Questions To Ask When Looking For A Property Agent

PropertyGuru Editorial Team
Questions To Ask When Looking For A Property Agent
Whether you’re buying your first home or selling a property to find something with a little more space, a property agent is often an essential part of the journey.
Malaysia’s real estate market is complex and dynamic, meaning engaging the right professional to guide you through is important. So how do you find the right agent for you?
Let us help you along the way with some essential questions to consider when looking for a real estate agent in Malaysia.

1) Do they have the relevant accreditations?

An accredited property agent should be certified by the Board of Valuers, Appraisers, Estate Agents & Property Managers (BOVAEAP).
This regulatory body oversees agents and operators within Malaysia’s property market, and is tasked with examining, certifying, verifying, and disciplining real estate agents who act within the country’s real estate ecosystem.
By ensuring that an agent is properly accredited, you can ascertain whether they have the qualifications, expertise, and (most importantly!) the ethical commitment, to provide the levels of service you should expect.
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2) Are they a real estate agent (REA) or real estate negotiator (REN)?

It’s important to understand the distinction between a real estate agent (REA) and real estate negotiator (REN).
A real estate agent must undertake and pass the comprehensive Real Estate Diploma, before undertaking a minimum 2 years’ work experience as a probationary estate agent (PEA) with an existing agency.
Once this probation is completed, they are required to pass a final oral examination known as the Test of Professional Competence (TPC) to be fully accredited as an agent by BOVAEAP.
On the other hand, a real estate negotiator is employed by a registered REA. He/she is not required to complete the rigorous and comprehensive accreditation process that an agent must.
Negotiators must attend a 2-day course known as the Negotiators Certification Course, in which they are taught the basics of estate agency.
Once the course is complete, they must apply to join an established agency, where they will be registered as an REN by BOVAEAP.
They can join agencies that operate as either a sole-proprietorship, partnership, or a corporate body (Sdn. Bhd.) Only a registered person with the board can set up a real estate firm.
As a sole-proprietorship is owned by one individual, said individual must be registered and the same goes for both partners in a partnership. For corporate bodies, a minimum of two directors or a majority must be registered.
Each REA can hire a maximum of 20 RENs, and apply to increase the number to 30 if needed.
If an REA is caught employing anybody who is not a certified REN, they are committing an offence and will be subjected to disciplinary action by BOVAEA.

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3) What experience do they have?

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In the same way that a REA and REN will boast different levels of experience, so too will different real estate agents.
Understanding what that experience is and how it might impact your chance of a sale is an important question to consider.
Ask your agent about his previous experience selling properties of your type, how many years they have been working in the industry, whether they specialise in a particular area.
It’s in your best interest to engage a professional agent who knows how to operate within the relevant market.

4) How will your property be marketed?

Different estate agents market properties in different ways. This is especially true with the advent of digital opportunities like social media and online portals such as PropertyGuru.
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It’s helpful to understand how your agent or agency expects to market your property. Will they run newspaper adverts?
Are they going to promote it via social media? What resourcing will they commit to ensuring your property is seen? Will it also be hosted on their own website?
These are all important considerations to ensure your property is getting enough visibility with potential buyers.
One thing’s for sure: you don’t want your chosen agent to market your property illegally.
Any property advertisement must include the REN’s name and contact number, and the firm’s e-registration number, telephone number, and the name of the firm.

5) Do your goals align?

This question links in heavily with the idea of experience and marketing. Do you really believe that your goals and priorities align with that of your potential agent?
It might be tempting to go with the luxury condo specialist with a reputation for selling RM10+ million properties within a week of entering the market, but does that really align with your beloved family terrace house valued at RM300,000?
You have to consider whether your priorities will match those of your agent, meaning your property gets the attention it deserves.
There’s no point in choosing a high-flying agent, if the property you’re attempting to sell will remain largely ignored, while they focus on selling more expensive units.
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6) What are their fees?

The BOVAEAP provides a maximum fee limit that agents can charge for relevant services, but it’s worth checking to confirm with your agent prior to engaging them.
The maximum fees are as follows:
  • Land and Buildings (Maximum fee of 3%)
  • Fees for other services such as joint venture, sale of company, property swaps, etc. (Maximum fee of 3%)
  • Chattels including Plant and Machinery (10% of the proceeds)
  • Minimum fee: As above, subject to a minimum fee of RM1,000 per property.

7) What advice can they give you on selling your home?

Agents can provide a wealth of knowledge on how to sell your home, whether it’s tidying up a landed area outside a luxury bungalow or simply rearranging the furniture in your condo to make the most of the natural light.
Agents are just as keen to make a sale as you are, so engage that knowledge by prompting them for thoughts on how you might improve your chances of selling (hopefully as soon as possible, and for a neat profit).

Our goal is to help you through every stage of your property journey. Our handy Agent Search function is a great way to find agents to suit your personal circumstances, with the ability to filter by both location and speciality. When you’re ready to take that next step, we’ve got a huge range of properties just waiting for you to explore.

Disclaimer: The information is provided for general information only. PropertyGuru International (Malaysia) Sdn Bhd makes no representations or warranties in relation to the information, including but not limited to any representation or warranty as to the fitness for any particular purpose of the information to the fullest extent permitted by law. While every effort has been made to ensure that the information provided in this article is accurate, reliable, and complete as of the time of writing, the information provided in this article should not be relied upon to make any financial, investment, real estate or legal decisions. Additionally, the information should not substitute advice from a trained professional who can take into account your personal facts and circumstances, and we accept no liability if you use the information to form decisions.