By Bashhar Bessisso, DTZ Qatar
When you are searching for your next residence you can look online, ask family and friends or even roam the streets if you are feeling adventurous, but the smart choice is to enlist the help of the experts. By enlisting the help of an agent, you benefit from professional experience, market knowledge and ultimately their negotiation skills.
Another great advantage is the personal touch; professional agents will strive to connect with their client. By doing so, it will ease the flow of communication between the agent and the client and ultimately it will help the agent to better identify the needs of the client and customise their approach to cater to the client.
Professional agents possess market knowledge which allows them to match the client requirements with the right property. An agents knowledge of the market plays a significant role especially for newcomers into the country where matching the requirement can vary from one client to the other; some clients would seek ease of commute to their place of work, others would look for proximity to schools, shopping malls or leisure facilities. In many cases it could be a mixture of factors and that’s where a good agent must first accurately identify the clients triggers.
A common misconception is that agents dictate the asking price for the property. In fact, agents, when representing the tenant mandate, have to act in their clients best interest. Given the current oversupply of the residential market, throughout all sectors, it is usually the case that agents will receive a fee from the landlord – and in that case the agent should not request a finder’s fee from the tenant; it’s always worth enquiring to the agent as to whether they are receiving fees from the landlord.
Good agents will not only accurately convey messages and requests to the landlord, such as any concerns regarding maintenance work required or furnishing which may need replacing, but will also ensure every request is properly recorded so there is no misunderstanding at a later date.
Finally, it is always sensible to request a copy of your Agent’s Commercial Registration. In Qatar, all companies engaged in real estate brokerage are required to have this activity set out on their company registration. If they are not willing to provide this then it is probable that the broker is acting as a freelancer without any company registration and indeed any legitimacy.
This article was first published in Trends Vol. 2