone trustworthy, credible, experienced, and has deep respect for your and other people’s need for a safe home.