Forget every preconception you have about real estate agents in the UAE and instead start thinking of them as your greatest asset to finding your perfect property match.
It’s not exactly stretching the truth when we say that most expats tend to doubt real estate agents’ intentions, based on their own experiences back home. However, this is a different market with another set of rules and regulations to adhere to, and finding the right realtor to work with can actually make or break finding your dream home.
The best agents are those who are driven and passionate about real estate, with expert knowledge on the market and relationships with all the key stakeholders at play to ensure they secure the best deal for you. They will know the up-and-coming areas and have insider information on specific communities that could help shape your overall decision. Thus you want these guys in your corner.
Ultimately, the real estate agent and the prospective buyer will have matching expectations. This is achieved by opening up the conversation early on, listing what you do and don’t want, and doing your independent research. So, before you even walk through the door, do your homework on what kind of areas you like, the type of property you are interested in and be aware of the financials. Good agents will walk you through everything too, but it doesn’t hurt to have a solid foundation on the type of additional costs and fees you might expect.
We spoke to two top real estate agencies to get their take on what’s good to know before you begin your property search…
PREP LIKE A PRO
The Key To Finding The Perfect Salesman
Paul Kelly, Operations Director at Allsopp & Allsopp
It’s our job to educate and help people with the financials, areas or market knowledge. It doesn’t really matter if clients haven’t done a certain amount of research beforehand, as that’s where we come in, whether it’s someone who has just started to think about buying or is quite far down the line. All of our agents are trained and fully equipped to find that ideal match. If I was to sum it up in a checklist, this is what I’d recommend they consider…
Look At The Essentials
- A list of what is absolutely essential to you and a list of things you would like but could potentially compromise on. For example, you need a minimum of three bedrooms, however, an open plan kitchen would be nice to have.
- A timeline you are working towards and an idea on a budget. You may not necessarily know all the options available, but we have a mortgage team that can advise you, based on the cash you will have for a deposit, the applicable fees, and your profile, as banks will lend to people in different jobs/ positions at different rates. It might be that by getting you on a better rate with the bank we can increase your budget as a result.
- An openness to answer questions the agent will ask. A good agent will ask a series of questions to get to know the client and their needs, to then be able to make suitable suggestions in terms of properties to look at and areas to consider, etc.
- An open mind. You would be surprised how many times a buyer doesn’t end up buying what they initially thought they would. It’s important to keep an open mind and be open to suggestions. Everything is worth looking into – if you like it then great and if not, you know you’re exploring all options. I’m personally a great example of this. I started off wanting to buy on the Palm and ended up buying in Downtown. So if someone in the industry changes their mind, it’s possible for anyone too!
Fateh Almsaddi, COO, FAM Properties
For end-users, this is a golden time for buying a property in Dubai due to the many good deals in the secondary market. Here are some things they should bear in mind…
It’s All In The Details
- Be aware of what your needs and preferences are when searching for a property and try to avoid purely emotional decisions.
- Understand the service charges of the property you are buying since it has a direct impact on your income or living cost, e.g., the service charges in Signature Tower in Downtown and The Vogue by Damac in Business Bay is around 33 AED per Sq.ft.
- Study the current/upcoming projects in the immediate vicinity, which may block the premium view of the property that you are considering.
- Projects that offer a distinctive lifestyle have a higher likelihood to appreciate or retain its value. e.g., Madinat Jumeriah Living and BlueWaters Residences
- Calculate and compare the price per Sq.ft and explore many options that you can get for your budget, e.g., for AED 800,000, you can get a one-bed in JVC, but also for the same amount you can buy a one-bed in Business Bay or even Downtown Dubai.
- Real estate agents are a wealth of information and should be used as such; they study the market, know the inventory, and are free for buyers to utilize their expertise. As incentives go, we think that’s a pretty good reason to work with the best, don’t you?