Contact

Abakus Immobilien Vermittlung


Gustav-Adolf-Straße 34
04105 Leipzig


Phone: 0341 230 77 77
Fax: 0341 230 77 75


info@abakus-makler.de

 

News
02.05.2017
Preisvorstellungen von Immobilienanbietern und Nachfragern driften in Leipzig stark auseinander

 

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How do I recognize reputable real estate agents?

Choosing the wrong real estate agent is like throwing away money. Selecting the right agent determines whether your object can be sold quickly and at the right price. But how do you choose your agent?

The real estate profession has become more and more complex. These days, many agents no longer solely point out properties, they also appraise land and buildings, perform market analysis, examine rental agreements and other documents, give valuable legal advice and assist with financing. But still, there are only few statutary requirements to become a real estate agent in Germany, and the term „Makler“ is not protected. This makes it very difficult for the layman to distinguish reputable, well-qualified service from so-called „black sheep“.

 

The Real Estate Association of Germany (Immobilienverband Deutschland, IVD) has compiled a check list for how to recognise a competent, reputable agent:


1. Knowledge of the Market: Professional real estate agents know their markets. They provide information on prices, rents and market developments. With their expertise they are already ahead of the game and can determine the value of any object right from the start. They know supply and demand of the respective markets and assist both seller and buyer by providing transparency and information surrounding the transaction.


2. References: Competent real estate agents have received extensive training and have many years of practical experience. Professional agents can provide a record from previous transactions – that is successfully mediated properties and satisfied customers. Any new client should ask for addresses from previous customers in order to assess the level of satisfaction and evaluate the service of the agent.


3. Advice Without Time Pressure: A reputable agent is willing to work for the concerns of his clients and give all the time necessary, not just hand-over a list of addresses. He will never pressure a transaction, but provide sufficient time fort he client to check all aspects of the offer. An alarm bell should go off if the agent claims that the right buyer or seller is already on his books, and that it is only a formality to close the deal. A reputable agent will never advise against using external experts or lawyers and he will never mediate property without first making appointments to visit.


4. Individual Counselling: A professional agent discusses all personal needs or desires with his clients and considers their financial situation before even making the first offer. He will take serious all objections of the client and he will on his own warn against potential risks. He will never ask for advance payments.


5. Realistic Advice: Legitimate agents know the fair market value of the property and are able to justify it. They will warn clients who want to offer their property for an unrealistically high price, when it could make it difficult to move the property. Experience shows that often as a result the price then has to be reduced to far below of what could have been achieved with a more realistic price to begin with.


6. Liability Insurance: Your agent should have property and personal liability insurance. Even qualified agents are not immune to mistakes. A simple mix-up of digits could have severe financial consequences. Professional agents protect themselves and their clients from all possible damages due to errors or oversights. All agents who are members of the IVD are obliged to carry such insurance.


7. Problem-oriented Counselling: A reputable agent is a consultant who does not pretend that all client’s wishes are easily and quickly to fulfill. He will carefully examine where problems exist or might emerge and will assist finding their solution. For example condominiums, separation agreements or special-use rights sometimes have hidden and surprising complexities.


8. Careful Planning:
Whoever wants to buy or sell a property should insist on a careful description by the agent on how he plans to proceed and what activities he will undertake. A good agent is capable to give a detailed outlook of the market situation. He should be able to detail expected tasks, expenses, and the likely time frame for the proposed transaction.


9. Taking Care of the Client: A professional agent continues to take care of his client even after successful closing of the sales or lease agreement. He doesn’t simply disappear after having received his fees but will continue to be available for his clients in case of any problems.


10. Membership in Professional Association: Important evidence for the quality of the agent is his membership in a professional association such as the Real Estate Association of Germany (Immobilienverband Deutschland, IVD). The IVD commits its members to attend regular training and seminars, to always be up-to-date on all aspects of the real estate business. Each member must pass an extensive entrance exam, to demonstrate the necessary knowledge of the real estate business. Clients should never hesitate to ask about the agent’s background and training. Legitimate agents will be happy to answer all such questions. Members of the IVD also must provide evidence of liability insurance.