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How to choose the right real estate Agent?


How to choose the right real estate Agent?

Last updated: July 28 2010
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  • How to choose the right real estate Agent?

    In this booming real estate market, when people from all spheres are in the race to share a piece of the realty pie, a real estate consultant is found donning every nook and corner of a city. But, in a largely semi-transparent system how does an investor make the choice to appoint the right real estate agent.

    Are there certain parameters which a buyer or seller can look for while choosing a real estate agent in India?
    Last edited January 22 2007, 02:41 PM.
  • #2


    Re : How to choose the right real estate Agent?

    So what does your Realtor (Broker) do for you ?

    Very valid point Suruchi.
    Would like to share my articles published in Times and Asian Age, on How to get the Right Realtor for your deal ...

    Feel free to give me a feedback
    Traditionally the role of a broker or as the modern day avtaar known as realtor, was more an exercise of showing properties and making buyer and sellers to meet. Just about anyone cud become a broker as there are no entry barriers to the trade and all kinds of people enter the trade. The fly by nite operators gave bad name to the business and caused problems to the few genuine brokers in the business.

    But the modern day broker is evolving and keeping in tune with the times
    1. Role is evolving from that of just finger pointing to being a true consultant in all sense
    2. Need to have all round knowledge of not just real estate but all peripherial areas like housing finance, property laws, insurances related to real estate, property management services etc
    3. Represent both the buyer and seller as their consultant and ensure that both their interests are protected at all times and the entire process of the deal is not only transparent but also hassle free
    4. The broker should have excellent networking skills with affiliated professionals like advocates, architects, builders and all related professionals
    5. Today brokers also have to effectively network with brokers in other locations so as to do bussn in other areas and represent their clients in areas outside their jurisdiction

    Even in this new age era of direct marketing by Builders, Realtors hold a very important role in ensuring that your once-in-a-life dream home accquistion doesn’t run into rough weather. And again here, how smooth is the process, depends on what does your Realtor do for you ?

    Is he ready to walk that extra mile to make you transition smooth, hassle free and memorable in more sense than one ? That all depends on you choosing your Realtor wisely.

    What Should buyer or seller look for in a Realtor
    1. Is the Realtor is full time in bussn – part timers in brokerage are not serious about their work and cant represent the clients faithfully and do justice to their deals.
    2. Qualifications – A well educated and qualified Realtor will certainly be more professional than his counterparts
    3. Operates from a office – that way he / she will be accessible when u need them and also look for people who have assistants and fully equipped offices so u can be attended to when they are not around and usually avoid brokers who are one man shows and don’t have time for all the clients
    4. Knowledge – all around knowledge of current market scenes, rates, developments, latest in legalities
    5. Reputation – get references from past clients, ask about broker’s service levels, his scope of services etc
    6. Broker’s networking with lawyers, builders, architects, other real estate
    7. Membership of associations – Shows him to be a part of the organised fraternity

    How important is a Realtor
    1. Typically home buying/selling is the single most important and expensive decision in the Indian middle class life, so it makes sense to get an expert to guide u in the process
    2. The Realtor’s experience will guide you thru the complex maze of buying/selling a property and also advice you on the reputation of various builders and projects, current market scenario of realty, and the various pitfalls, so the client can stay away from problems
    3. Realtor can be a one point contact for all the various components that go in a deal like housing finance, legal, interiors etc (more like a Single Stop Boutique in Realty Shopping)

    So before you commit to use the services of a Realtor next time, ask yourself What does your Realtor do for you ? And make sure that you get your money’s worth for the commission that you will pay.


    • #3


      Re : How to choose the right real estate Agent?

      Real Estate Agents : How Real are they ?

      Real Estate Agents: A Necessary Evil

      “BROKER” the six letter word is inherent to any real estate deal, whether large or small. He acts as a bridge between a buyer and seller and sees the deals through. Helping both the buyer and sellers to realize their respective objective.

      At present there are almost no entry requirements to become a broker. Just about any one and every one can become a broker - an agent or a professional or a trader or an actual builder. There is no specialized training that is required. There are no minimum criteria, which sets a professional broker apart from the rest. It is easy for any one to become a broker, which makes it highly competitive. For example if you happen to have a friend, who has a flat for sale, and also another friend who wants a good flat. You simply put them together and you become a ‘broker’, though all that you are doing is putting them together.

