Finding a good real estate agent in Jamaica can seem overwhelming as there so many options.
It is never easy to search for hours or for days for the right real estate agent, either for your next purchase or your next sale.
And while there are lots of agents in JamaIca, you need to find the one who’s right for you and who will make that process easier.
Here are 14 tips that will help you choose and work with the best agent on the island.
1. What type of property do you need
You may think this is a no-brainer, but it pays to know what type of property you’re looking for before choosing an agent.
First time buyers usually have different needs from investors or people looking to upgrade their current homes.
Knowing what kind of Jamaican property you want can certainly narrow down your choices, so ask yourself these questions first before you start looking for an agent.
2. Ask friends, family, neighbours and co-workers
If you know people who have recently bought or sold a property in your area, ask them if they were satisfied with the services provided by their real estate agent.
Make sure to get details on how their agent handled things from beginning to end.
- Were their questions answered quickly?
- How was the communication between everyone involved?
If possible, try to contact the same agents these people used so you can compare what each one is offering against another.
3. Ask for referrals
Once you narrow down your options, it’s time to share your search with these agents by asking for referrals of Jamaican properties that are similar to what you’re looking for.
This will help you get a good idea of the real estate agent’s knowledge and expertise in your area.
These past clients can also tell you how their agent performed throughout the whole process: from search to sale, and beyond.
4. Pick out the best three or four possible options
Now that you’ve got a better idea of who is ready, willing and able to assist you with your property search or sale, it’s time to create a list of those agents who stand out the most to you as being worthy choices for your business.
In order to do so, ask yourself these questions:
- Are they fully licensed by the Real Estate Board of Jamaica?
- Do they have references from satisfied clients?
- What kind of experience do they have?
- How much commission will they charge me?
5. Do your research
Once you’ve completed your list of top 4 options, it’s time to do some background checking on each one.
Make sure they are fully licensed to practice real estate in your area and check them out with REB search as shown below:
If the real estate agent is not licensed, then it might be worth considering another option.
You can also ask for references from former clients to find out what kind of service these agents provide, whether they’re easy to work with.
Or if they delivered everything that was promised during the process.
6. Request for an interview
With your shortlist in hand, now is the perfect time to request a meeting so you can get better acquainted with each agent before deciding which one to go with.
At the end of the interview, make sure that you have a list of all the documents and information about each agent so you can compare them side by side.
You can also put together a contract or letter of agreement so both parties know what to expect from one another.
7. Don’t be afraid to ask questions
Be sure to ask as many questions as possible during your interview as this is where you’ll get most of your information on how well these agents communicate.
Their knowledge of your area and if they’re willing to work with you for as long as it takes until either you buy exactly what you’re looking for or sell your current property.
Once everything has been explained, it’s time to make a decision based solely on your gut feeling.
8. Proofread everything before signing on the dotted line
It’s important to make sure that you understand everything in your contract or agreement before signing anything.
This is where a legal representative could come in handy if you feel unsure about what you’re signing for.
In addition, get all of your questions and concerns written down so nothing slips through the cracks once everything has been completed.
9. Look out for red flags
If any agent promises results that sound too good to be true, then there’s a possibility that there are hidden fees involved which could end up costing you more money than expected.
For instance, beware of Jamaican real estate companies who offer 100% financing but ask you to pay a fee upfront without explaining why it is necessary.
In some cases, these fees can add up to more than what you’d pay if you had gone the traditional route.
10. Keep records of your communication with your agent
It’s always a good idea to have records of communication between yourself and your real estate agent in case anything goes wrong during the process.
This way, you have a paper trail that documents how problems were handled.
It also helps prevent any disputes from happening in the future when it’s time for both parties to settle or discuss finances.
11. Don’t be afraid to negotiate
When asking for something that is important, don’t forget to tell the other party why this is important to you and what exactly they could gain out of it in return.
For instance, ask your agent if they’re willing to give a discount if you go ahead and buy the first house they show you.
Or, ask them what kind of commission will be included in your contract before settling on a specific price for their services.
Keep asking “what else” until both parties have come to an agreement.
12. Ask for extra help as needed
In some cases, especially during more difficult negotiations or when things don’t go as expected, it might be necessary to turn to outside support from either family or friends who can lend you moral support.
Or even professional negotiators who specialize in this type of work if everything else fails.
13. Don’t forget to say “thank you”
Once you’ve chosen an option and made a final decision, it’s important to let your agent know how grateful you are for everything they’ve done on your behalf.
This way, the next time the two of you work together everything will be a bit easier since communication is key in any business relationship.
14. Keep records for future reference
Since most Jamaican real estate agents have websites these days, it doesn’t hurt to keep their website in a folder somewhere so you can use it as a resource in the future when looking for a new property or if planning to sell one of yours.
In addition, this information will come in handy when discussing with potential buyers who might want to contact them directly for more information on the neighborhood and surroundings.