Houses

Another case study… for agents (Part 2)

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  1. The pic of the agent is no other than – the buyer’s girlfriend!
  2. Both Agent A and B was shocked nonetheless.
  3. Agent A called up the owner and told him what has happened.
  4. However, the owner didn’t want anything to do with these agents’ issues. He just wants to make sure the deal goes thru although he was made aware that he is potentially selling at a lower price (hence the 2% agent fee) to this particular buyer if the agent is indeed someone attached to him.
  5. That is expected though.
  6. As also expected, when the agents tried to get hold of the buyer, he couldn’t be reached. And so does everyone.

Moral of the story for agents out there:

Make sure you try your best to get exclusivity. Always get your agency appointment letter signed by the owner. Without that, you are just another ‘person’ helping another person to market his/her property. Not until you have the appointment/exclusivity in black and white, the above would likely happen.

To the lady agent, all I can say is… karma strikes quick sometimes… (“.)

Another case study… for agents (Part 1)

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In general,  in real estate, there is a lot of weird and dirty tricks being deployed to come out on top. This happened recently to our fellow agents.

Scenario:

  1. Agent A and Agent B co-broking on an RM 530k apartment
  2. Agent B brought a potential buyer for viewing
  3. Buyer came but insist on bringing the girlfriend for a second viewing
  4. Both came a week later and was satisfied with the unit but needed to renovate the unit extensively. The buyer said he needs to get his contractor relative to do a site visit to estimate the cost.
  5. This happens the following week. However, Agent A couldn’t make it (it was a weekend and with things to follow up) and told Agent B to take care of it during the visit and try to close the deal.
  6. Buyer finally decides to make an offer and both him and the owner came to an agreeable price.
  7. However, while waiting for the buyer to come out with a cheque (earnest deposit), the owner called up Agent A and told him that a lady agent by the name of C****tine from M****City called him and says she will drop by to hand over the cheque for the purchase.
  8. Agent A was dumbfounded. Nevertheless, still get the owner to entertain the lady and see if this was indeed true as he nor Agent B could make it to the unit.
  9. The owner called back not long after saying this offer and cheque came from the same buyer Agent A and Agent B is working on.
  10. Both the agents tried calling the buyer and the lady agent to confirm the whole fiasco.
  11. As expected, none picked up their calls.
  12. Moments later, the buyer texted both agents and mentioned that he has not made up his mind buying the unit.
  13. Agent A felt something amiss and did a search on the lady agent. Her name, number and face popped up in one of the property portals.
  14. He sent the pic to Agent B.
  15. To be continued….

More affordable homes around Klang Valley – The Fresco Apartment new buddy website!

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Hey guys! Guess what. We are generating more and more visits thru The Fresco Apartment and it’s going great! But we do realise that most of the properties on display are of a higher value bracket. So, we thought, why not a place where there’s something for everyone and it is affordable, gorgeous and best of all, having us as your agents! We are proud to announce our buddy site The Frescoroom where we have rentals as low as RM2,000 and sales below the RM 1M mix.

We always believe that ‘Everyone deserves the best, even with a little less!’.

Hop on to the site and enjoy your stay. Let me know if you have comments or how we could improve the site better.


Unpleasant surprise during a viewing

This morning, while waiting for my next appointment, I received a call from my client, the house owner whom I’m supposed to meet with my buyer later. The call came in almost 1/2 hour earlier before the viewing and he told me that there was an offer made to him by another agent, who claimed that he know me.

The line wasn’t clear at that point and I was crossing the road while my client kept telling me that ‘my buyer’ and the other agent (I supposed my client don’t care much about who is who at this point) made a cash-buy offer. I was like…??? “Didn’t we confirmed the appointment/viewing 1/2 hour later?” I don’t think my buyer got there so early and made the offer without my presence. The house owner also told me the agent lowballed him with a ridiculous offer.

The agent then proceeds to get my client to sign an agency appointment letter for exclusivity. He was told to return with a better and more solid offer and also without having to sign the appointment letter.

When I got to the scene, my client showed me the agent’s business card and I told him I don’t know anyone by that name. This is indeed a blatant way to make up stories to confuse a home seller, just to have yourself an appointment letter and trying to go exclusive. Please don’t be so low fellow agents. If you need to, learn to do things the right and honest way. Don’t beat around and quote someone’s name if you don’t actually know them. When yu do this, instead of getting closer to the home seller, you are actually pushing yourself further away as you lose trust from them.