      There is a general feeling that the broker’s claim of commission for a few minutes of work of merely introducing a buyer and a seller is not justified. Adding to it is the manner in which brokers have been functioning in the past. Very often one finds the information provided by the brokers to be insufficient or even incorrect. This is one of the reasons brokers are very often looked down upon for the unprofessional manner in which they function. But it is hard to imagine a real estate deal sailing through without the broker being a part of it. They do perform important functions in making a real estate deal reach to a desired end result. They bring together the two parties: a buyer and a seller. Thus serving as a useful medium for information. Like any other field brokering is also knowledge and information-oriented business: the more knowledgeable and well informed a broker is the more successful he can be. One can simply not ignore the contribution of a broker in any real estate deal, whether big or small. Then what should you look for in your broker or in other word who is a good broker ? A good broker is the one who is able to understand buyer’s wants, needs, or what he can afford. A buyer may want a more spacious flat but may not be in a position to afford it that is beyond his budget. At the same time a more spacious flat may be available in the buyer’s budget in a nearby locality, or with another builder. A knowledgeable and well-informed broker can guide his client accordingly up to their satisfaction. A broker should also be able to predict a client's growing future needs. A buyer may be willing to settle for a smaller flat. But his growing needs, not just the growing family but also the growing concept of flexible time of working from the home, may make more spacious flat a necessity. He should be in a position to bring such points to the clients. A good broker should be aware and be in a position to inform their clients about the stamp duty, registration charges, loans and the different housing finance companies, repayment schedules, and any builder-specific queries.

      A broker must also know who are the sellers, or what is there for sell. A thorough knowledge of buying and selling a flat or premises is quite essential. For convenience’s sake, most brokers are builder-specific. Their knowledge about the product on offer should be complete, not sketchy about a general availability of flats. If a broker can tell you about the: the type of the building, the quality, the specifications, the rates, the payment schedules, the delivery period and any other amenity, etc, it helps in crosschecking.

      Differentiate between a good broker and a sub standard broker:

      The two main parties involved in a real estate deal, buyer and seller depend upon the brokers to bring valued buyer/seller to them. Genuine and professional brokers’ data banks are always updated. They accumulate all the relevant information about the property on sale and guide the customer on all aspects concerning the deal. Many of them even accompany the customers to the lawyers/solicitors and help with the stamp duty and registration.

      A substandard broker on the other hand just introduces the two parties on both the sides. After which they vanishes to mysteriously re-appear at the time of finalizing the commercial and legal terms when the documentation is about to take place. This is to claim their brokerage. It is this aspect of the brokering fraternity that makes them unpopular. The other is their knack of cutting into each other’s deals, which confuses both the parties and often jeopardizes the very deal itself.

      Brokerage charges :
      The brokerage is either on the percentage basis or a fixed amount basis. As a general rule or the standard practice, 1 to 2% of the entire transaction amount is what people pay as brokerage. However, brokerage for larger value deals is generally less than the small value deal. Over and above the agreed amount, service tax of 12.24% of the brokerage amount is also payable. This goes to the Government of India in the form of service tax & education cess.

      The other area where brokering is very popular is in the rentals popularly known as leave and license agreement. In these types of deals the brokerage amount is equivalent to 2 months’ rent and this is a recurring charge on the lessee at the time of renewals. For longer-term leases it is 2 % of the deposit amount. For a shorter period, it can be as less as 15 days’ rent and / or 1 % of the deposit amount. There is no fixed charge laid by government and so it is always negotiate able. It is always advisable to fix the brokerage amount in the beginning stage itself. In today’s real estate market, which is a buyers’ market a buyer can negotiate a very good deal with the builder as well as with the broker. It is to be noted here that though we often curse brokers, they have an important role to play in real estate deals. With more and more corporates in the real estate market and Estate Agents Association of India gaining momentum and better organised, brokers are becoming more useful. The advent of the multi-national brokering companies and mushrooming of the Internet real estate portals is giving agents a run for their money. Earlier the information regarding property was held so closely that consumers could not look beyond the information. But now as information is available cheaply (thanks to real estate portals), consumers are becoming more demanding, forcing brokers to change their way of functioning. As a consumer you have every right to demand for better service from the broker and you would get it if you chose the right broker, factoring in all the relevant aspect.
      Last edited January 22 2007, 03:30 PM. Reason: Change figures


      • #4


        Re : How to choose the right real estate Agent?

