Apartment prices / international vs. local agents

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  1. #1

    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Posts
    19

    Apartment prices / international vs. local agents

    Hi folks,

    I have been given the services of an international estate agent to help me find an apartment in Hong Kong.

    I have found a development I like, which is 80 Robinson Road, and the estate agent has shown me a couple of apartments in that development.

    The trouble is, they know my housing allowance, which is $40,000.

    The three apartments I have seen so far have each been around $38,000.

    According to my estate agent, the block is very popular and there is little room for negotiation. Also, I'm told that the 3 I have seen have been leased and that there is only one apartment that will become available in the next month.

    I'm happy to accept that all of this is the case. However, I would like to understand a couple things, if you guys can help me...

    1) Typically, would an estate agent have access to all available properties in a block such as 80 Robinson, or is it possible other agents might have further properties that my agent can't show me?

    2) Any experience of dealing with international vs. local agents? Anyone gone looking with a local agent even though their company put them in contact with an international one? Are there downsides to doing this, e.g. quality of rental contract, etc?

    3) How does $38,000 sound for 80 Robinson (3 bed, high floor)? I'm aware that the prices used to be higher than this, but reports in the media seem to suggest I should be offering a substantial discount to advertised prices (against the 'impartial' advice of my agent)...


    Thanks,
    chump


  2. #2

    Join Date
    Dec 2002
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    θ–„ζ‰Άζž—
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    >> Typically, would an estate agent have access to all available properties in a block such as 80 Robinson

    No. The boutique "international" agencies typically have smaller inventory. If the agent is a good one, they'll approach the local agencies in that area and split the commission to show you more properties.

    Never hurts to get a local agency to show you whats available (make sure you tell them that you cannot view the 3 that your agent has shown you).

    >> Any experience of dealing with international vs. local agents?

    It goes both ways... all depends on how sweet the deal is between your company and the assigned expat agency. In this climate, I'd probably go with a local agent as they're generally hurting a lot more and are more likely to negotiate a little bit harder for you.

    By the way, the 80 Robinson Road property may be popular, but there should be a lot more than 3 available.


  3. #3

    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Posts
    3,680
    Quote Originally Posted by chump:
    1) Typically, would an estate agent have access to all available properties in a block such as 80 Robinson, or is it possible other agents might have further properties that my agent can't show me?
    Unless the agent is the exclusive agent then other agents will very likely have other units to show. When I went apartment hunting I used several agents to show me offers in the same building or estate - sometime they would offer units I have seen already but all of them also had some to show that the other agent's didn't.

    Thus I would definetely contact more agents, more choice and you will see if the price offered by your current agent is too high or not.

    Oh, and never tell them what budget you get from your company.

  4. #4
    fm7

    We dealt with an "international" company assigned agent moving here and it was a total waste of time. By the middle of our relocation visit we were emailing them properties to show us and within a week of moving here we had asked them to stop calling...

    ...strongly suggest you balance anything the international agent says with something from local agents (who I agree that a broader selection in their local and more hunger at the moment).