Whether you want to buy or sell, there’s a wide variety of estate agents to choose from in Malta. How do you know which one delivers the best service and can get you the best deal? We discuss at what you should be looking at in order to find the most professional and qualified estate agent that will have your best interest at heart.
Since the end of 2021 estate agents in Malta are required by law to be fully licensed and to have completed a course in real estate practices. This means that they have to know about the laws applying to all real estate transactions, about anti-money laundering legislation and all the other complicated rules and regulations that apply to the buying and selling of any property.
It therefore goes without saying that for anyone to operate in the field of real estate they need to be fully qualified and registered, but there are many other tell-tale signs that to look for, ensuring that you have a conscientious and hardworking agent at your service and that your choice was the right one.
Keeping up appearances
Look if an agent dresses the part. A good professional agent will be required by the company to respect all clients by dressing appropriately. If your agent comes across sloppy and unkempt, be wary as their service will most likely be too.
Manners go a long way
Pay attention to how the agent addresses you. Since this is a professional relationship, the agent is not your friend or a family member (even if they are – this is business) but an expert delivering a service. Respected and good estate agencies train their agents on how to treat their customers in a professional and respectful manner and always keep in mind that the agent is also an ambassador for the company, reflecting its values and principles.
Are you listening to me?
If you are a seller, see if the agent gives you the feedback that you expect after each visit or view by a potential client or buyer. If you are in the market to buy a property, see if the agent is listening to you and fulfilling your requirements: do they come back with a selection of properties that fall within your budget that suits your taste? If so, you will know that the agent is paying attention to what you want and not simply pushing for just another sale. If you have any additional requests or comments regarding the properties that you were shown, but you get the feeling that you are being ignored or that the agent turns out to be a bully, it is time for you to get another agent.
See if the agent respects your privacy. If an agent calls you at all hours or at times that you have stipulated for them not to contact you, make this known and be stern about it. If they ignore your complaints about the situation, ask to be assigned to another agent.
Now you see me, now you don’t
Once you have bought or sold, make a note of the after-sales service of the agent. If they vanish into thin air or become uncooperative, never use them again and also make this known to the director of the company. Good agents will follow up, contact you long after the transaction and even just call you to have a friendly chat, even if you are not buying or selling again at that particular time.
No-one wants to be at the receiving end of bad service, no matter what the industry is and especially if there are big amounts of money at stake. For customer care and overall service to continually improve in the field of real estate, the only way forward is to be clear-cut about your experience and the treatment you get. The same goes for when it comes to having had an excellent experience as a buyer or a seller. When your experience has been a pleasure, make this known and post about it in social media or write a letter of recommendation and praise to the agent or company.