        Do online portals set parameters for their agents?

        Great discussion friends......... couldn't stop myself.

        I have a small query in my mind. How do the working pattern of a traditional real estate agent differ from those appointed by online portals.

        Do these portals set seperate parameters for their real estate agents or its 'just old wine in a new bottle'.


        • #5


          Re : How to choose the right real estate Agent?

          Realtors from Online Portals

          Most of the Online Portals charge Realtors a annual/monthly fee to feature them on the website
          But just coz the broker is featured on a online portal doesnt make him different. You have to run a due diligence chek on him before you entrust your realty needs to him


          • #6


            Re : How to choose the right real estate Agent?

            A few clearifications plz

            That's interesting!!!

            But I would seek a few clearifications...........
            What are the advantages of transacting from an online portal, instead of approaching a real estate agent who operates in a traditional way.
            • Can you categorize the differences.
            • And why do people nowadays rely more on online portals in India?
            • How organized are the real estate professionals in India?
            I think they are the most needed avenues for an investor like me to understand before I spend a dollar for property in India.


            • #7


              Re : How to choose the right real estate Agent?

              Why online real estate agents?

              Thanks for all the valuable information.
              It has really been an eyeopener. Sonia & Mr. Manchanda have raised a very important issue, which we all at some point of time must have thought about.
              1. Are there any parameters of appointing real estate by the online real estate companies?
              2. Or the investors need to check the credentials themselves.
              3. If so,then how different are they from those operating the traditional way?


              • #8


                Re : How to choose the right real estate Agent?

                What to look for ?

                If you read my first post, all the questions raised by manchanda are clearly replied...
                Feel free to ask anythin thats not covered here
                Pinnacle Realty


                • #9


                  Re : How to choose the right real estate Agent?

                  Dear Pinnacle,

                  Your posts are really informational. I agree with you - "You have to run a due diligence chek on him before you entrust your realty needs to him".

                  After all as per the Indian scenario is concerned, according to my limited knowledge, the whole liability lies on the shoulders of the "Buyer" of the property.

                  Although a real estate professional plays a pivoytal role in whole of the transaction, as far as jurisdiction is concerned, he is not found guilty.

                  If your money is at stake, it is your reponsibility to ensure that the property is transacted full proof legally. So, as crucial is a real estate professional in any transaction, so is a "LAWYER".



                  • #10


                    Re : How to choose the right real estate Agent?

                    How to choose a Real Estate Agent

                    Dear Parul
                    I completely agree with you...It is your responsibility !!!

                    Well you can at least query on the following lines before appointing your Real Estate Agent.

                    • Ask if your agent has a license and is it up to date.
                    • Ask if they are part time or full time, because you want a full time agent to assure you get the most attention.
                    • Ask them what type of training they take to stay updated, and how good are they at using the Internet, and what type of training they have for marketing homes on the web. Its better have an Internet savvy real estate agent.
                    • Ask them if they are a broker or an agent. Brokers are more experienced, and it's more difficult to become a broker, so they are more resourceful.
                    • Home buyers and home sellers should both ask their agent if they will get them a printout of all the recent selling prices AND the original and full details of the homes.
                    • For sellers, ask the agent how they plan to market and sell your house. Get it all in writing, absolutely no verbal promises. You want them to market it aggressively and get your house into the premium listings and the free listings, and all the online web sites. You want your house to be found. You want no surprises or excuses later on. Get them plan in writing. This is a major source of miscommunication and resentment but can be avoided.
                    • Ask if they will accept a contract for 90 days or less. Many agents will force you into exclusive contracts for 6 months to a year or more. It is better to stay out of long term leases. A 60 day contract is the max that you want, and ask for all their disclosure forms to study first, BEFORE YOU SIGN!


                    Have any questions or thoughts about this?