Ultimate guide to hiring a real estate agent in Kenya
Whether it’s the purchase of land or purchase of a house, good real estate agent will help you on various aspects from setting the right price, negotiating, conducting any searches needed, transferring title and can help you save time and money. Purchase or sale of real estate property will have a big impact on your life and finances and finding the right real estate agent to guide you through the is very important.
Without knowledge of a good real estate agent, finding a good one can be as easy as finding a needle in a haystack. We have summarized tips below for you to guide you in the process of selecting a good real estate agent
- Seek referrals from family and friends.
- Review the agents experience.
- Assess the agents core values.
- Review potential conflict of interest.
- Check for chemistry.
Seek referrals from family and friends.
To reduce the risk of getting a raw deal when buying or selling property, seek referrals from family and friends. Family and friends who have purchased properties before or made property sales can point you to a good real estate agent. Getting referrals saves you time that you would have spent researching. This helps to ensure you stand a high chance of also getting a positive working experience with the agent. You should particularly seek agents who went above and beyond in service of their clients. While technology has helped with listing sites being easily available, getting a trusted real estate agent needs a human interaction. Thus, getting a referral from someone you already trust helps.
If you do not have any family or friends to provide you with referrals, we have in our website provided you with agent ratings. This helps you assess the agent performance from other clients.
Review the agents’ experience
Top real estate agents have un pararelled understanding of the market both on a macro and micro level. A good real estate agent should answer any specific questions and if not, should know someone who can. The agent should understand new developments that have come up, price ranges, other agents and information about the neighborhood you are interested in. The agent should offer you information about a neighborhood like schools and other social developments. When getting the answers from the agent, do a little research and compare the answers you get.
While newer agents may be talented and with a greater drive, experience gained from knowledge about the transaction processes is invaluable. Most challenges during purchase take place on the process and a good agent should know the process of transferring property. An experienced agent usually has a larger network meaning they seek information about property for sale from a wider network.
Review the other listings they have and any past sales that you can verify. If they have data on previous sales, then it makes them a credible real estate agent. We have in our website provided you with a way to check the existing and previous sales to make this easier for you.
Nowadays, the build of real estate transactions starts online. The internet has brought numerous opportunities and your agent should exploit this to get you a good price for your listed property or find a reasonably priced property for you to buy. Most agents nowadays have a website or Facebook page which they can use to market or look for property. Check the agents’ interactions with other people on social media for an assessment of how tech savvy they are.
Assess the agents’ core values
As the current industry has been infiltrated by unscrupulous agents, it’s important to assess the values that the agent has so that they are playing within the rules that are laid down for real estate transactions. First impressions matter. When you meet or talk with the agent for the first time, look at how they dress, their passion for the work and the level of honesty. Consider in your research if the agent is consistent in explaining why a property is listed for sale, the seller or buyer flexibility on price and the way they are explaining the process.
Beware of any agent who hurries you to make payment on the property or who is not upfront with property details. They could be hiding something.
Review conflicts of interest
Your real estate agent needs to provide you with options that meet your specifications and budget. If they are consistently not doing this, they may be looking out for themselves of the other seller/purchaser. While you may have provided an agent with a tight budget to work within, the agent needs to be patient with you and any circumstances you may be facing. It’s always good to follow your gut feeling. If you find the agent is pushing you towards different parameters of price and neighborhoods than you originally agreed on, it may be time to reconsider. If you feel the real estate agent you are currently using is not the right person, they probably are not.
A good agent needs to communicate well with you. They should keep you updated on properties available that have come up for sale, or customer enquiries on your listed properties.
Many realtors get in the bad habit of cultivating radio silence, and essentially cutting clients out of the loop as they go about making important marketing decisions on their own. A good agent should ensure you have all the details you need at your fingertips, advise and involve you in every step. Be wary of agents that act as both the seller and buys agent. These agents at time coach both sides and the transactions may not be as efficient as could be.
Ensure you have chemistry with the agent
You will be spending a lot of time and having numerous conversation with your agent. For the process to be easy, the relationship with the agent needs to be right that is pegged on having a good connection. While having local knowledge and having the experience is a great plus, the chosen real estate agent should guide you through the process in a manner that allows you maximum decision making through out the process. Getting a real estate agent is like dating. If you don’t feel the chemistry on a personal level, the earlier you end it the better before it leads to a bad marriage.
A good agent should listen and understand your needs from the kind of property you want to purchase or sell, your budget and the timelines you are working on.
When speaking with an agent, gauge the conversation and see if you ‘clicking’. As you are investing a substantial milestone, ensure that the agent has your best interests at heart. Check if your agent works part or full time. This will help you gauge how committed they will be to selling your property or seeking purchase alternatives for you. Full time agents are usually flexible on the time they can take you to view a property or to take potential purchasers to view your property. If you feel the timing and flexibility does not meet your needs, then getting another agent is a good idea.
Getting the right real estate agent makes a big difference during a real estate transaction. We hope the above guide helps you get an agent that really supports you and helps you to make a great, well-informed selection. If you are unable to find a good fit, do not hesitate to let us know and we shall link you up. Also, let us know in the comments below anything we missed.