How to list your property

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  1. Do I need an agent to sell or rent out a property ?
 
You do not have to use an agent but almost all of the transactions are done through agents. A competent agency through its promotion and sales network should give your listing wider exposure therefore giving you a much better chance to get a better price sooner. In the pre-sale stage, he should give you unbiased market information and help you with the marketing and showing the property. When there is an offer, he can facilitate negotiation ( to avoid unnecessary deadlock) and finally can help you secure the deal with a legally binding agreement.
 
  1. How do I engage an agent to help me ?
 
You choose the Licensed agent(s) you want to list your property with and he should ask you to sign an Estate Agency Agreement for Vendor and/or Landlord. This is a standard form prescribed by the Estate Agents Authority for the protection of both parties. Under this Agreement, your agent owes you certain duties (market your property at the price you specify etc.) and undertakes not to do anything that may unfairly compromise your interest (e.g. taking secret profit or introducing undisclosed interested party to you). In return you agree to pay the agency the agreed commission (usually 1% of the transacted price or 1/2 months of rental as the case may be) if he successfully help you to sell or rent out the property. You do not have to pay him anything if you finally have not sold/rent out the property through him (unless otherwise specified).
  
  1. What is the agency commission and can I negotiate on that?
 
The market standard commission is 1% each from the vendor and the purchaser respectively for sales and 1/2 month’s rental each from the tenant and landlord respectively for lease. This is not a legal requirement and you can agree with your agent any commission arrangement in the Agreement. Trying to list your property at a “discounted” commission will of course make your listing less attractive to any agent. Therefore unless you feel that your property is so unique or priced so low that it will sell for itself, there is really no point in hurting your listing’s competitiveness by offering a “discounted” commission.     
  1. Can I list my property with more than one agency or should I use an Exclusive Agent?
 
You can list your property with any number of agencies you choose because you are only paying commission to the one who has finally sold/rent out your place. Using an Exclusive Agent has certain benefits and drawbacks. First of all, your exclusive agent should give your listing better exposure and marketing push than his other open listings. He shall be your agent no matter whether the client who takes up your property is his own client or from another agency. This allows him to act as your consultant and to negotiate for you rather than negotiate with you when an offer comes. His objective should be not just to sell your property but to try to sell it at the most favorable terms possible for you. On the other hand, your listing will be less attractive to the other agencies especially if they have many other similar listings in their inventory. Therefore, “unique” and “exclusive” property in a niche market is more suitable for exclusive agency arrangement than “standard” property in a mass market.
Therefore you may wish to appoint an Exclusive Agent is you have an agent
  • whom you trust and
  • you want him to be more committed to your listing and
  • you know his agency will give enough exposure of your listing to its target market and
  • your product is in a relatively “niche” market
Otherwise, listing with multiple agencies may serve you better.
Before you appoint an Exclusive Agent, ask him what he will do to market your listing (if necessary have him write that in the Estate Agency Agreement) and make sure that he is to market your listings also to all other suitably qualified agencies. In most cases, we do not recommend signing exclusive agency for longer than three months in an active market and six months in a slower market.
 
  1. What is Property Information Form (Form One) and should I declare any alteration I have done to the property?
 
When your agent take your Sales listing (and definitely before he can ask a purchaser to sign any agreement to buy your property), he will ask you to sign a Vendor’s Statement in the Property Information Form. It is for you to declare any known structural alteration and/or outstanding repair notice/order. You can choose to make such declaration or not. We suggest you do because a purchaser will be wary if he feels you are hiding something. If there are any structural building works done, we suggest you to ask your agent to get the purchaser to sign to acknowledge receipt of your statement. This will minimize the risk of the purchaser trying to use that as an excuse to avoid completion especially should the market turns negative.
 
  1. How to set the asking price/rent?
 
Setting the asking price/rent is both a science and an art. You should always start with knowing the market price for other comparable properties. One good source is to use our web site to check the transaction history and current competitive listings on the market. Another good reference is a bank valuation if you are thinking of selling (we can help you get one for free). For more “exclusive” property, you may also want to consult an agent who is experienced in your target market. With this information and factor in any particular features of your property, you should have a target range for that market.
Pricing your property at the market will give you a better chance to attract more offers to choose from. This is the approach we recommend if your listing is competing in a crowded market. However, if your listing is rather “exclusive” you may wish to price it at a premium that reflect the uniqueness of your listing and leave some room for negotiation. However, you should not set the premium to be so high that it will scare off qualified prospects.
Having set your price/rent, you have to review that from time to time because the market changes over time. If you decide to change your asking price/rent, remember to change it with every agent that you have listed with or else there may be confusion that will not work to your advantage.
 
