Should you hire a real estate negotiator (REN) or a real estate agent (REA) to help you sell or rent your property?
An agent (REA) must possess certain years of experience, some level of knowledge and education before being granted a license by the Board of Valuers, Appraisers and Estate Agents (BOVEA).
A negotiator (REN) on the other hand, is not required to, hence why there are thousands of them in the market all over Malaysia and the highest count is in Klang Valley.
How do you get the right negotiator or agent for your property?
Recommendation by friends and family is one of the most important methods besides the REN or REA's experience handling the type of property you own.
Engaging a REN or REA will require some work like a background check on them and their respective companies. Some of the important aspects to look into when it comes to potential agents are their previous and current portfolio, whether they serve the area your property is located at, and the experience they have selling or leasing the type of property you own.
Also, you have to ask them how they plan to advertise your property. Are they going to be using online property portals, social media, flyers, email marketing or other advertising methods?
By asking them these questions you will be able to understand better how they are going to market your property for sale. You need to be convinced that you are getting the best of the best for the job.
A good property negotiator or agent will help you set the right price, market
the home on various platforms, qualify the buyers or tenants as well as negotiate and finalise the deal. Hence, the role of an agent is important to successfully sell or lease your property at a good deal.
But if you decide to sell or rent your property without engaging a negotiator or an agent, there are a few things you need to know. Firstly, you must have the time and resources to manage the calls and arrange viewings with potential buyers, most often at their convenience.
Since there is no commission to be paid to a negotiator or an agent, you can lower your selling price or rent to entice the buyer and the renter. Once they agree, you will have to engage a lawyer and pay all the necessary fees, stamp duty and taxes.
What do you do? Simple! If you cannot afford the time and resources, get a REN or REA to assist you.
There are a few things you should know before hiring either one of them.
Knowing the difference between REN and REA
REN is usually regarded as a junior. They must first work for an authorised real estate agency and have an official REN tag issued by the BOVAEA. Unlike REA, they’re not allowed to have their own property agency. REN needs to attend the Negotiator’s Certification Course (NCC), acquire a certificate of attendance, and submit basic paperwork in order to start working in a real estate agency. The easiest way to identify a REN is by checking their REN tag and it should be in red.
REA are certified professionals and registered under BOVAEA and their tag is blue. Any REA who offers property for sale, rent, or lease must be registered with BOVAEA. They need to take many examinations and require at least two years of working experience under another REA. Once they have qualified, they can start their own real estate agency and employ up to 30 RENs.
If the negotiator or agent you plan to deal with doesn’t have the appropriate credentials, you might end up becoming a victim of fraud.
Engaging a REN or REA
When you engage a real estate agent or negotiator, you have to screen for a potential candidate.
"You’ll want to run some background checks and have interviews with them. You’ll want to look at the agent’s previous and current portfolios, and also take note of their experience with the kind of property you’re going to assign to them. It's an extra point for them too if the agent has been recommended by your friends and family," said PropertyGuru Malaysia in an article entitled "5 Things You Should Know Before Hiring A Property Agent In Malaysia".
PropertyGuru said getting a good property agent can be of great help as they’ll set the right price, market the home well, screen potential buyers, and conduct all the negotiations on your behalf.
"In short, they can be a good investment that saves up a lot of your time and effort in managing your property transactions."
Charges that come with hiring a real estate agent
Since real estate agents are regulated by BOVAEA, the same goes for their fees. The maximum they can charge is three per cent on any sales transaction,
regardless of whether the buyer or seller pays for it. However, they’re entitled to a minimum fee of RM1,000. These charges don’t apply to foreign properties that are marketed in Malaysia, or Malaysian properties marketed abroad.
Types of arrangements that can be made with a real estate agent
Exclusive agents: You appoint only one agent to market and sell your property. Under this arrangement, you cannot sell your own property.
Sole agents: You appoint only one agent but you can also sell your own property if you have a buyer.
Joint agency: You may appoint two to three agents to sell your property, and all agents have to be aware of each other’s appointment.
Sole Joint agency: You and your appointed agent work together to sell the
property, and the profits are to be divided based on prior agreements.
You can also appoint as many agents or negotiators as you want to help sell your property but you must screen all of them first. You must also inform all the agents that you working with a few to close the deal.