If you’re going to meet a potential real estate broker, it’s important that you pay attention – you’re effectively leaving your property dreams in their hands so making sure they’re the right partner is incredibly important.
Here are the four main factors you should pay attention to.
#1 Experience and Knowledge in the Industry
Ask what experience they have in selling properties that match your requirements. Real estate brokers often specialize in certain types of properties, for example inner-city condominiums. If you’re looking for a condo unit in Metro Manila, ask how much they know about the local market and ask to see the portfolio of the properties they have already sold.
If you’re planning to buy a condo unit in BGC or Taguig area, you’d instead work with someone who’s been selling the same type of properties.
Specialisation can unlock “street smart” tips and if you happen to find a broker that also lives in that neighbourhood they may be able to give you an edge on the competition because they can provide you with other information like cost of living and other miscellaneous expenses that may or may not be related to the actual buying of the property.
It is, however, important to distinguish the facts they provide (and it’s easy to Google these) versus the more practical, “street-smart” tips that will help you save more money and make the most of your purchase in the long-term.
#2 Positive Reviews and Good Referrals
If you’re in talks with several real estate brokers and have a short list of the potential ones, find time to research them online. These brokers often post advertisements and listings on online platforms like Lamudi, OLX, RentPad, and others to generate leads. You can compare the asking prices they’re displaying and ask them for comparable estimates of the properties.
It’s recommended to interview and meet different real estate brokers and read about other people’s reviews online. Watch out for negative feedback, too. You can test the credibility of the broker from recommendations of other buyers. Another option is to ask for a referral from friends, colleagues, or family members who have lived in that city. Remember, never ask referrals from other real estate brokers. Most likely, they also get referral fees.
#3 Look For Passion, Not Just Profits
In the real estate business, it’s no surprise that profits, commission fees, and bonuses are a broker’s main motivation. That’s the reality. But based on your discussions and interviews, you would also discern if that agent is just working to meet the sales quota or is passionate about the industry, aside from the profits she or he gets.
How will you know? Ask ‘why?’. Ask them why they do what they do. Based on their answers, you’d also see if they’re just there to milk you for your money or assist you sincerely in one of your life’s major decisions. Surely, she or he may be serving other buyers’ needs as well, and you also have to set your expectations on the level of service and commitment they’ll provide.
#4 Ability to Disclose and Mitigate Risks
Look for the broker’s ability to disclose and mitigate risks if you buy (or sell) the property in the future. An honest agent will disclose the risks involved and is realistic enough to see where you stand as a buyer. For example, is the property prone to flash floods or is it near a faultline?
When you probe the broker, make sure you listen to the facts and data provided like the overall performance of the neighbourhood or city you want to live in. Will there be any policy or local regulation where it could affect your purchase and stay in that neighbourhood in the long-term? Experienced brokers are always up-to-date with the latest developments and regulations of the city.
#5 Consistency in Communication
A huge consideration when selecting the right real estate broker for you is the consistency of communication. Establishing times and methods of communication (e.g. SMS, phone calls, e-mails) early on will be important as buying or selling property requires a lot of back and forth between you and your broker.
Expect that most brokers will often put their best foot forward during the pre-selling season. Chat or SMS should be the most basic option when you’re dealing with these types of transactions. Ask them if they’re willing to commit to a regular schedule with calls and reports to track the progress and if they have a colleague who can cover them if they’re unavailable.
How Much is the Commission of Licensed Real Estate Brokers?
The Philippine laws require licensed real estate brokers to abide by the existing RESA law. Commission for brokers usually ranges from 2.5% to 5% on every property they sell. For example, if you’re going to buy a condo unit worth P10,000,000 million, they get P250,000.
If it’s a medium-priced property, a 5% commission is shared amongst the brokers from the sale. This also applies to commercial properties, ranging from 3% to 5%.
Where to Find Licensed Real Estate Agencies and Brokers in the Philippines?
Selling without a license is prohibited under the Philippines Law. To make sure you have access to the right resources, these are the websites you can check.
REBAP or “Real Estate Brokers Association of the Philippines” has a directory of broker companies and licensed real estate agents. They have a chapter in each region from Luzon, the Visayas to Mindanao.
Property24, an online real estate portal in the Philippines has a list of 2,114 of agencies and brokers all over the Philippines. You can also click each region to see the real estate brokerage companies.
Philippine Real Estate Directory is another online directory with listings of over 40,000 members that are duly licensed real estate brokers, appraisers, assessors, and consultants. You can browse and see the member’s credentials, too.
Prominent Real Estate Agencies in the Philippines
|Colliers International Philippines
|Condominiums and apartments, villas, land, retail properties, office spaces
|Santos Knight Frank
|Condominiums and apartments, office spaces, office leasing, hotels, lands
|KMC Savills, Inc. (KMC MAG Group)
|Condominiums and apartments, office spaces, houses, retail properties
|Condominiums and apartments, villas, land, townhouses
Finding the right broker isn’t easy. It requires research in order to find the perfect match. Remember, your decision today when it comes to your home or office will affect your future. Choose wisely!