Choosing a real estate agent Part 1
Choosing a real estate agent is sometimes difficult with a plethora of choice available, selecting the right one to represent you as buyer or seller is essential.
History of the Isaan real estate agent
Traditionally in Isaan a real estate agent was an old lady who drove from village to village on a Honda Wave with a bag of chanotes (title deeds) gossiping about what’s available for sale. She would typically expect the seller to pay a commission and also add on to the price of the property.
As time passed land prices increased in the region. These agents continued to add on more and more even though the job of the agent is to get the maximum value for the owner.
A new style of real estate agent was born
Finally, in 2013, a website called www.ubonhomes.com was created. Never before had property been advertised on the internet in Ubon Ratchathani, Thailand. Many dismissed it saying it would never work because “it’s not the Thai way!”.
Adding on continued as the property boom drove prices up. In some cases they would be increasing the price by as much as 100%. It was getting out of control. No regulation or oversight from the Government meant some agents were trying to take profits of as much as 10 million baht from one transaction. The property industry in Ubon was destroying itself through greed and corruption.
Progress in 2015
Two years on and local people were starting to take notice of the new method using the internet and social media to market property. The adding on was declining, slowly the old style agents were being replaced by a new generation in the city.
Facebook pages and groups and even a magazine started to appear in Ubon. Seminars took place promising to teach people how to become a real estate agent. People were starting to gain trust again as marketing on the internet allowed for greater transparency.
Today’s real estate agent
Fast forward to 2017 and we are presented with new problems in the local property industry. Due to a downturn in economy, an increase in household debt and large number of people assuming that they can get rich quick by becoming an agent using just a mobile phone and a Facebook account.
Are we heading in the right direction or back to where we were?