If you’re thinking of buying a house in the city, your first step after making the checklist is probably to look for a good real estate broker in Kolkata. Most homeowners today use a real estate agent or broker to buy and sell their homes, and choosing the right broker is crucial to a successful real estate transaction.
The best real estate brokers aim for a win-win-win situation where everyone comes out of the transaction happy. The buyer gets the house of their dreams, the developer or seller finds a trustworthy family willing to give them a fair price and the broker brings these two together and makes a profit too. The worst kind of real estate brokers only care about their profit and ignore the other two considerations.
But how do you make sure you’ve found a good broker? Finding the right real estate broker in Kolkata can be a tough job. There are many things to consider.
Questions to ask real estate broker in Kolkata
Choosing a real estate broker involves asking the right questions. These questions are related to their experience in the local market, their communication style, their commission, etc. Make sure that whoever you choose is personally a good fit for you and you find them trustworthy. Talk to many real estate brokers in Kolkata to properly gauge their fit. Here are the top ten questions, you should ask your property broker:
- What experience do you have?
This does not necessarily mean how long one has been a real estate broker in Kolkata. Rather, you want to know how well the broker knows the local market and if he has experience selling the kinds of properties you are looking for or the kind of real estate builders they work for. Ask him or her how many successful deals have they brokered in the area you are interested in, in the last three months or the last six months.
If you’re looking for a flat with a certain number of bedrooms, ask them how many of those they have sold in your budget. Did most people who bought a flat have to increase their budgets to match the house, or was he or she able to find them a good property within their means? A good broker will have all this information at their fingertips.
- How will we communicate?
Find out the preferred way of communication for them, whether they are able to answer phone calls throughout their day or if they regularly check their WhatsApp. You want to make sure they are easily reachable when you have questions or need an update. There is nothing worse than taking out time during a workday to go see a flat and the broker stops answering his or her phone. Ask them if they have a knowledgeable colleague who can cover for them if they are unavailable.
- What is your commission?
Talk to flat owners, sellers, and agents in the areas you are interested in to find the usual real estate brokerage rate. The area you are looking for a house in will have a standard commission rate for brokers of real estate. But this commission is never set in stone and is up for negotiation. If the seller has a different broker than yours, make sure to discuss what expenses will be paid by whom and how much commission the different brokers will receive and from whom. You don’t want to be caught unawares of a major expense later on.
- How well connected are you?
Networking is the most important thing the real estate brokerage business runs on. Without good connections in the area, the broker will not become aware of any good properties that become available in the market. Ask him or her how many people they are connected with, in the real estate field. A seasoned broker will have solid connections to other real estate professionals – developers, agencies, lawyers, registrars, etc. They will even be able to help you find moving companies you can trust.
- Do you have any references?
As tempting as it is, don’t overlook this one because it might be the most important thing you ask the broker. Get the names and numbers of some recent clients that the broker has helped find a home. Then call them up and ask them about their experience. Were all the promises made by the broker delivered upon? Was there any last-minute confusion or expenses? Did they behave in a professional manner throughout?
- Do you have any suggestions for my requirements?
Savvy real estate agents know whether what you are looking for in terms of the house and amenities are doable in your budget or not. Whether it is that you want 24×7 power backup or two parking spaces, they will be able to make suggestions about what to expect and what is almost impossible to find within your budget. During the initial interview, ask them if there are any changes you should make to your list of things you desire in a house. What amenities you should be able to find in your budget. More often than not, they will make these suggestions without prodding on your part.
- Do they service a large area or do they specialize in the areas you are interested in?
If you are unsure of where you want to buy your house, you might be looking for someone who has a good overall idea about various localities in the city. But most probably, you have already narrowed down your search to one or two areas where you would ideally like to be based. In that case, it is better to find an area expert. This is a broker who knows a lot about the areas you are interested in. These agents will also be more aware of the typical offerings and asking price compared to those who typically don’t work in that neighborhood. One way to find a local expert is to ask any friends and relatives in the area if they know anyone. Another way is to do a search for a ‘real estate broker near me’ on Google. Any tech and marketing savvy real estate brokers should be easy to find on the web.
- Do my timings work for you?
Often you will have to juggle finding a house with going to work or managing your family’s schedules. It is always a good idea to discuss your availability and the broker’s availability beforehand. If you are unavailable in the mornings or you can only see properties during your lunch break, let the broker know in advance. Tell them if you can only see houses on weekends or in the evenings. Then he or she can arrange showings accordingly and you will not get phone calls during a workday to leave everything and reach somewhere in ten minutes.
- Let them know your non-negotiables
If there is something that you are certain you want in a house – like attached bathrooms or a balcony or that it is not on the ground floor, make sure you communicate it clearly and early on. A lot of time is saved if the broker can himself or herself reject properties that they know will just not work for you, instead of asking you to come and see them just in case you change your mind.
- Find someone who is a good fit
This is the most important aspect of finding a good real estate broker. You need to find someone whose personality clicks with yours. For you to find a house quickly and at a favorable price, you and your broker must be on the same page in terms of the kind of property, the price, and how and when to see the homes. Coordinating these ideas will be much easier if the parties involved get along and understand each other intuitively. It will also make you trust the real estate broker more and trustworthiness goes a long way in these relationships and ultimately will help you find the home of your dreams within your price range.
To find a good real estate broker in Kolkata, you might have to have many phone conversations and interviews. But if you find a good broker, it will all be worth it. When finalizing a real estate broker or agent, ask around in the locality to find out whether that person has a good reputation locally. When you can trust that the real estate broker will make the best decisions keeping your needs in mind, then you can rest easy knowing that they will help you find the home of your dreams.
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