Selling or renting a property that you own is unlike any other transaction we undertake in life; after all, most people’s biggest asset is their home.
For this reason, selecting a Cambodian real estate agent is a major decision. Locating the best person to manage the sale or rental of your home or investment property is crucial to obtaining the best price for your property.
The real estate market in Cambodia is largely unregulated and, therefore, it is critical to make a good judgment of your real estate yourself. This is the Realestate.com.kh guide to help you select a Cambodian Real Estate agent that is right for you.
Before we jump into the detail of sourcing, interviewing and assessing the performance of your agent, it’s important to know what traits a great real estate agent should have:
• An ability to meet expectations at each stage of the sale or rental process. • An understanding of Cambodian land and rental law, and common practice within these domains.
• Positive referrals from former clients.
• A thorough knowledge of similar properties for sale or rent in your relevant market (this is especially important in the big cities of Phnom Penh, Siem Reap and Sihanoukville).
• Being prepared to be honest and frank regarding the prospects of achieving your goals to rent or sell the property.
How to find a Cambodian real estate agent:
The Cambodian real estate industry is generally subject to few local laws. This means there are thousands of individual people who call themselves agents. This can make it extremely difficult to find a professional real estate agent, especially outside of the major cities of Phnom Penh, Siem Reap and Sihanoukville.
The first place you might look at is the Cambodian Real Estate Agent Directory at Realestate.com.kh. Use the “Find an Agent” section to generate a shortlist of professional and trusted agents near you, after which you should interview the agent or agency (see our tips below) and review feedback from former clients on blogs, websites, Facebook, LinkedIn and any other sources you can find online. If there are recommendations from former clients, it is a good sign that the agent is reputable.
From there, book an appointment to meet with the agent. Generally, agents will suggest making an appointment at the property location. This is common, as it enables them to perform an appraisal on the spot. In all cases, the property appraisal should be offered free of charge by the agent and there should be no obligation to sign the contract.
Indicators that suggest the agent / agency is professional:
• Operating a trust fund: Trust funds are a great sign that the agency is serious about their business and protecting their client’s interests.
• Works from an office: Agencies who have premises with multiple staff are usually credible businesses.
• Has a website / conducts marketing: Agencies who have websites, conduct newspaper advertising and generally have good paper based marketing are normally serious businesses with a commitment to their profession.
• Listed on Realestate.com.kh: The agents listed on our “Find an Agent” page, are some of Cambodia’s finest.
The Interview process:
The interview process should be one of investigation to ensure the agent is a good fit for you.
Here is a list of questions to ask the prospective agent during the initial meeting / real estate appraisal:
How many years has the company / person been involved in the real estate industry in Cambodia?
How many sales / rentals have they completed in the last year?
How many properties are currently listed for sale / rent on their books?
How many prospective buyers / tenants are they currently in contact with?
What is their preliminary value estimate of your property listing in the current market, and what appraisal formula have they used to arrive at this figure?
What is their proposed marketing strategy for the property (for example online, newspaper, email database)?
However, the most important question of all those above is the anticipated sale / rental price of your property.Ideally you will have also conducted your own research and have some idea of the price you expect to achieve - based on other, similar properties in your neighborhood. Experienced Cambodian real estate agents will provide an appraisal that roughly matches your research. In addition, highly professional real estate agents will generally respond to your requests and provide a marketing proposal in writing following the interview.
Making the Decision:
Once you have reviewed your options and decided on the person who you believe will do a great job in handling the sale or rental of your home, you need to enter into a formal agreement. The written agreement will clearly outline the terms and conditions of appointing the real estate agent. It should contain an estimated sale or rental price, the total commission payable (in Riel or dollar terms), fees and charges and marketing expenses.
Assessing the performance of your real estate agent:
So you’ve selected a great real estate agent and have got the sale or rental process moving; how do you know whether your agent is doing a good job?
Here’s a checklist of things the agent should do, and if they aren’t doing these things, you might like to consider appointing somebody else:
Provide you with regular updates regarding the number of buyers and tenants they have been in contact with.
Have a screening process to determine a tenant or buyer’s suitability for the property (for example reference checks, confirmation of their job etc.).
Ongoing marketing advice regarding the number of inquiries your property is receiving and how to increase its appeal to renters / buyers (for example, conducting advertising, furnishing the property, altering the agreement terms slightly, etc.).
Competently handle the negotiations of the monthly rental or the sale price of your property. This is probably the most important job of a real estate agent and a good real estate agent will be an expert negotiator.
Demonstrate experience at handling the legal and financial process of managing the rental property and/or conducting the sale.