Looking for your new home in Santiago?
We are here to help!
First of all, we wish you good luck in your search.
Flat/house hunting can be epic, especially if you just arrived and have no Spanish knowledge. Let’s first have a look at the real estate market, then at how we can help you.
Santiago real estate market
Real estate market in Santiago has been growing steadily for the last few years. A lot of real estate developments have been initiated in 2015. You can see everywhere buildings under construction. Landlords are convinced that prices will keep growing to the moon. Yet the economy has slow down. The number of properties sold decreased by 39% in 2016 (compared to 2015). It becomes more difficult to sell, so an increase number of landlords are trying to rent. This means more properties on the market, and more room for negotiation.
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Psychology of landlords in Chile
Landlords in Chile do not have a lot of rational in determining the rental value of their property. Not all of them of course, but a lot, especially when they try to rent to foreigners. When we first meet them, they show up with a number in mind. And when we ask them how they have calculated it, the answer is usually:
- I have discussed with family or friends.
- That’s how much I have to pay each month for my mortgage.
- I looked at other properties online, and took the average.
Not really a scientific approach. One thing is common when dealing with foreigners, they tend to inflate their rental price.
A real life example: one landlord asked $3,000,000 for a house in El Golf neighborhood. Of course no tenant was interested to rent at such an inflated price. And 6 months later, the asking price is now $1,200,000 because the landlord has the monthly installments to pay. And the house still does not rent.
A lot of landlords don’t want to drop their price by $100-$200,000, because they don’t understand that having a vacant property for 6 months will cost them more on the long-term.
And what about real estate agents?
Let’s start with one simple fact: there is not any certification or agreement required to be a real estate agent in Chile.
ANYONE can be a real estate agent.
A lack of knowledge
- Most agents have no real estate training
- It is often a side activity they do on weekends or evenings
Agents are mostly on the landlord side
- Agents are often friends with landlords. And, they don’t want to hurt their friends by telling them that the asking price is not realistic, so they accept it without checking if it is in line with the market.
- They overprotect the landlord while drafting the contract, sometimes asking you to pay 6-10 months upfront.
A fragmented market
- Lots of agents have only 2-3 properties to manage. They don’t proactively search for properties. They just rent what their friends/family have to rent.
- In Chile, there are no Multiple Listing systems (MLS) allowing agents to show you what other agents have to rent in an area
Why use Expat.cl to rent a flat/house?
When relocating in Chile, you already have a lot of things to deal with: start your new job, learn the language, understand how Chile works, organize the kid’s life, re-create a network of friends. So the perspective of spending several weekends and evenings visiting crappy properties might not be the most enticing.
That’s why we take the pain out of finding your dream home. We offer professional services to simplify your life and save you time.
Personal inspection of all properties
This allows us to detect problems in advance, such as:
- Properties that are nothing like what is described in the ads
- Construction of a new building has just started in front of your future home
- “Near the metro” is actually 20-minute walking distance
- “Fully Refurbished” actually means the landlord has painted some walls…
Professional looking photos
of the real property
Some landlords take photos at night using a cheap smartphone. Others will use the photos of the show flat (for newly built properties), or publish lots of photos (swimming pool, entrance, gym) to hide the fact that their flat is not that great. At Expat.cl, we visit each property and take photos ourselves, or ask a pro to take them.
Properties at market price
We discuss rental price with the landlord. When needed, we show to the landlord others properties that we have rented, to educate him on the real value of his property. Finally, we reject any landlord who insists on renting at a price significantly above market.
Trained and certified by ACOP
ACOP is the oldest association of real estate brokers in Chile. It is nearly 75 years old. We have been doing a 1.5-month training with them, in order to know how to handle all legal aspects of lease agreements. This allows us to write/verify lease agreements.
We have two different services, depending on your specific needs and criteria.
Let’s have a look at them:
When acting as your relocation agent, we take care of the entire search. We analyze your budget and criteria, contact our partners to select the best properties for you on the market. Then we organize viewings so you can visit properties without wasting too much time.
- More comprehensive search: we explore the market for you
- Faster: we group viewings in one or two days so you can visit quickly properties that fit your criteria
- Can be part of a full relocation package, where we take care of all details of your relocation.
- A relocation package is more expensive than a real estate agent, although our clients quickly make their money back as we negotiate the rent for them
- Newcomers with limited knowledge of the real estate market, or who are not fluent in Spanish
- Expats who need to quickly find a property and want to group their viewings not to waste time
Real Estate agency
We also act as a more traditional real estate agent. If you choose this solution, we organize viewings of the listings that fit your needs in our current portfolio. However, we don’t liaise with other real estate agents to explore all the market for you.
- Properties in our portfolio have been reviewed before to ensure they are suitable for foreigners.
- More affordable, you only pay 50% of the first month as our fee.
- Search limited to the properties we currently have for rent
- You need to contact by yourself all other agencies to organize viewings
- Spanish-speaking foreigners who can handle their search by themselves