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Hong Kong - Property Search
If you are employing the assistance of a real estate agent then it is important to use a licensed one. To see if an agent is licensed, or to search for one, you can use the License List on the Estate Agents Authority (EAA) website. The searches can be made using the agent’s name or license number.
Real Estate Agents Authority
48/F, Hopewell Centre, 183 Queen's Road East Wanchai, Hong Kong
Tel: 852 2111 2777
Before signing a provisional agreement for sale and purchase with a landlord, your real estate agent should provide you with a copy of the latest land search record and a Property Information Form. This information should include any existing encumbrances, year built, ownership information, and any user restrictions of the property. The real estate agent should do the land search, assuming the property is registered. You can also ask a surveyor to do this for you.
The Land Registry-Public Services
Queensway Government Offices
Tel: 852 3105 0000
Once you enter into an agreement with a real estate agent, you must still pay their commission if you purchase a property during the period of the contract’s validity. If you view a property through your agent and then purchase the property from the landlord, for instance, then you will still be required to pay the agent’s fee.
There are various websites that can help you get a feel for what is currently available in Hong Kong. Websites such as Hong Kong Homes http://www.hongkonghomes.com/ and Squarefoot http://www.squarefoot.com.hk/ have available listings in Hong Kong. These websites allow you to search for available properties by price and location. You might also look at recent market trends on Squarefoot to see properties that have sold recently and what the purchase price was on these properties.
A good estate agent should be able to show you properties all over the city, although they might be more likely to show you the available properties in their area. If you know which area you would rather live in then it might be suggested that you look for an existing agent in that area. If not, then ensure that the agent is comfortable and willing to show you areas on the other side of town before making a commitment to them.
Some expats find that they are able to find what they need in older buildings while others prefer new developments. In some of the newer developments you are more likely to find other amenities such as gyms and swimming pools. However, the square footage is often smaller. In older buildings, there tend to be fewer amenities but the space can be larger and the price can be lower. It is generally recommended that potential buyers check out several properties before committing to one.
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