  1. How do I prepare my property for showing?
 
Every seller/landlord wants his house to sell/rent fast and bring top dollar. Does that sound good to you? Well, it's not luck that makes that happen. It always boils down to how to out-perform other competitive listings. The “showing” is your opportunity to get the buyer/tenant to want your house. We are not suggesting you to spend a fortune to renovate your place before selling it. But a few simple steps will go a long way in winning the buyer/tenant over. Here is how to prep a house and turn it into an irresistible and marketable home.
a.     Make minor repairs – to give impression that the property has been well-maintained and not to distract the visitor with any eyesore. If the house has any sign of water damage, fix it, replace those darken floor tiles and re-paint that discolored wall before you show it. You may want to say I shall fix that up before the tenant moves in or the purchaser is going to do his own renovation after he buys anyway. But why make it difficult for him to choose yours by burdening him with these doubts. Even if the buyer is contemplating an offer for your place, he will probably over-allow the cost to fix it thus lowering his offer unnecessarily.
b.     Make your house inviting – so that he can picture himself enjoying it. If there is natural light, let it in. If there is a nice natural breeze, open the windows to let it help you sell. Make sure the room temperature is comfortable. If your place is vacant already, give it a good clean up to let it sparkles. Pay special attention to the kitchen and bathroom (do not forget to clean inside the fridge and oven). Re-grout the bathtub and kitchen sink and clean the windows inside out. Make sure the lights are working. If your place has outdoor features such as a roof or garden, make sure it is presented as an attractive place where your buyer/tenant can enjoy. If your place is still occupied, at least try to tidy it up for the showing so that the customer can focus on the good features of your house instead of your personal belongings. Clear off all the horizontal surfaces like kitchen and bathroom countertops if you can. A less cluttered house will look much bigger. If you have a dog, keep it out of the way. Smell of cigarettes, exotic spices or pets are distracting to most people. If it is not too much trouble, turn off the TV during the showing. If you prefer the guests to have shoes off, prepare a few clean looking slippers at the door step.     
c.      Make it available – It is difficult to sell your place if the buyer/tenant cannot see it at times convenient for them. No agent will insist his client to see all listings on the market. Once the purchaser/tenant finds the property that he wants, the agent will normally not delay his decision by insisting the customer to wait till he has a chance to see your place first. The more available your place is for showing, the better exposure you are likely to    enjoy and thus a better chance to be sold/rent out earlier.     
d.     Let your agent do his job – Try to be absent during the showing. If you insist to be in, please do not follow them around. Most buyers/tenants will feel the pressure with the owner around. Let the buyer/tenant feels free to raise any objections without the fear of appearing impolite, so that your agent can handle that right away. If there are special features that you want the buyers/tenants to know, brief your agent beforehand. Do not feel disappointed if your agent does not use all the “ammunition” you have given him. Any experienced agent will tell you people are not sold by details until they have emotionally involved with the big picture of your house.
 
  1. Why should I list with Ka Man?
 
Listing with Ka Man, you are working with the longest serving agency in DB who has over 28 years of uninterrupted successful track record in selling and renting DB properties.
Result
Our proven ability to deliver result for our clients is due to our well-established mechanism of bringing qualified prospective purchasers and tenants. Relying more on referral than retail shop, we have less curious window shoppers using your house as show flat. We generally bring in clients who are serious enough to take the time to find the property that suits them. Our web site which is one of the most visited DB property site help us to reach many clients even before they arrives Hong Kong. Our landlord clients will also benefit from the source of blue chip corporate tenants brought in by the leading international relocation agencies, most of which we have a long established working relations with.
Expertise
  1. Product - Discovery Bay is ”unique” in its appeal and different from most other developments in Hong Kong. It is the only market we specialize in over the last 28 years. That gives us unparallel depth of knowledge of the product enabling us to sell/rent out your DB properties most effectively.
  2. Market- On the other hand, people who buys or rents DB properties comes from a different background with very different requirements. We, at Ka Man, have built up our team to serve this diverse spectrum of clientele. Besides our long experience in selling DB properties to local home seekers and investors, we have a team (some of them expatriate themselves) specialising in serving expatriate tenants and buyers. Some of our agents comes with a mainland Chinese or overseas Chinese background making them particularly effective with clients with that same background.        
Reputation
While delivering result to you is important, we believe the process is at least equally relevant. That is why we pay a lot of attention to ensure that you are being serviced in a friendly manner, professionally and honestly. We are confident about the reputation we have earned over the last 28 years and you are encouraged to check around. You may wish to review some recent letters that your neighbor has written to tell us about their experience with us. Some of them may have been written by neighbour you know.
Commitment
Discovery Bay is the only market we serve. This has led us to take a long term view to our customer relationship and to foster our reputation.  All our customers are our neighbours. As a neighborhood agency, we look upon our clients not merely as a party to a deal but more as a relation to nurture. Without relying on a shop front, we can only and have always built our success on repeat business and referrals from satisfied customers. We tailor our service offers to meet the specific requirements of this community. When our clients need our support, we have always been available even in the difficult period of 1989 or 2003 SARS epidemic.  



Disclaimer: Whilst every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of the information provided here, it is intended as general guidance and should not be not be regarded as a substitute for appropriate professional guidance and legal advice.