signs of a bad agent go beyond whether your home sells quickly.
If your home is listed for sale and
it just won't sell, it may not be your real estate agent's fault--after all,
home sales were down more than 40% in August over the same time last year.
However, there are many ways to gauge if your agent is doing a good job. Here
we look at some of the top signs of a bad real estate agent.
1. Lack of Communication If you haven't heard from your real estate agent in a few weeks, it's time to
find a new one. Even if no one has called for a showing of your home, or your
agent hasn't found any homes that meet your requirements as a buyer, he or she
should be touching base with you regularly to keep you up to date on the work
being done on your behalf. After all, there's no doubt you're thinking about
your home transaction almost daily--as an agent acting on your behalf,
shouldn't your real estate agent be keeping you in mind?
2. Lack of Leadership If your real estate agent agrees with you on every point, this is the sign of
someone who's eager to please--not someone who's committed to doing the best
possible job at representing your interests in the real estate market. When it
comes to pricing a home for sale, insist that your agent produce the research
that was used to arrive at that price. An agent who asks you what you think
your home is worth and lists it for that price is a sign of trouble.
Your real estate agent is supposed
to be an expert, so look for one who can take the lead and provide you with
well-reasoned advice. That said, your agent should also be acting on your
behalf, and must take your final word in the end.
3. Unused Resources Many real estate agents will use all of the tools at their disposal to market
your home to the public and help you find a new one that meets your needs.
Some, however, will do next to nothing and rely on other real estate agents to
market your home to their clients. Expect your real estate agent to take good
photos and write descriptions of your home if it's for sale, and list it
anywhere that may draw more interest to it, including putting the listing on
real estate websites, into local newspapers and even distributing flyers to
homes in the area. Sure, your home might sell without this extra effort, but is
that really the kind of person to whom you want to pay a commission?
4. Too Much Pressure While you should seek out a real estate agent who is knowledgeable enough to
have an educated opinion and confident enough to (respectfully) voice it, if
you feel your agent pushing you in any particular direction, this should send
up a red flag. Especially when you're buying a home, there is no real reason an
agent should want you to buy any particular home over another. If you get the feeling
this isn't the case, you could be being steered toward homes listed by your
agent or your agent's brokerage, which can produce additional commissions for
Most state laws force real estate
agents to reveal this conflict of interest to buyers, but if you feel your
agent isn't being entirely open, beware. Your real estate agent's job is to act
in your best interest and ensure that you're happy with the outcome of your
transaction. If you think your agent is preoccupied with his or her own interests,
it's time to find another one.
5. Lack of Follow-Up Whether you're buying or selling, many real estate agents think their job ends
on the home's possession date. This is the day upon which the transaction is
considered complete, and the real estate agent is paid. An agent who calls
beyond this date to address any follow-up questions you might have and to
ensure that you're happy with his or her work is going above and beyond what is
required and showing a commitment to customer service. After all, at this point
your agent's commission check has already been signed, so this level of care is
a great sign of an agent who is willing to do what it takes to make you happy
and keep your business in the future.
The Bottom Line As in every line of work, there are great real estate agents and there are
terrible ones. However, in a tough real estate market like this one, you might
have to gauge their performance on more than just a speedy transaction, which
for home sellers may be all but impossible.
Malaysia shows solid potential as a promising emerging property market for foreign investors. Below is an overview of some of the factors that are contributing to the growth of Malaysia as a successful investment arena.
International real estate investors looking to target a well priced, strong economy for sustainable growth and yields over the medium to long term are considering Malaysia as a highly lucrative option.
The government’s blueprint for economic growth and diversification for a four year period between 2006 and 2010, known as the “Ninth Plan”, aims at vast improvements to Malaysia’s infrastructure as well as economic developments. This progress is predicted to directly and positively effect the real estate market in Malaysia, bringing with it strong growth potential.
As a resort destination Malaysia’s affordability is a great attraction, bringing growing numbers of visitors annually to boost the economy. Tourist arrivals in Malaysia rose to 16.5 million in 2005, a rise of more than 160% in five years. This is an astonishing achievement for tourism in Malaysia and is good news to many property investors in the coastal resort hotspots, such as Port Dickson. The first low cost airline offering global services from Malaysia is planned for July 2007 and will connect Manchester and Luton as well as Hangzhou near Shanghai and Tianjin near Beijing from a later date – all good news for Malaysia and its growing tourism and investment arena.
While the country’s economy keeps flourishing, inflation remains low, overseas export opportunities continue to expand and more businesses are establishing regional centres in Malaysia. Malaysia is the Asian leader in terms of attracting interest from foreign investors, most of whom are from the Middle East. They see it as a viable and attractive emerging market with high medium term growth potential. The amount of foreign investment into the country continues to increase and international investment into the property sector in Malaysia is firmly predicted to grow at unprecedented levels.
Another particularly positive factor in favour of real estate in Malaysia today is the value of the local currency, the ringgit (MYR). Valued below the euro, dollar and British pound, foreign investors buying into Malaysia are reaping the rewards of buying so much more for their money. Meanwhile, property per square meter in all Malaysian towns, cities and resorts remains at a fraction of the cost of similar properties in the likes of London or New York.
Demand for real estate is high from an affluent expatriate market as well as an increasing Japanese, Indian and Singaporean market leaving many investment options open to shrewd investors in Malaysia.
