The Hong Kong property market can be difficult to navigate: record-high property prices aside, the seemingly endless supply of Hong Kong properties and property agents makes it difficult for many home seekers to identify the best Hong Kong real estate options for their needs. Here is where your property agent comes in, and this is how you can make the most of their services:
Stay Informed on Your Best Hong Kong Property Options
When it comes to looking for a Hong Kong home, your property agent should be a valuable resource. Having taken the time to understand your needs, such as your lifestyle and financial situation, backed by their extensive knowledge of the Hong Kong property market, your real estate agent will save you valuable time by helping you to more quickly hone in on options that best suit your preferences and circumstances. They will also help you become educated on comparable options against which you can benchmark your shortlisted properties, and thus make an informed decision.
If you are working with a Hong Kong property agent from OKAY.com, you can rest assured knowing that all the information we present to you using our proprietary technology system is accurate and up-to-date. Our agents are also incentivised to share listings with one another, which may not always be the case at other property agencies. This means when you work with one OKAY.com agent, you work with all OKAY.com agents, and our networks of landlords and co-op agents, enabling you to find your ideal home more efficiently.
Know Where You are Putting Your Money
Your agent’s knowledge in Hong Kong property, property prices and the property market makes them the ideal negotiator to secure you the best deal with your seller or landlord.
If you are a homebuyer, your agent should also walk you through the factors that may affect the price of the property, such as the age of the property, transaction history, property prices in the area, possible illegal structures, the condition of the external building, and whether you should be expecting the building to undergo renovation anytime soon. If you are looking at village houses, your agent may share land ownership details and whether the surrounding land has been gazetted for development.
They can also gather important data points, including what other units in the building have been sold, or are currently on the market. Browsing property websites in Hong Kong can be frustrating since most websites do not list unit numbers, or may include stale listings. So, they may be of limited use in helping you arrive at the “market value” of the property in which you are investing. A good agent can provide concrete information to help you understand the real market value of a property you are buying.
Seek Assurance from Your Property Agent
If you are a tenant, ask your real estate agent for a handover report that includes photographs and covers (in detail) the conditions of the rental property, including electrical appliances and existing defects. This is important to protecting your security deposit, so there is less potential for dispute when you move. To speed up the process of the handover, some property agents will often go the extra mile and conduct a preliminary assessment to help confirm that your rental property is in suitable condition for moving in, for example, by checking all utilities and ensuring that pest control services have been completed. Of course, your agent will also be there with you during the handover to help identify possible defects and problems.
If you are a homebuyer, the handover process will be a lot more straightforward as you would be purchasing the property “as is”. However, in addition to facilitating standard procedures, such as signing the Sales and Purchase Agreement, your agent can also help you with tasks such as transferring utilities to your name for billing. Before you close the deal on purchasing any property, you should also enlist the help of your real estate agent to accompany you on a thorough inspection of the property.
Maintain a Good Relationship with Your Landlord
Depending on the situation, many property agents will be willing to assist you beyond the first two weeks of your tenancy, which is when your agent communicates any defects and dissatisfactions to your landlord. You will find your agent’s services especially useful if you experience difficulties when communicating with your landlord, such as a language barrier, or unresponsiveness. Some agents may even call to check up on you beyond the one-month mark.
Stay in Touch with Your Property Agent
Real estate agents are people who value relationships and will go the extra mile for someone they care about—just as you would. If you have enjoyed working with your real estate agent, keep in touch with them. If they have done a great job helping you, refer a friend—your agent will appreciate the confidence and be that much more committed to achieving your real estate goals in the future. This may include helping you minimise your rent when it’s time to renew your lease, or finding a hidden gem for an investment. Maintaining a relationship with your agent would allow them to keep up to speed with your real estate needs and preferences, and share with you the latest available properties accordingly. Having a strong relationship with your agent can enable you to have much greater first-hand insights on the Hong Kong property market when you need them.
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