TLDR (too long didn’t read) version

  1. A roguish agent approach my client with an ambiguous cash offer out of nowhere
  2. Client called and informed me that the agent quote and knows me
  3. The agent suggest that my client sign an appointment letter with his agency for exclusivity with the promise of a cash deal
  4. Client declined and we proceed with the viewing

Although home sellers are for all to approach, it’s the ‘way’ how we do it separates the proper and the immoral ones. And, never, never quote anyone that you are not associated with – with anything.

Nevertheless, you can always come to Avid Estates to learn a few tricks on how to be a good and ethical estate agent! Cheers!

Advantages of an Exclusive Agreement with a real estate agent

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“An exclusive listing agreement means that that brokerage, and the designated agent within that brokerage you choose to work with, is the only brokerage that can represent you in the sale of your home during the time frame listed in the agreement. What it means is that you do not have different brokerages and agents attempting to market and sell your home on your behalf.

You are working with one brokerage and one agent that represents, advocates, and markets for you. It does not, however, inherently limit where your house is listed on the internet, or how it is marketed within your community. That is chosen/decided/agreed upon by you and the designated agent you are working with.

This is why it’s so important to interview agents prior to listing and find out about their experience, their web presence, their reputation within the real estate community, their macro- and micro-market awareness, and their specific marketing plan for your property.

The bottom line is, an exclusive listing agreement does not inherently dictate how or where your home is marketed, only who represents you and by whom your property can be marketed. However, a non-exclusive listing agreement may block your home from being listed in certain real estate websites. As a seller, you want to know that you are being represented by one solid and reputable brokerage, and an agent that is best suited to market and sell your property.”  – Kevin Van Eck @Properties in Chicago, IL.

For properties owner:

When you come to the decision of selling your property, you can either list with multiple agencies or exclusively with one agency. If you decide to sell your property via an exclusive agent, you can only market and sell through the said agency as long as the timeframe of the exclusivity is effective. There are many benefits to list your property exclusively, some of these include:

  • You can be assured that the appointed agent will market aggressively with a personalized plan ensuring that your desired interests are kept in mind.
  • A closer and more through relationship will be extended between the agent and the client, which improves communication.
  • Greater potential for gaining higher quality leads.
  • Your property will be marked precisely to the market. This includes high-quality imagery; approved by the seller, correct market price and accurate property details.
  • When a property listing is exclusive, agencies will place more resources, effort, and money into pushing your property.
  • You will receive excellent marketing exposure, which may include:
    • Prominent positioning on the agency’s website
    • Featured listings on real estate portals
    • Quality photography
    • Detailed valuation on your property
    • Communication on market trends
    • Features in direct marketing campaigns (print & online)
    • Private events or open houses
    • Personalized property brochures
  • Your dedicated agent will respect your time and privacy in relation to communication and property viewings etc

 

For the buyers:

Buyers will likely agree to work exclusively with you if answer two implicit questions:

  • What are the benefits of working with one agent?
  • Why should I limit myself to just one agent?

Here are some answers:

  1. The exclusive agent can be objective about which properties to show because he or she will earn a commission no matter which one the buyers purchase. The agent, therefore, doesn’t have to sell any particular property and can concentrate on the buyers’ needs and wants.
  2. The exclusive agent will feel no pressure to quickly sell a property to the buyers before another agent does. This allows the agent to give priority to the buyers’ priorities and timelines.
  3. The agent will be clearly negotiating in the buyers’ best interests during the purchase and in the event, a problem should arise.
  4. Exclusive agents tend to watch for new listings more closely for buyers who are depending solely on them. When agents favor customers they can count on, those buyers find out about new listings sooner.
  5. Exclusive agents can justify investing more time in explaining the purchase process to buyers, and establish a close working relationship with them.
  6. When buyers call their exclusive agent about internet listings or for-sale signs they’ve seen, they will get all information they need from an agent who is not biased toward that particular listing.
  7. The buyer can be represented by their exclusive agent purchase if they purchase a for-sale-by-owner property, by stipulating in the purchase agreement that the seller will pay the buyer’s agency fee.
  8. Searching and choosing properties to see will be more efficient because the exclusive agent thoroughly understands the buyers’ needs and wants.
  9. The exclusive agent relationship is more comfortable for the buyers because they don’t worry about the agent being self-serving or pressuring them. The agent acts as more of a guide and advisor than as a salesperson.
  10. Being represented exclusively is a bargain for buyers when their agent’s commission on a listed property sale is paid by the seller.

The above illustrates some of the more obvious reasons why an exclusive appointment is beneficial to all parties, the owner, the agent and the buyer.

Let me know your thoughts if you’ve encountered anything similar from the above article.


