Due Diligence Part I – Know your Agent and safe yourself a lot of trouble
If you think that DD starts once you have actually decided to buy a particular villa and that this is something for your lawyer or notary only then think again because you could save yourself a lot of trouble.
I recommend you get in DD mode right from the beginning, right after you type ‘Bali real estate’ or ‘Bali property for sale’ in a Google search and start browsing all those wonderful real estate websites. Trusting that Google knows what’s good for your, you click on those links that Google features on top of its first search result page – but trust me, Google doesn’t really have a clue. It may propel that website to the top of its search that has more listings than other sites but then Google doesn’t know what a good listing is. And how can you know better? Well, not so easy indeed, particularly not from afar. Here are some clues: find out whether the agency is licensed and how long it has been operating for. Is it a member of the real estate association or not? See what you can find in the internet about the agency or ask someone who actually bought in Bali about his experiences. Beware that some agencies are posting a lot of hot air on their site just to gain more weight and a better ranking with Google but they actually don’t have much of a clue about many of their listings or only know half the truth. They may not know the seller of the property, and don’t really have a sales mandate either. Too bad, if you fall in love with one of those properties as you will find out that it’s actually not for sale (anymore) or never was or not at that price or …. That’s step number one.
Once you have decided which websites you like you are about to start a conversation with an agent or several agents on those sites, and again, you will probably like one more than the other. Could be because of how quickly an agent replies to you and how resourceful he seems to be or how long he has actually lived in Bali or because he is Swiss and you trust in Swiss quality – that first Omega on your wrist you got as a kid is still ticking fine – or because he is French and you trust French taste and prefer croissants to Pumpernickel. That’s your second step in undertaking due diligence: find an agent that responds well and knows his stuff and whom you would trust to watch your kids. Not a bad idea to Google him and see what you can find …
In the next installment of my DD mini blog, we will travel to Bali and start inspecting properties that u have shortlisted. I bet you will not buy the property that’s on top of your shortlist. Why, I will explain in my next installment.