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Sick of house-hunting? An insider’s perspective might help!

Sick of house-hunting? An insider’s perspective might help!

Sick of house-hunting? An insider’s perspective might help!

HOUSING AGENT is a worldwide directory of real estate agents, international movers and relocation professionals who work together to help you find the perfect house in Germany

Apartment hunting is always taxing, but trying to navigate a foreign system in a foreign language can be very difficult. Especially as the housing market becomes more and more competitive and affordable housing runs in short supply.

In a country where everything is foreign, seeking the guidance of an expert can be very attractive. In Germany, automatically going with a real estate agent can be a costly approach. While the property owner sometimes pays the hefty fees, they usually fall to the renter, so be sure to confirm who is responsible before signing any agreements.

That being said, engaging the services of a local professional just might be the smartest move you make during your property search in Germany. Here's why:

Agents work for you

The housing market in Germany is like an iceberg: the advertisements that you see online are only the tip. Many deals go on unseen, and if you don’t have many connections in town, it’s hard to break into the circuit.

Housing Agents (Makler or Immobilienhändler) are a way to get below the surface. Besides the houses that they have in their own portfolios, agents know the whole industry inside out. They know which rocks can be turned over to find that hidden deal you can’t get online. They are connected to a whole network of housing professionals, and suddenly a series of dead-ends can start to look like a world of possibilities.

Insider information

The other huge advantage is the knowledge that an experienced agent brings to their work. A good agent knows their city like the back of their hand: if it’s important to be near your university, place of worship, or a dog-friendly park, a housing agent can find something to accommodate your wishes.

They can help direct young parents to houses in kid-friendly areas, and students to party-friendly ones. An agent understands the type of community you want to call home, and knows how to help you find it.

That knowledge continues inside the house. The eyes of an experienced agent can spot all sorts of things that might be useful to know - from how warm your home will be in the winter, to what your neighbours will be like. Having an honest conversation with your agent helps them to situate you in a building that’s right for your needs.

Building lasting relationships

The relationship between a new renter and a housing agent can potentially be a long-lasting and profitable one. Almost all expats in Germany start by renting a house or apartment, but some will want to purchase their own eventually. And when they leave Germany, they’ll want to sell or rent it again.

In situations like these, you want to be able to come back to someone you can trust. Building a relationship with a professional, hardworking agent is always useful for both parties. When the time comes, having that human connection will help to assure you that you’re in good hands. People do business with real people.

Each agent is part of a network

That being said, a single agent can’t do everything on their own. Many agents specialise in one or two areas of real estate, and in the complex world of expat life, you need a whole network to move things along.

A great housing agent should know great property managers, mortgage brokers and relocation services. Being able to call just one agent who can plug you into a whole range of services means making the complicated, tiring process of moving to another country just that little bit easier.

And when you’re new in town, having that network of service is undoubtedly invaluable.

One of the reasons Martijn Schneider created the website HousingAgent.com was to create a robust, worldwide online platform showcasing select real estate professionals who are dedicated to serving the unique needs of the expat community.

Martijn Schneider

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Martijn Schneider

Martijn Schneider is the founder of HousingAgent.com and has been active in the international real estate market for the past 20 years. Active in the domain name industry and property...

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