HOW TO FIND A GOOD REAL ESTATE AGENT OR BROKER OR REALTOR IN UGANDA
Choosing the right real estate agent/broker involves asking questions about their experience with the local market and your kind of property.
Ask an agent/broker about their marketing plan, methods of communication, references, and connections with other real estate professionals.
Be sure to hire a professional who works full-time. An agent should be able to walk you through the process of searching and purchasing a home.
Don't discount local agents working for themselves. They may have inside knowledge of a community versus a larger real estate outfit.
If you are thinking of entering the housing market you should know that approximately 89% of homeowners use a real estate agents/brokers when buying or selling a home, so choosing the right agent is crucial to a successful real estate transaction.
Selling your home is likely the largest financial transaction of your life, so choosing the right real estate agent/broker is important, though daunting. Here's a summary with the list of top questions to ask:
What Experience Do You Have?
This does not necessarily mean how long an agent/broker has been in the business; instead, such a question will help you understand how well they know the local market and your kind of property.
A good agent/broker will not agree to market a property they consider overpriced. Since listing your home at the correct price is critical, ask how often they've had to reduce the price of a property to make a sale. Agents/brokers should have all this information at their fingertips and back it up with data from the market.
What’s Your Marketing Plan?
You want a detailed description of everything the agent/broker will do to put your property "out there."
- Does the agent/broker have creative ideas proven to work, such as blogs or special events for prospective buyers?
- How will they make your property stand out from the field of other properties a buyer will encounter?
- Is the agent subscribed to top property marketing portals like Lamudi.co.ug or Realtor.ug or RealEstateDatabase.net?
Since digital marketing is crucial (more than 90% of buyers search online), the agent should show you some of his/her sample web listings within google search results or in the Real Estate Database (RED) in the same location as your property.
Be sure that a professional photographer is included in the marketing budget. You want one who can capture the detail and the important and interesting aspects of your property, the spectacular view from your deck, perhaps, or a unique feature of one of the rooms.
How Will You Keep Me Informed?
Tell the agent/broker how you like to communicate: text, phone, or email. Note that texting is not appropriate for any important, legal-related communication. Ask if they’ll commit to a regular schedule of detailed written marketing and activity reports (every two weeks is a reasonable expectation), and make sure they can be easily reached when you have questions or need an update
What’s Your Commission?
The average commission rate for real estate Agents/brokers is in the range of 3% to 10%, usually split between the sales agent (a.k.a. the listing agent) and the buyer's agent. A portion of it first goes to the listing agent/brokerage, so the agent personally receives a cut of between 60% and 90% of that commission. However, the amount of the commission is never set in stone, and there may be room for negotiation.
Ask to see the budget and be clear about which sales-related expenses will come out of the agent’s/broker's commission and what you may have to pay for yourself (e.g., staging).
How Well Connected Are You?
This doesn’t mean that you want to know how many friends the agent/broker has on social media. Instead, it means that you care how well connected they are within their firms and in the real estate field. A seasoned agent/broker will have solid connections to other real estate-related professionals: staging companies, real estate lawyers, photographers, and even moving companies that you can trust.
Do You Have Any References?
Don’t overlook this one. Be sure to get the names of recent clients/listings. It’s always helpful for the agent/broker to have a page or two of quotes from clients for that first meeting, but don’t rely solely on that. Make the calls.
Are you a member of any association?
being a member of a professional association such as the Association of Real Estate Agents (AREA) can be an important criterion for choosing a real estate agent. Membership in such an association can demonstrate that the agent is committed to upholding high standards of professionalism and ethics, and is dedicated to ongoing education and development in the field of real estate.
Additionally, being a member of a reputable association can provide clients with greater confidence in the agent's expertise and credibility, as they are held to a certain standard by the association.
In conclusion, choosing the right real estate agent is crucial to a successful transaction. Ask about their experience, marketing plan, communication methods, references, commission, and connections. A professional who knows the local market and your kind of property is key.
Be sure to ask about membership in a professional association like the Association of Real Estate Agents (AREA) to ensure their commitment to professionalism and ongoing education. Selling your home is the largest financial transaction of your life, so don't underestimate the importance of selecting the right agent.
Author: Julius Czar
Company: Zillion Technologies Ltd