Confessions of a Real Estate Agent– Steven Leckie, December 2016

Posted on: 5th December 2016

All registered real estate agents in Dubai are bound by a code of ethics which includes 11 principles they are expected to follow and practice such as fair and respectful treatment, preservation of privacy, trust and integrity, respect towards the local society, comprehensive documentation, and general respect of the regulations and procedures of Real Estate Regulatory Authority (RERA).

So, what else can buyers expect from a real-estate agent when purchasing an off-plan property in Dubai?

Spend just 20 minutes looking online for property and it’s very likely that you will end up confused. You really don’t know what you don’t know – and that’s a daunting place to be as you start your research.

You may have already visited Dubai multiple times on holiday and/or on business but you have probably never been further afield than the main tourist and business locations such as Jumeirah, Deira or Downtown.

Your first objective is to find an agent who is prepared to meet and spend time with you, who can give you a thorough overview of the different locations and developments around Dubai, and who is knowledgeable about the past just as much as the city’s current and future plans.

The agent should tell you about all the developers, show you their models and their show homes, and provide the answers and discuss myriad details, including a property's pertinent selling points, floor plans, the neighbourhood, and community proximity to schools, shopping centres, and cultural and leisure activities. In other words, someone who can cut through the sales pitch and provide the real facts.

This is by far the best way for each of you to learn more about your plans and expectations so when you are ready to make your move, they will know how best to assist you and you will also understand how they work for you.

To help you buy a property, your agent needs a vast working knowledge of the real estate market, including price trends, neighbourhood conditions and amenities, real estate law, the developers’ processes, financing, taxes, insurance, and negotiating.

My belief is through better access to information not only on the property market but also on the city and the region generally, you can make informed decisions with your eyes-wide-open, gaining an advantage in the market.

Without a real estate agent, you'd have to learn and put into practice a special set of skills real estate agents spend years learning, developing, and honing.  From finding a property and matching you with adequate financing, to negotiating the contract and closing the deal, the real estate agent's numerous duties and responsibilities, performed smoothly and professionally, will often conceal the beguiling, complex and obscure process of buying a property overseas. 

A good agent will help you avoid potential pitfalls and their job should begin rather than end when you have made your decision and they should be with you every step of the way including after you have the keys to your new property.

You should expect values of trust, integrity, and reliability centered around expert knowledge of the local market, someone who has built long-term relationships with both developers and clients, delivering consistently high service, and staying in touch always.

If bargaining over the price is necessary, they will be your negotiator, and when it's time to sign the final closing documents, they will accompany you to make sure the devil stays in the details.

When you have a question, concern or idea, they are there to provide the answer directly or refer you to someone who can help.

To move from confusion, ignorance, and uncertainty to certainty, knowledge, and clarity, your agent should be “holding your hand" through the entire process. 

With so many agents available to represent you, you need to take great care in selecting one that meets your needs.