Why should you use an agent ?
by Heiner Moessing
Do–It-Yourself is often only “a nice try”. Painting the house or polishing a scratch on the car might be ok but really serious things like dental work we should leave to the experts. The same applies to buying a property in a foreign country.
Unfortunately most people agree that certain things should be left to experts but when it comes to properties they think they can do this on their own or rely on a friend who has been living in Pattaya for many years. Does this friend therefore qualify to fix your teeth? By excluding professional help they try to get a good “deal” as a real estate agent is paid a commission. (In Thailand these commissions are paid by the seller or landlord, the consultation for the customer is free, no matter how long it takes or how much work is undertaken).
The “good friend” who already bought 2 or 3 properties in Pattaya, was not always happy and had some bad experiences still does not think an agent is needed. Even though the agent has been involved in hundreds of deals over the years, has been on training courses, has become a member of several professional associations and regularly keeps himself updated on a daily basis.
Would you trust your friend with your teeth because he has a nice toolbox?
Surely not but there is no license required for agents in Thailand as there is for example in countries such as the US, therefore we can see property ads hanging in the store windows of dry cleaners.
I could write books about deals that went “wrong” because there was not enough knowledge involved. Remember: there is no good or bad property but a property might be wrong for your purpose. Rental investment is different from a property you want to move in yourself. Siam Properties have been doing Property Management for 18 years and we know what property can be easily rented out. We have decorated more than 2000 sqm of condos and built 24 houses for our customers,so we know a lot about hidden defects and how to build a house in the tropics.
On a daily basis I meet customers who bought the wrong rental investment property (for example a luxurious condo so expensive that it finds a tenant every other year) or who live in the wrong location as they prefer a different lifestyle. So questions like “What is the purpose of your property investment” or “How do you live” have nothing to do with curiosity – a dentist will ask you “where does it hurt ?” as well!
Some agencies are gonna take you to Huay Yai because they have a bargain listing there although you inquired for a one bedroom on Baht taxi route – I have been listening to stories like this for years. Things like this are only annoying and time consuming but don't cost you any money. However if you buy something too expensive, choose the wrong ownership or don't get what you thought you bought such financial losses can be huge!
Several years ago one customer called to inform me that he had found the right property himself (with a freelance agent from the same village as his wife), much cheaper than anything I showed him. A few weeks later I popped into him and asked how he was doing ? He told me that he had bought a nice little house for a reasonable price. One day after the ownership was transferred the freelancer called him and asked if he wanted to buy the garden as well ? It turned out that the garden was on a different title deed and the whole transaction only included the building and the land it was set on.
Call your agent, the service is free for you as a buyer or tenant.