How to choose the right real estate agent in Pattaya?
You have probably noticed by now that there are lots of real estate agents in Pattaya, so how do you choose the right one?
This can be tricky, some agents specialise in rentals, some with finding ideal homes, and some specialise in finding investment opportunities in Thailand. You therefore need to establish what your objectives are and only then can you decide which one is best for you.
Obviously one of the first things that you will look for is a company that is professional and can be trusted. The truth is, real estate agents don’t have the best reputation around the world so this is a natural hurdle that you will need to overcome. Experienced employees who know the local market are a great start but you also need a company or individuals with a proven track record.
If you are thinking about purchasing a condo or an investment opportunity in Thailand, the chances are it will be a major purchase involving significant capital outlay. You therefore need to be confident that you have chosen the right agent and conducting your own research and due diligence is advisable. Most people have three or four agents in mind and then choose the one that ticks the most boxes. In order tick boxes, you need to have some pertinent questions in your mind, so here are few ideas.
What level of experience do you have?
It doesn’t matter what you are doing, you always want to choose the best available. You wouldn’t choose a doctor who was in their first year of medical school, so why would you want an agent who knows very little about Pattaya? As we have mentioned, some agents specialise in different forms of real estate so if you were looking at investment opportunities in Thailand, you would choose someone who has dealt with this before.
One key point is the understanding that just because an agency is new, it doesn’t mean that the team involved lack experience. Often, new agencies open because they have lots of knowledge of the sector and the market as well as having their own innovative ideas that they may feel have been stifled by a previous employer. The experience of the team members is more important than how long the office has been open under that given name.
How long have you lived in Pattaya?
This is tied in with the point above. Pattaya is a constantly evolving city, perhaps more so than other cities around the world. It is therefore important that the person you deal with knows Pattaya, how it changes and what visitors and expats want. It is no good reading forums that may be two or three years out of date as the city is very different now to what it was then. Finding the properties that are in demand now, and expected to be in demand for the next few years is what is important.
What marketing do you conduct?
If you are looking to sell a property this is vital, but even if you aren’t, it will give you a good idea about how the company operates. If they are advertising via out-of-date mediums it may start alarm bells ringing. Also, take a look at the marketing literature they produce, does it look professional or something that has been thrown together. If you are looking at investment opportunities in Thailand, you want to deal with a company that is conscientious and their marketing information may give you some insight.
Do you maintain contact with clients?
Obviously, communication is very important. You don’t want to be dealing with an agent who is quick to get you to sign on the dotted line and then disappears. An important part of the service is this aftersales service. Many condominiums aren’t completed yet so maintaining some form of contact is essential. A company that isn’t interesting in your welfare after they have ‘sealed the deal’ is probably best avoiding.
Do you have anyone I can contact for a reference?
You are making a large investment, so it would be only natural to want to get some feedback from someone who has dealt with the agency before. An agent who is happy for you to contact previous clients to check their credentials is a positive sign. This shows that they have nothing to hide and they are confident that the service that they have provided previously was first class.
Why should I choose you?
It is a direct question but you want to know why you should you use one agency above another. A strong agency will be able to tell you their strengths and what they can offer you as an individual. They will be able to show you examples and be confident in themselves that they can find exactly what you are looking for. If they say that they ‘listen to clients’, that’s a great start!
Do you have a wide network of professionals?
If you are considering making an investment in Thailand, the best deals might not be in Pattaya. An agent who has various contact around the country can be a great asset. Also, do they have lawyers and other professionals who they deal with and would recommend. A company that employs professionals and not just a sales team is again a big bonus.
How much will it cost to use your services?
This is a question that will vary depending on your objectives. For instance, if you are selling a property this is more important as there will be commission charged to the seller. In most cases, buyers are not charged for the services of an agent and the same goes for anyone who is exploring investment opportunities in Thailand.
What policies so you have regarding agreements?
Sadly, there are lots of disputes regarding agreements in the real estate industry. The problems often stem from different agencies have different agreements and one party ‘assuming’ that something was or wasn’t included. Make sure that the agent has clear policies and agreements and that you fully understand what your rights and obligations are.
Any other business?
It is always good to let agents speak for themselves after you have asked your questions. They might make some points that you are interested in or vice versa, they may say something that puts you off. Regardless, you want to know that you are choosing the best agent for you. If you are looking for investment opportunities in Thailand, let the agent tell you about them.
Choosing the right real estate agent is a very important task and you shouldn’t be scared to ask questions. You need to gather together as much information as possible as it is only then that you can make an informed choice.
If you are in the market for purchasing property in Pattaya we recommend contacting LOVE PATTAYA PROPERTY