HOW TO CHOOSE A REAL ESTATE BROKER

Sam Youssef
Managing Director
Betterhomes

Sellers:
If you’re selling a property, you should be looking for someone who knows how to price a property, how to market it and how to negotiate effectively.

Start your search by getting recommendations from friends or colleagues. Ask your building manager for the names of brokers who have recently and successfully represented other sellers in your building. You should at least interview three brokers, and these are some of the questions you should be asking: Have you sold in my neighbourhood? Have you sold in my building? How long has the property stayed on the market before selling it? Ask about some of the deals they’ve recently made and how long they’ve been in the business. Experience is important, but it isn’t the only thing. A younger person may be hungrier and more energetic than an elder salesman.

You should also ask for a listing presentation that includes data on comparable sales and the specific plan the broker has for marketing your apartment. Always beware of a broker who says your property is perfect as it is. Because they want the listing and don’t want to offend potential clients, some brokers are afraid to voice what work an apartment needs to get it market-ready. They should be direct and honest.

Buyers:
If you’re buying, look for a broker who asks the right questions, among them: What’s your timeline? Are you prequalified for a mortgage? Which area do you want to live in? One of the things you should focus on is dealing with a broker who is familiar with the area you want to live in.

You want someone who understands what you want in a property; you want a broker who is strong enough to say: I know this isn’t on your list, but just come and see this place, I really think it will work for you.

Terminating a contract with a broker:
Don’t be afraid to break up with your broker if the fit isn’t right! There’s no document binding a buyer to a broker. But a seller has a listing agreement with an agent, typically for a six-month period. Even so, if a seller is unhappy, it’s easy to terminate the contract.

Make sure the broker provides you with a list of all the people who contacted him or her. That way, if you do terminate the relationship, and then a buyer not on the list materializes and makes an accepted offer, the broker can’t claim credit for the sale.

The contract should also include a period, typically three to six months, after which the broker can’t claim credit for someone who actually is on the list.

This article was published as part of the sixth edition of Property Finder Qatar’s Trends Report.