UGANDA, Kampala | Real Muloodi News | Whether it is your family home, first home or an investment, a property is one of your most valuable assets. Therefore, choosing the right real estate agent is important. These top 3 tips can help you make the right decision.
The ability to deliver the right property on time and at the right price defines an excellent real estate agent. But unfortunately, experiences with some agents end in disappointment.
A real estate agent’s primary responsibility is connecting buyers with sellers. The agent gets paid a percentage of the property’s sale price as commission, often from both the seller and the buyer.
Stephen Kasirye, a property agency proprietor, says that most agents transact professionally. However, a few rotten apples exist in the sector. He provides the following advice to those seeking to purchase real estate with the help of agents.
1. Vet the agent before transacting
The real estate industry in Uganda is not well regulated. Anyone can claim to be a real estate agent without training or licensing.
Kasirye advises that before conducting business with an agent, ask a few questions to establish their legitimacy. For example, ask for references from past clients or fellow agents so you can be sure they are not a scammer.
Speaking with previous clients can give you an idea of the agent’s past performance. Then, make sure to follow up on the references.
“It is unfortunate, but true that some agents are more interested in making money rather than providing a service,” said Kasirye. “Ask simple questions such as who their last client was and how they delivered,” he added.
Alternatively, approach someone you know who has had a great experience with an agent, and ask for that agent’s information.
2. Don’t give too much information away
Kasirye warns against revealing much information about oneself to the agent. Even if you have found a decent agent that you can trust, remember that they have their own interests. Agents are experts at creating rapport with their clients to enable them to glean information to be used during the transaction.
He advises against revealing one’s inner budget information to the agent. Instead, getting the correct valuation for the property is all that should count, he argues.
“We get to know how much money you have to spend, or how badly you need to move. This helps how we handle the transaction.” Kasirye says.
Kasirye also advises that doing some research about the property before engaging an agent is a good idea. Find out how much similar properties in the same area have sold for. He says that different agents will give different prices, but knowing how much a property is worth can help to negotiate with the agent.
Property developer Crescent Muheki advises: “An agent will give a high value because they are bound to make more money when the property sells, or a low value, so they make money faster. From your own research, choose the asking price that is just a little higher than this, this will give the agent room for bargaining.”
3. Stick to your budget
A property purchase that will financially bleed the buyer for life makes little sense. It’s only prudent to stick to your budget. Ensure the agent works within your stipulated preferences and price range, which motivates them to deliver.
Some agents try to create a buzz around a property in order to sell it faster. Have you had an agent tell you how many other people are interested in this same property as you? Sometimes this may be so, but other times they may be trying to get you to make an impulse decision. Rather than falling for this trick, stay focused and try not to be influenced.
Muheki further recommends open communication between buyer and seller. If you are not happy with how an agent is handling your transaction, tell them.
To avoid misunderstandings, Muheki says be ready to repeat your budget and preferences. If the agent cannot work within your stipulated requirements, look for someone else who can.
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