Article sources from Kendal & Co and Jim Luger, CDEI of www.continuingedexpress.com

Freehold vs. Leasehold: Which Is A Better Buy?

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We have been told countless times that buying a house is a lifetime commitment. Indeed it is one of the most important decisions we make besides marriage, having children and scratching all the other stuff on our bucket list.

But with so much information available, making sense of the property market can be intimidating, even downright confusing. What gets us most of the time is whether to opt for a freehold or leasehold property.

Actually, does it even matter? We find out what are the major differences between freehold and leasehold, and how it can affect your property buying decision.

What is freehold property?

Freehold property is when the state sets aside a plot of land and disposes it indefinitely to an individual. This is obvious when developers build freehold bungalows, private housing and condominiums.

As the developer owns the land, property built on it facilitates the transfer of land to the buyer provided it is a landed residential property such as a bungalow or a terraced house. This ownership will be in the form of Master Title.

As for a condominium or other high-rise residential properties, the buyer owns a stake in the condo by way of the unit but the developer still owns the land. In this case, the developer will distribute the ownership via Strata Title.

Beware!
Unlike leasehold, only environmental and town planning controllers limit freehold developments. Under the Land Acquisition Act 1960, the state can take back freehold land if it is for public purposes, such as an MRT project, or economic development.

For example, the federal government acquired the land which the Ampang Park Shopping Centre was built on for the MRT project. If such an acquisition occurs, the owner will be paid the market value of the property.

Freehold land certainly does have its fair share of benefits. Owners face fewer and less stringent limitations should they want to transfer their land to someone else. They also have the right to subdivide and allocate the land, although it is still subject to town planning controls.

If there is no development taking place on a freehold land, the state cannot claim the land from the owner, meaning you are not required to stick to a specific timetable.

Generally, freehold properties go through stable growth provided all other aspects of the property are in good condition. There is also the possibility of redevelopment of old freehold properties where owners will be compensated.

But there’s one thing to note here: there are freehold properties that need the consent of the state when transferring ownership. An example of “restricted” freehold properties are the semi-detached houses in Kelana Jaya. The reason for this is these properties were converted from leasehold to freehold.

Potential buyers are advised to look at the title of the property to find out if there are any restrictions on the land before deciding to make a purchase.

What is leasehold property?

Leasehold property are usually 30, 60, 99, or in some same cases, 999 years. There are some with 50 or fewer years such as PJ Old Town in Selangor, and some parts of Kuala Lumpur such as Sungai Besi and Setapak.

Such land comes with obvious restrictions where the dos and the don’ts are fleshed out in the lease.

The tenant has to care for the land as defined by the land legislation and may be responsible for developing some property and maintaining it. If the state deems the tenant unfit, the security of the tenure may be compromised. The state can forfeit the lease for non-performance.

Beware!
1. It takes longer to sell
During the period of ownership, unlike most freehold titles, only the state or an equivalent can grant approval for a transfer of the lease. The sale for a leasehold property takes 3 + 1 months, which only starts after the state has given consent – this can take anywhere from six months to a year. This can make reselling your property a problem in the future.
If you are purchasing a second-hand leasehold property, the paperwork for transferring ownership can take about a year or longer in Selangor and Kuala Lumpur due to the number of consent requests. It is believed that leasehold property bought on the primary market, or from a developer, usually doesn’t consume that much time.

2. Value may be lower than freehold
When it comes to value, experts observe that properties with a 99-year lease go up at a similar rate with its freehold counterparts during the first 20 to 30 years. Some leasehold properties do gain more value than freehold ones during the early years. But beyond 30 years, the values of leasehold properties stagnate and depreciate until the expiry of the lease.

3. Financing may be more difficult to obtain
There’s also the problem of financing. Financial institutions tend to not lend to those wanting to acquire leasehold properties with less than 50 years remaining on the lease. Most banks veer towards lending for leasehold properties with at least 75 years left on the lease. Even if you do get approved for financing, your margin of financing (loan amount) will likely be lower than the maximum 90%. This means you will have to fork out more cash for your down payment.

4. Value is lower than freehold
Price-wise, leasehold property may or may not be cheaper than that of a freehold of similar specifications. Assuming that all other details are equal, such as the built-up area of the building and the land size, the price of a leasehold property is often around 20% lower than a freehold one.

Finally, there’s renewing the lease. The last thing you want is to suddenly receive a notice that your lease is expiring within a few years and to renew it you have to pay an exorbitant amount, just like what happened to the folks in PJ Old Town.

However, it’s not all bad for leasehold. If you are getting a leasehold property, you may notice that these properties usually offer more facilities or features from the developers, or even priced lower than a freehold property. As developers understand the competition in the property market, they tend to compensate with more features for a leasehold property.

