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Local Chinese Agents are NOT Cheaper than Expat Agents or English Speaking Agents!

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A common misconception among expats new to Shanghai is that a local Chinese agent or agency will be cheaper, or have the ability to get a better price on a property in opposed to a English speaking or Expat agency.

Now if your budget is less than 4000 RMB, then your only option might be to use a local Chinese agency (street shop), as the work involved with sourcing and negotiating for a property of this price is generally too much trouble for many agents to want to get involved with.

The reason behind why local Chinese agencies they are not cheaper is that you personally do not pay any cash to the agent, they are paid by the landlord usually the amount one months rental fee.

Here is where it gets confusing: Because the agents get 1 months commission from the landlord, if they negotiate a better rental fee on your behalf with the landlord, then they are also reducing their commission amount. so.... what motivates an agent to negotiate for a better price on a property ?

A few reasons why you Should use a reputable expat orientated agency is that they usually provide a myriad of additional services and aftercare support for no additional fee, such as City Orientation, Domestic Help, Cross Cultural Training, Visa and Legal Support. The expat agencies are familiar with the problems expats have when relocating to Shanghai and have the solutions ready.

Their Business is built on referrals and relationships, to get those referrals a good expat focused agency will support you though your stay in Shanghai and assist with your departure and getting your deposit back when its time to leave.

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