House Hunting for that perfect home in Hong Kong can be a confusing and exhausting experience if you don’t have the right agent and go about it the wrong way. Here is a guide to house hunting and finding the right agent in Hong Kong
Unfortunately, the real estate business in Hong Kong is loosely managed and in a competitive environment many agents may sometimes take an unethical route to get your business.
Do your research.
Firstly if you are researching on-line be careful where you look. There are several web portals in Hong Kong that are not affiliated with a particular agency and allow agents to advertise properties on their sites. Unfortunately some do not force their advertisers to verify their listings so some agencies post outdated listings that have been leased or sold in order to get you to call in only to offer you something else. Its a classic example of “bait & switch” and can be extremely frustrating to the consumer.
Secondly understand that all agents basically tap into the same pool of properties. Unlike other countries where an agent will solicit a listings from the landlord and promote a handful of properties, hong kong agents tap into a central database of available listings or can co-operate with other agents who may have one or two ‘exclusive” listings. It’s better to have one great agent working for you rather than several average agents. Work with an agent who listens carefully to what you need vs trying to push whatever they have on their books, don’t be afraid to share some of your research and forward links. A good agent will not only research that property for you but it will also give them more of an idea of what is important to you in terms of size and decor. Don’t be deceived by the size of an agency. Sometime the bigger the agency the lower the level of staff assigned to your account. The larger agencies tend to focus on keeping their corporate clients happy, the smaller agencies will usually have more senior or well experienced staff readily available for new clients.
Choosing the Right Agent.
Should you be choosing an online agency or a street level agent? Keep in mind that street level agencies maybe limited by their jurisdiction i.e. they cannot show you something that is outside of their area. Whilst it maybe a good option if you know exactly where you want to live or even which building you want to be in, it may limit your options if you are open to multiple areas or want to see as much as possible.
Lastly be loyal and respectful. Keep in mind that a property agent is in the business to help you find a home but also it’s their livelihood. If you are simply browsing because you want to see what’s out there in case your landlord increases your rent or if you are seeing a flat as you need a comparison for something you love with another agent, be upfront and honest. In many cases an agent may cancel a serious prospect to show you around or sacrifice time with their kids on a weekend. Whilst it is their job, it only fair to give them a clear picture of your intentions before they do the work. Hong Kong is a small town – burning bridges does not help you.
Qi Homes was established in 2004 to address many of the problems associated with finding quality homes in the city. We identified a need for an easy to use, updated website of homes covering a broad range of budgets and areas. Our web site is updated daily and our company has a strict policy of taking down listings that are sold or leased as soon as possible. Each one of our agents are trained to listen to your needs and expectations, offer suggestions and advise and work together with you as a team to securing the right home for you and your family. We have long established relationships with other agents in the city and can proudly say that if it’s out there we can find it for you. For More Top Tips To House Hunting in Hong Kong