Capital Growth Predictions
Depending upon location, off-plan residential property both in the city and within coastal resorts has seen price increases of between 14 and 15% per annum. With economic indications showing Malaysia can only continue to grow at a steady pace, many investors are purchasing now in order to achieve the highest returns on their investment.
Rental Yield Predictions
The best yields are possibly available in the commercial property sector or KLCC serviced apartments, with returns of 8% not being unusual. It is possible to invest in “tenanted” residential or commercial properties with guaranteed yields of 8%-10% available. We also suggest looking at off-plan commercial premises that will net yields well into double figures, while a number of hotels are also available with gross yields in excess of 17%.
Tourist resorts offer strong rental and capital growth potential with recorded yields in Port Dickson last year reported at 9.36%.
Economically, the outlook in Malaysia is very positive. According to a recent study from ING Real Estate, Malaysia will be the Asian country with the biggest increase in work force from 2003 to 2013, with worker numbers increasing to 13 million, representing a 27.9% increase over the 10 year period.
Growth has been driven by a spurt of corporate investments, sustained consumption, improved external trade facilities and foreign investor friendly fiscal and monetary policies, that have boosted Malaysia’s economy to new levels.
Reasons Why Malaysia is an Intelligent Property Investment Location:
New tax incentives and the relaxation of laws governing real estate purchase by foreigners.
The government’s “Ninth Plan” will have a positive impact on the Malaysian real estate market through further improvements to the infrastructure and economic policies.
Stable economy and government.
English is widely spoken by a multi-lingual, experienced and qualified workforce.
Local currency valued at far below the euro, dollar and pound sterling, allowing foreign investors to buy a lot more for their money in Malaysia.
Property prices per square metre in all major Malaysian towns and cities are at a fraction of the cost of similar investments in many other worldwide destinations.
Great demand for quality new real estate from an affluent expatriate market.
Malaysia ranks among the top three countries among the 53 Commonwealth countries for the greatest number of tourist arrivals, according to the World Tourism Organisation.
Malaysia attracted 20.88 million foreign visitors in 2007, representing a 19% rise on the previous year
Location near the Equator, hence a year-round tropical climate, ideal for tourism.
Extensive, beautiful, white sandy beaches at luxury resort areas offering an escape from hectic life just south of the bustling capital of Kuala Lumpur.
Low buying costs currently at between 3.4 to 6.75% of the property value.
The success of Malaysia’s property market today is due in part to a number of economic factors that you will need to be aware of when considering your investment.
Malaysia is one of the fastest growing economies in the region and last year the property market enjoyed capital growth figures of between 15 and 30%.
City investment, particularly in the capital, Kuala Lumpur, is booming due to a wave of direct foreign investment from China, the US and Japan. A surge in economic activity (predicted increase in worker numbers to 27.9% by 2013 over a 10 year period) has brought with it a high demand for quality commercial and residential real estate lettings serving a growing expatriate community employed in and around the city. Off-plan properties are selling to international property developers and attract some impressive guaranteed rental yields of between six and ten percent.
The government has introduced a number of tax and legal initiatives aimed at easing the process of foreign property investment into the country and attracting more investors. Contrary to former strict rulings for permission from the Economic Planning Unit, foreign nationals can now buy properties worth more than 250,000 ringgit (71,429 dollars) without prior approval. "The new step is aimed at drawing foreign investors to buy residential units in the high-end category and is expected to bring about positive changes to the property and construction sectors," says a statement from the prime minister's office.
Other incentives include tax advantages such as remittances of income from overseas going tax free. Car import duties and some other taxes are waived for foreign residents and capital gains tax is not charged on property owned for more than 5 years.
Low Cost of Living
Real estate in Malaysia is high quality and very low cost compared with many other locations. Due to the high value of the local currency, the ringgit (MYR), property is valued below the euro, dollar and British pound and foreign investors buying into Malaysia are finding their money goes a very long way. Meanwhile, property per square metre in all Malaysian towns, cities and resorts is selling at a fraction of the cost of similar properties cities such as or New York or London.
Correspondingly low buying costs at between 3.4 to 6.75% of the property value, including 2.75% agent’s commission (for first MYR 500,000) are an added attraction to property investment in Malaysia.
Spending power in general for foreigners is strong and the relatively low cost of living allows for good quality living at a fraction of the cost “back home”, eg. petrol is 25p per litre and cigarettes are 90p per packet.
High Rental Demand
The quality and beauty of the property currently on offer in Malaysia is high and therefore it is high in rental demand. A growing tourist industry is boosting rental investments and allowing high yields of around 7.4 to 8.7% in the city and a little less in the popular tourist resorts, such as Port Dickson.
Strong Tourism Growth
Malaysia figures among the top three countries for the greatest number of tourist arrivals among the 53 Commonwealth countries, according to the World Tourism Organisation. In 2005 Malaysia welcomed some 16.5 million tourists, representing an increase of more than 160% between 2000 and 2005 – all good news for today’s investors in tourist resorts who seek strong buy-to-let investment potential.
In addition, quality property is high in demand from affluent expatriates. Chinese investors are already very active in the market and this trend is expected to grow.
Malaysia is easy and cheap to reach with 25 flights arriving per week from UK, starting at only £285. In addition, Malaysia is well served by low cost regional flights on Air Asia to major S.E. Asian cities, creating easy access for a growing influx of tourists.