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ShanghaiHousing

Shanghai Real Estate Agent Scams & Warnings

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Types of real estate agents in Shanghai

1) The unlicensed, ad posting, coffee shop girls.
Working out of a coffee shop sitting in the corner using the free wifi to post ads online of apartments and usually posting a few dating ads at the same time. Any connection or interaction with a foreigner could lead to a possible rental or sale right ?

These girls could be considered to be very smart, they usually end up making friend, drinking and dining with high profile expats, they get to improve their english for free. and the commission from renting a single apartment could be more than they would make working for 6 months in a full time office job.

2) The Street shops agencies with migrant workers.
Usually migrant workers who come to Shanghai when the market is hot and return to their hometowns in a downturn. It is very rare to find a local Shanghainese working in these real estate shops, quite surprising considering the large commissions on offer if a sale actually goes though. However working for the local agency doesn't quite have the same prestige or face giving value as working a office job in a large company.

Take a look into any agency window and you are likely to see lots of fresh young agents looking very busy on the telephone or computer often starting very early in the morning and leaving very late at night. Sleeping in the office is not uncommon too.

What these agents are actually doing all day is trying to match buyers with sellers, they do this by calling 1000s of landlords every day asking them if they want to buy or sell updating the database accordingly. Now remember how many agencies there are on certain streets, these agencies are calling the same landlords again and again which results in landlords to simply stop answering there phone or to change number.

Unfortunately China doesn't have a MLS yet and exclusive listings are very rare. Luckily for foreigners these agents know foreigners have a hard time owning property in China and dont bother with them.

Some newcomers to Shanghai have the misconception that these agents can get them a better price on an rental deal, and that expat or english speaking agents are more expensive. - This misconception is far from the truth and could end up costing you dearly.

3) Corporate Relocation Companies.
Perhaps you have relocated to Shanghai with a relocation company provided by your employer, If the relocation company is  will distribute your requirements.

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