etiquette for dealing with agents

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  1. #1

    Join Date
    Apr 2007
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    HK
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    etiquette for dealing with agents

    I'm moving to HK in a week and need to find an apartment in the next week, so I am going to look for an agent.

    Are there any unwritten (or written) rules I should know about when dealing with them?

    Most importantly, is it acceptable/polite to deal with 2 agents at once? I have a recommendation for one agent, but there are some nice agent-listed places I've seen online.


  2. #2

    Join Date
    Apr 2003
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    12,383

    You really should deal with multiple agents and make sure they know another agent is showing you properties.

    One thing, if an agent shows you a property, in general you cannot rent through another agent. They usually make you sign a document that you've viewed a property through them and if you rent through someone else, you'll still owe them commission.

    However, that should not technically stop you from going "this is not good enough, I'll ask my other agent to find me another property in this building if you cannot deliver".

    Not sure right now, how hard the agents are partying... when the going is good, they generally don't care and can get pretty lax.


  3. #3

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    Nov 2003
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    Not friggin' Lamma no more!
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    There is no etiquette. This is the same with any service industry in HK.


  4. #4

    Join Date
    Jul 2006
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    67

    It is important that you use more than one agent and don't agree too quick on one deal. However, if one agent has shown you a flat, you have to take it through him. The first asking price is generally quiet high. I finally settled 50% below the asking price. Make sure you check the websites of Midland, Centaline. gohome.com.hk, etc... and do your research on past transactions. The market is becoming soft now and transaction have dropped a lot, so it should be easy to get an agent.


  5. #5

    Join Date
    Nov 2004
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    1,419

    also, if you have a cap on what you're willing to pay, ask to see flats that are a few thousand less than your cap. if you tell the agent your cap, you'll prob. be shown flats well about what you want to pay, thus wasting your time...i had to resort to telling some agents "the next flat u show me over my limit will be the last one you show me..." til i realized its easier to give them a lower number first off


  6. #6

    Join Date
    Oct 2007
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    1,259

    in most cases, you should be as machiavellean as possible. I saw the perfect flat with one agent but his service was awful. really pushy about us handing over the deposit without first resolving some minor issues we had. i walked into the nearest centaline office, told them the apartment and our issues. they had it sorted out in a day and received our commission. etiquette is a two-way street.


  7. #7

    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Posts
    67

    What is actually the best negogiation strategy when you want to buy. I am testing market at the moment, but I realised even though prices have started to fall, the owners keep on asking 10% above the peak in March. It it ok, just to start 25% below what they are asking?


  8. #8

    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Location
    HK
    Posts
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    Thanks for all the advice!

    This is kind of a stupid newbie question, but here goes:
    Do all the agents have access to the same set of apartments? Is it like buying real estate where the owner's agent and the buyer's agent doesn't have to be the same person.

    Also, anyone have any experience with Iglu Property Consultants? They had some nice listings on their site.