Decisions, decisions, decisions

At the end of the day, making a decision between a leasehold and freehold property does not solely depend on the price and cost. There is a list of factors at play, and the individual’s spending power tops that list.

While not all leasehold properties are inferior price-wise, it’s clear that fetching a freehold property now, especially in a convenient part of Kuala Lumpur or Selangor, might come with a hefty price tag.

For example, a check on PropertyGuru for new property launches in Kuala Lumpur, displayed results with prices anywhere from RM813,000 upwards for a condo. Fancy a second-hand landed one? Listings on propwall.my revealed unfurnished single-storey houses with a built up of 1,600 sq ft in Taman Tun Dr. Ismail going for RM1,200,000.

You might argue that these are pricey due to their location, but accessibility is also something you’ll factor in when purchasing property. A double-storey freehold unit with a build-up of 1,875 sq ft in Bandar Country Homes, Rawang, might fetch you RM475,000, but if you are working in downtown Kuala Lumpur, that’s about a 40-minute drive to the office through tolled roads without traffic. That means additional daily expenditure in fuel, toll and general maintenance of the car.

On the other hand, a leasehold property, despite the apparent drawbacks, might be located in a very convenient location. Take Damansara Perdana for example. When Metropolitan Square was launched, the starting price for a condo was RM199,204. The asking price is now RM590 per sq ft. That aside, there are amenities within walking distance such as The Curve shopping mall, Empire Damansara, and IKEA. Getting around Kuala Lumpur and Petaling Jaya is a breeze especially with a car as all the major highways such as the LDP and Penchala Link are nearby.

It is also worthy to note that freehold properties in coveted locations are limited. If you are in the situation where all other factors are equal between two properties of different land tenures, you should obviously choose the freehold unit.

However, the land tenure should not be your primary or sole deciding factor when choosing a property to purchase. Perhaps the best place to start when thinking of buying your first home, whether it’s freehold or leasehold, is to look at your housing affordability and also your objective.  Some of these considerations include, your monthly income, cash amount you have available, and how much you can borrow.

Once you’ve got these checked, only then shop for a property loan that offers the most competitive rate. You can use iMoney’s home loan calculator to compare the rates and apply online with no additional cost.


Article courtesy of iMoney.com.my July 26, 2016

*Image from The Sun Daily

DJI Osmo Mobile – capturing the best real estate tour video

Was having a drink last night at Sid’s when Ray and his friend Kevin (yup), suddenly came up to us with a nifty gadget. But it didn’t surprise me that much at first. It felt like something I’ve known all along. But after meddling with it for a while and also after much input from the bunch, it dawned on me that this is the perfect tool to take my listing presentation to another level.

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I’ve tried, on several occasions to capture my home presentations on video with my mobile. However, all of it turned out horrible. That’s why none of it made it here.

The gadget, I can’t recall (actually, I forgot to notice) the brand. Not sure if it’s the Osmo Mobile or the Vimble S or something else similar. They looked almost the same although DJI’s Osmo feels a little polished. The grip was good and the navi-button feels almost like the ones from PS’s.

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What does it do? Well, for starters, this little gadget holds your phone (preferably iPhone although it supports both iOS and Android), like a selfie stick. Then, you start to move around taking pictures or videos – without the faintest worry about shaky pics and vids. The holder comes with a 3-axis stabilization mechanism that will keep your phone steady.

Osmo Mobile turns your smartphone into a smart motion camera, making every moment you shoot look smooth, professional and ready to share. Shoot cinematic videos anytime, or use its intelligent functions to track your subject, capture stunning motion timelapses or even stream a moment live around the globe.

Since I’m not doing an out-and-out review of the gadget, I just want to point out a couple of its features that we estate agents could use to improve our listing presentations either with pictures or videos. Imagine having a shake-free video with an extremely good 330˚panoramic capability to capture those glorious corners of the house. Its Panorama function automatically captures and blends 9 separate photos together to create one stunning photo. ‘Stitching’ to me…

Since we can’t afford a drone as yet, we are planning to get this for the company and use it to level up our presentations. Everyone is going 360 and VR nowadays, let’s get this started and roll along the way as we go. See where technology bring us to…

See what it can do to your real estate video! The following video was shot using the DJI Osmo X3 (the non-mobile version) and Adobe CS6 editing. The owner of the video is Roley Chiu from Canada.

You can follow his channel at: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCt_wCP5Q_I4mGgUDGSB_AYA

Enjoy!


Images and videos courtesy of DJI and Roley Chiu