Finding a trustworthy real estate broker or agent may be challenging for those starting to invest in properties. Although, researching online is always a good way to start. The fastest way to find and contact brokers and agents is to visit property portal sites just like us at PropertyAccess.
But if you’ve been on the internet for quite a long time, you’ll know that not all online profiles are credible or authentic. Some are just fabricated identities in hopes of scamming hopeful first-time property buyers out of their investment. Amidst all the online trolls and scams, there are ways to spot red flags and identify patterns and behaviors of fake or non-trustworthy real estate agents.
#1 They don’t have a PRC number.
There’s no such thing as a “freelance” real estate agent. All agents are accredited by the Professional Regulation Commission in the Philippines and should be working with a license. Unless they own the properties being sold themselves, they cannot sell units of various developments without being under a licensed brokerage or being directly under the developers.
First thing’s first: check if the agent has a PRC number. You can search their name and their PRC number on Google to validate if the details they gave you are correct. Another way to validate is to ask for their certification or their license when you meet them for the first time.
#2 They aggressively sell to you without listening.
Good and credible real estate agents listen to the needs of their clients in order to provide them with the right product and information. They sell according to what can meet your demands. When your real estate agent only hard sells a property without providing you other options within your criteria, then it’s best to let that agent go. At the end of the day, you have the final say on which property to buy or not.
Here’s a tip: Research different brokerage companies or developers and check their list of available agents. Or you may have them give you an agent to assist you instead. With this, at least you know that you are in the right hands.
#3 They require you to have the reservation fee deposited in their bank account.
If they require to have your reservation fee deposited in their personal bank account, you best believe you might not be able to contact them after that. Although it may be faster and more convenient to some degree, it does not guarantee that it would go and proceed to the rightful transaction – especially if you’re working with them for the first time. Agents under a brokerage or a developer follow protocols for money transactions to make sure the money goes to the right place. And an agent’s personal bank account doesn’t seem to be the right place to put downpayments and fees for a big transaction.
Here’s what you can do: You can ask them for the developer’s account number instead for your reservation fee deposit. If they still insist of having it deposited in their bank account, it’s best to look for another agent.
#4 They focus on promos and not the property itself.
Some properties have promos and discounts, and that can be a good thing. But as a buyer, your main focus is the property. After all, you’re not buying the property just because of the promos or offerings coupled with it. If you notice your agent highlighting the promos and offerings more than the property itself, then something must be up. They might be selling a property with defects that are not mentioned in the listing, and they don’t want to inform you about it.
Save yourself: Choose a property that fits your criteria and focus on it instead of the promos and discounts that come with it. Making a real estate investment is making sure that your money is going to the right property that will provide you with returns or a great home in the long run.
Go for the Credible
When it comes to choosing a trustworthy real estate agent, you need to remember to do two things: research and validate. Always look for credible sources and cross-check them with each other to make sure that you are not falling victim to online scams and fake personas. Be cautious and keep your eye out for the red flags mentioned above.
When it comes to investing and buying properties, PropertyAccess is your trustworthy partner. We screen and validate real estate agents before onboarding to make sure they are licensed and legitimate professionals. We review listings posted on our site to ensure good quality photos and complete property details for an overall pleasant buying and renting experience. With PropertyAccess, you can find all your real estate and lifestyle needs all in one place.