Selling or renting a property that you own is unlike any other transaction we undertake in life; after all, most people’s biggest asset is their home. For this reason selecting a Cambodian real estate agent is a major decision. Locating the best person to manage the sale or rental of your home or investment property is crucial to obtaining the best price for your real estate investment in Cambodia. The real estate market in Cambodia is largely unregulated and, therefore, it is critical to make a good judgment of your Cambodian real estate agent yourself.
This is the Realestate.com.kh guide to help you select a Cambodian Real Estate agent that is right for you.
But before we jump into the detail of sourcing, interviewing and assessing the performance of your Cambodian real estate agent, it’s important to know what traits a great real estate agent should have:
- An ability to meet expectations at each stage of the sale or rental process.
- An understanding of Cambodian land law and rental law, and common practice within these domains.
- The agent exhibits interest in meeting or exceeding your expectations.
- Positive referrals from former clients (consider social media, blogs, friend and family).
- A thorough knowledge of similar properties for sale or rent in your relevant market (this is especially important in the big cities of Phnom Penh, Siem Reap and Sihanoukville).
- Being prepared to be open and frank regarding the prospects of achieving your goals to rent or sell the property.
How to find a Cambodian real estate agent:
The Cambodian real estate industry is generally subject to few local laws. This means there are thousands of individual people who call themselves agents. This can make it extremely difficult to find a professional real estate agent, especially outside of the major cities of Phnom Penh, Siem Reap and Sihanoukville. The first place you might look at is the Cambodian Real Estate Agent Directory at Realestate.com.kh. Use the "Find an Agent" section to generate a shortlist, after which you should interview the agency (see our tips below), review feedback from former clients in blogs, Facebook, Twitter and other external publication online. If there are recommendations from former clients it is a good sign that the agent is reputable. From there book an appointment with the agent. Generally, Cambodian real estate agents will suggest making an appointment at the property location. This is common as it enables them to perform an appraisal on the spot.
Indicators that suggest the agent / agency is professional:
- Operating a trust fund: Trust funds are a great sign that the agency is serious about their business and protecting their client’s interests.
- Works from an office: Agencies who have a premises with multiple staff are usually credible businesses.
- Has a website / conducts marketing: Agencies who have websites, conduct newspaper advertising and generally have good paper based marketing are ordinarily serious businesses with a commitment to their profession.
The Interview process:The interview process should be one of investigation to ensure the agent is a good fit for you. Here is a list of questions to ask the prospective agent during the initial meeting / real estate appraisal:
- How many years has the company / person been involved in the real estate industry in Cambodia?
- How many sales / rentals have they completed in the last year?
- The number of properties that are currently listed for sale / rent on their books?
- The number of prospective buyers / tenants they are in contact with?
- Preliminary estimate of your property listing in the current market, and formula that they used to arrive at this figure?
- Proposed marketing strategy for the property (for example online, newspaper, email database)?
Making the Decision:
Assessing the performance of your real estate agent:So you’ve selected a a great real estate agent and have got the sale or rental process moving; how do you know whether your agent is doing a good job? Here’s a checklist of things the agent should do, and if they aren’t doing these things, you might like to consider appointing somebody else:
- Provide you with regular updates regarding the number of buyers and tenants they have been in contact with.
- Have a screening process to determine a tenant or buyer’s suitability for the property (for example reference checks, confirmation of their job etc.).
- Ongoing marketing advice regarding the number of inquiries your property is receiving and how to increase its appeal to renters / buyers (for example, conducting advertising, furnishing the property etc.).
- Competently handle the negotiations of the monthly rental or the sale price of your property. This is probably the most important job of a real estate agent and a good real estate agent will be an expert negotiator.
- Demonstrate experience at handling the legal and financial process of managing the rental property and/or conducting the sale.