Why don’t real estate agents always show me what I asked them to?


Surprisingly, over 60% of people who start looking for, say, a 2-bed condo with a rental budget of Baht 12,000 per month, end up buying, say, a 3-bed Townhouse for Baht 8 million.9k=

Okay, okay…, maybe I am over exaggerating but, really, the number of people who think they know what they want as far as living accommodation goes, but don’t—or the number of people who start with one, fairly specific requirement only to do a 180 degree U-turn and lease or buy something quite different, is amazing!

So, the next time your agent shows you a property or two that wasn’t quite specified on your original wish list, don’t get too upset, as your agent is only trying to help you with your indecisiveness!

What do you think about this post? Have any experiences with good or bad agents?

Perfect Homes is a leading Chiang Mai real estate agency with extensive experience in the city, regionally, nationally and internationally.

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4 thoughts on “Why don’t real estate agents always show me what I asked them to?”

  • Jim In Chiang Mai

    I worked in the business in the USA and after moving permanently toThailand in January, 2013,I became aware of the is issue. My observations are:

    1 Here the agents ONLY rent/sell what they have in their inventory; there is no multiple listing service that allows an agent from realtor B, to show and sell what realtor A has a listing.

    2 To a lesser degree, agents here have not been trained to identify the customer’s needs/wants/limitations, etc.

    3 There are recognized cultural differences that need worked out through a combination of total honesty up front, and letting BOTH sides respect the notion of saving face. Communications is a two way process to build understanding and trust, and it keeps language misunderstandings to the minimal.

    I have personally had this happen several times. Worst case, my farang wife and I want a clean, modern, one story single family dwelling with a western kitchen, two or three bedroom for NOT more than 30,000 baht per month; we can agree to a five or even seven year lease. We totally communicated what we wanted AND our upper limit; we saw many things that were two story, dirty, old, broken down, bla bla bla. We said no; then we are shown EXACTLY what we want, measured rooms for existing possessions, negotiated a three year lease time frame with option to renew. We spent a lot of time, taxi driver costs. hired an interpreter to be sure everything was OK, several visits, almost bought furniture we wanted for the place … owner is flying in from Hong Kong to meet us and close the deal …. she is in Bangkok on her way here the day before we were to meet and sign. Then we were told 45,000 baht, not 30,000. Biggest waste of everyone’s time imaginable … the owner wasted a trip from Hong Kong … the agent did not listen or lied to us or the owner, or maybe BOTH? I know how to negotiate … I have lived in Thailand on and off nearly five years … I understand cultural differences. BUT. I do not respect being lied to. I can never trust that agent again. She lost her face with my, a farang wife, and the owner unless she lied to the owner.

    Biggest problem is lack of what in the USA calls multiple listing service … here everyone seems to fear being cheated out of their share of a deal I think.

    My wife and I are still looking. Hope this helps the discussion, and MAYBE some improvements.

  • Jim In Chiang Mai

    P.S. Sorry for the misspellings in my first response. I really respect Thai Kingdom, the Thai culture, and wish the Thai people the best in coming together in their time of issues.

    I also have been terribly embarked by the arrogance and demeaning of This law by so many farangs that openly disrespect Thai Immigration law, and requirements. If the people that have overstayed their visas and generally helped create the corruption of the system all get permanently banned from Thailand, I personally think Thailand will be a better place to everyone. I have a AO Retirement Visa and will do what I can to stay here legally until I die.

    I also think rents will come down when all the lawbreakers go somewhere else.

  • Perfect Homes (Chiang Mai Properties)

    Dear “Jim in Chiang Mai”,
    I am sorry to hear about your bad experience, From my understanding and listening to what you have said, it sounds like you were using a freelance agent.

    Here at Perfect Homes we do our best to ensure that prices are correct, but on occasions we have had our own nightmare situations. But we do try our best for our owners and clients alike. Which normally allows us to avoid these kind of situations.

  • Keith

    Some good points in Jim’s reply. We’d like to see the standards of estate agents improved, maybe even with some registration system such as in HK or Singapore. Maybe one day…. but, in the meantime, judging by the number of commendations our sales and leasing teams get, we certainly seem to have some of the better estate agents around!


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