The buyer typically pays the agent's fees. When you tell an agent what properties you want, you should think about any “extras” such as a pool, a garden or a covered parking facility.
To start your property search, you should first identify what price range you are looking for. The Omani riyal has typically had a higher value than the Euro and the Dollar – so make sure you really can afford a 500.000-riyal villa in Muscat Hills before you seriously start looking for a home there.
Finding and contacting an agent
The next step is contacting a real estate agent. Real estate agencies are abundant in Oman, and you should make sure that your agent is licensed and has had experience in the real estate industry. As of 2010, Oman has no real estate regulatory authority where you can easily check qualifications, but this is likely to change.
Real estate agents are useful because they have resources to make sure that due diligence is performed on a prospective property and can suggest property lawyers should you have any questions regarding contracts. A good agent will also make sure that the title deed (mulkiya) is registered correctly.
If you want an international real estate agency to represent you, Hamptons and Cluttons Oman have good reputations and a solid presence in Oman. If you want to use a local Arab agency, Noor Oman Realty and Eqarat.com Oman also have a number of listings and resources. Since there has been a large number of expatriates in the market, many estate agents will be able to speak English.
To contact an agent, give them a call or send them an email. If you need to make a pilot trip to see the properties, an agent will be able to arrange a schedule of appointments.
Purchasing a home with an agent
Once you have found a suitable property, you should meet with the seller and negotiate a price. Once the price and other terms and conditions have been agreed upon, you sign a sales agreement. Generally, a sales deposit of about 10% is made on signing the agreement.