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If you are stuck with a poor performing Company Assigned Agent (CAA) the first thing to do is immediately let your Head Office back home (not in China) know about the experience and DEMAND that you get a better agent. If the new agent is not much better and there is no way out of the agency agreement, you will often have to manage the viewing and deal yourself.
Be very clear and firm with the agent and tell them that you only want to see properties that match close to your requirements. If you are not being shown these tell them you will talk to their Manager and they should improve. When you finally find a property you feel fits your criteria for a new home, follow some of the following advice to help you through what may be a difficult negotiation and into your new home.
- Draw up your own terms and conditions in an Offer Letter and stick with them for awhile then give in a couple, little by little and slowly, but not too slow that you lose the place to someone else
- Put in the Offer Letter a list of MUST HAVES and WOULD LIKE TO HAVE so the agent has an idea of what to push for
- Ask any fellow expats in your company to assist/advise on negotiations as they will have on ground knowledge and experience
- If you have any problems think of some creative solutions and check with other expats to see if they are feasible. Sometimes rookie agents don’t have good problem solving skills but on the other hand, there maybe a cultural difference
- Source advice from other trusted agents, colleagues and expat forums like Shanghaiexpat, Asiaxpat etc….
More advice on housing and leasing can be found HERE!