How to get the best out of your real estate agent

Wednesday July 1 2020

Clients tour a house at Regina Estates last

Clients tour a house at Regina Estates last year. One needs to do research on the property market to get the best out of their real estate agent. Photo/ismail kezaala 

By Carolyne B. Atangaza

In an ideal world, your real estate agent would get you the exact property you requested at the right cost in the right amount of time.

But we do not live in an ideal world and so we deal with agents that sometimes fall way below our expectations and sometimes make the experience a nightmare. A real estate agent’s main responsibility is bringing buyers and sellers together for which they get paid a commission a percentage of the property’s sale price.

But what can you do if your agent keeps taking you to the properties or they are taking long to sell your property? Stephen Kasirye, a property agency proprietor, says most agents conduct their business with the necessary professionalism although just like any other profession, there are some bad elements. To avoid ending up with a questionable agent, Kasirye advises the client to first vet them.

Vet agents
“It is unfortunate, but true that some agents are more interested in making money rather than providing a service. Ask simple questions such as who their last client was and how they delivered. Agents tend to know each other so ask for references and follow up on those too.

If you do not like what you learn it is best to get services of other reputable agents,” Kasirye urges.
Kasirye notes that while it is good to trust your agent, you should keep in mind that they have their own interest in taking up the transaction. They have been trained to create rapport with their clients which enables them get information which will be used during the transaction. So make sure that you project an image of someone knowledgeable and rational.

Too much information
“Most of us are chatty but there is a point to our seemingly nonstop chatter. 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.
The best way to handle this would be to not actually reveal your bottom line or actual budget. What is important is getting the right valuation for the property of your interest,” he advises.


Property research
It also helps when you have actually done some research and can discuss eloquently with your agent. When you first engage an agent to for instance view your property for valuation, they will give you a figure. This figure according to property developer Crescent Muheki, might be subjective and differ from agent to agent.
Before you get too tempted to go for the highest estimate, do your own research and find out how much similar property in the same area cost.

“An agent will give a high value because they are bound to make more money when the property sales, 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,” Muheki advises.

Some agents create a buzz around a property in order to get it off the market faster. Have you heard your agent tell you how many people are interested in the same property as you? Sometimes they might be right but sometimes they might be trying to get you to make a snap decision. Rather than falling for this trick stay focused and try not to be influenced.

Stick to your budget. It does not make sense committing yourself to a property that bleeds you
financially for the rest of your life. Keeping your wits about you will make agents know your seriousness about your preferences and motivate them to work harder to deliver.

If you are concerned by the way an agent is conducting your transaction do not be afraid to let them know.
Do they keep taking you to the wrong viewings? Could it be that they did not understand your budget or preferences? Proper communication between you and your agent according to Muheki, is essential for a successful transaction.
Without turning communication into an argument, make yourself heard and reiterate your demands. If you do not seem any changes it is probably prudent to get someone else.