Choosing the right PNG real estate agent

Dec. 12, 2017, 10:23 a.m.

How to choose the right PNG real estate
 
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 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. The real estate estate market in Papua New Guinea is unregulated and therefore is critical to make a good judgment of your real estate agent the first time. This is the Hausples.com.pg guide to help you select an agent that is right for you.

 

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Things you should consider when selecting an agent

Before we jump into the detail of sourcing, interviewing and assessing the performance of your PNG 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.

• Exhibits interest in meeting or exceeding your expectations.

• Positive referrals from former clients (consider social media, blogs, friend and family).

• A thorough knowledge of properties of similar properties for sale or rent in your relevant market (this is especially important in the big cities of Port Moresby and Lae).

• Being prepared to be open and frank regarding the prospects of achieving your goals to rent or sell the property.

 
How to find a PNG real estate agent

The Papua New Guinea real estate industry is generally subject to few local laws and therefore there are a lot of individual people touting themselves as agents. This can make it extremely difficult to find a professional real estate agent, especially outside of the major cities of Port Moresby, Lae and Madang.

The first place you might look at is the PNG Real Estate Agent Directory at Hausples.com.pg. Alternatively, you could consider the real estate section of the Papua New Guinea YellowPages. Once you have used these sources to generate a shortlist,  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 PNG 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. In all cases the property appraisal should be offered free of charge and there should be no obligation to sign contract.

 
Indicators that suggest the agent / agency is professional

The following are good indicators that the agency or agent you are considering dealing with is professional and committed to high standard of ethics:

  • 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 Papua New Guinea?

• How many years has the company / person been involved in the real estate industry in Papua New Guinea?

• How many sales / rentals have they completed in the last year?

• The number of properties that are currently listed for sale / rent?

• The number of prospective buyers / tenants they are in contact with?

• Preliminary estimate of the property listing in the current market, and formula used to arrive at this figure?

• Proposed marketing strategy for the property (for example online, newspaper, email database)?

The most important question of those above is the anticipated sale / rental price of your property. Ideally you will have also conducted your own research and have some notion of the price you expect to achieve based on other similar properties in your neighborhood. Experienced PNG real estate agents will provide an appraisal roughly in line with your research.

In addition, highly professional real estate agents will also generally respond to your requests and provide a marketing proposal in writing following the interview.

 
Making the Decision

One you have reviewed your options and decided on the person who you believe will do a great job in handling the sale or rental of you home, you need to enter into a formal agreement. The written agreement will clearly outline the terms and conditions of appointing the real estate agent. It  should contain complete an estimated sale or rental price, the total commission payable (in Kina or dollar terms), fees and charges, and marketing expenses.

 
Assessing the performance of your real estate agent

So you’ve selecting 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 level if inquiry 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 of conducting the sale.