Finding an English realtor in Seoul can be very hard. There really aren’t that many. Finding a good realtor that speaks English is even more difficult.
Luckily, there is a service out there to help foreigners looking for housing. They can provide assistance with the whole housing process. From finding a house to signing a contract. All in English, Japanese, or Mandarin.
The service in question is Ziptoss. Now an established realty service in Seoul for foreigners, this service has helped hundreds of people moving to Seoul.
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What is Ziptoss?
Ziptoss is a realtor service based in Seoul. They have been operating for a few years offering Korean realty services (and they are very recommended – a 4.4-star rating on the Play Store). More recently, they have begun offering FULL realty services in English.
If you have never tried finding housing in Korea then you might not know how difficult it is. Because it really is very difficult.
While it is possible to find housing with the language barrier, it is NEVER worth signing a contract unless it is either in your own language or if you have a fluent speaker with you to help translate.
There are very few English housing services in Seoul, to begin with. On top of this, none of these services offers the ease and platforms of Ziptoss. They offer apps for both Android and IOS and they also have a website that makes the process very straightforward.
If you are looking for an English realtor in Seoul then Ziptoss is your best bet.
Who is Ziptoss For?
Ziptoss is for anyone looking for housing in Seoul. They offer one-rooms (which are ideal for students), all the way up to apartments with multiple bedrooms.
Ziptoss has housing options all over the city. A lot of them!
They also offer both short-term (two months – one year) and long term rentals. Making them a great choice for short term visitors as well – visitors such as exchange students. With Seoul being one of the best student cities in the world this is becoming even more relevant!
If you speak English, Japanese or Chinese and need assistance with finding housing then Ziptoss is ideal for you. No matter what kind of housing you have in mind!
Perhaps the biggest question at this point is ‘how much does the service cost?’. Thankfully, not much!
For a contract (regardless of length) the cost will be 200,000KRW. This is a fixed price and includes all costs (finding a house meeting your requirements, house visiting, and contract signing).
Initially, this may sound like a lot. However, it is worth keeping in mind that realtors fees in Korea usually sit in the 150,000-200,000KRW range. Personally, I paid 150,000 to my realtor and that was at a local (Korean) realtor.
For the services that Ziptoss provides the prices are competitive. When considering that they offer everything in English, the price becomes quite fair.
Housing can be found to fit nearly any budget. From no deposit options (which are available in a few areas) to options in the hundreds of thousands of dollars. There are a TON of different options.
The service is also fantastic for students who are looking for housing close to universities. They offer many options in the under $500 per month range.
If you are interested in using Ziptoss to find housing within Seoul then you are in luck – they have a very straightforward and simple system.
Just change the language to English and you are good to go!
Since their service covers everything (house finding until contract signing and after), you will begin at the very start of the housing procedure. To begin, you will be asked some questions:
- What is your budget for both the deposit and monthly rent?
- How long do you want to stay/what dates will you move in and out?
- What is the most important aspect for you when looking for an apartment?
- How many people will live in the apartment?
- Do you have a pet/car?
- Finally, they ask that you let them know how you were referred to the service and to provide contact details. If you were referred by this article please feel free to mention ‘Seoulinspired’!
Once you answer the questionare you will be contacted by a staff member who will keep you updated and who can answer your questions.
The moving form is very straightforward!
Typically it takes only a few days for them to find some housing options that are suitable for you. From there, you are able to view and tour the options that are available.
Viewing the options will usually only take an hour or two and you are able to ask any questions that you may have about the apartment. The staff will also explain how the utilities work, furnishings and every other essential aspect.
Finally, once you have chosen a location, you can sign the contract. Ziptoss will help with this service and they provide contracts in your chosen language. An example (English) contract can be seen here.
Perhaps the best part about the service is that they will help you with any issues that may arise even after you have signed. With most similar services, you are left alone once the contract is signed.
This means that if you have any issues with your apartment or a related issue then you are free to reach out to the staff for assistance.
Contacting the company with any inquiries is very simple and straightforward. Their three main contact options are:
There are almost no requirements for this English realty service and that is another aspect that makes it fantastic for any foreigner in Seoul. An ARC (Alien Registration Card) is NOT required, and only a passport is needed.
Further, Ziptoss accepts many different forms of payment meaning that a Korean bank account isn’t even required. From Paypal to cash to card, they will accept all common forms of payment.
Looking for a House Before Coming to Korea?
Ziptoss is the ideal option for anyone wanting to get their housing sorted before landing!
Looking for a house before coming to Korea can be difficult. In fact, most realtors won’t even allow you to sort your accommodation out before physically being in Korea.
Ziptoss will, however, allow you to find housing before you land in Korea. Whether you are a month away from landing or a week, you can find housing and make sure that everything is settled for your arrival.
To make sure that you get the ideal place, they will provide a tour in the form of photos and videos. From this media, you are able to pick the apartment which best suits your needs.
It is possible to stay at an AirBnB (or other cheap accommodation) for a week while looking for housing. However, it’s also nice to know that everything is sorted before you land.
Benefits of Ziptoss
Ziptoss Housing also has a few more benefits that may not seem obvious at first. If you have read the whole post above then I have already mentioned most of these.
However, I want to provide a short summary of what makes Ziptoss an ideal choice.
Speed – Ziptoss is fast. From when you contact them to the contract signing can take only a matter of days. Once you provide your housing requirements they will quickly get back to you (within a day or two) with the available options. From there, you can view the options and sign the contract.
Language options – Not only is English available, but also Chinese and Japanese.
Cost – The cost is comparable (and sometimes cheaper) than local realtors. On top of this, you also get all of the benefits of everything being in your native language. This means no miscommunication or future issues.
After contract assistance – even after you sign the contract you can get assistance from Ziptoss. In English! Of course, issues can arise at anytime, and this is another benefit of using this service. You can expect assistance with any issues that come up or with any inquiries that you might have – even after you have moved in!
The whole process is very simple!
Ease – With a local realtor it can be pretty hard to move in without having a Korean bank account. Many realtors will also require you to have an ARC – something which makes moving in difficult. Ziptoss, however, will allow you to move in with only your passport!
Not in Korea yet? No problem! – Ziptoss will allow you to get your housing sorted before you move to Korea. This is unusual for most realtors in Seoul and is a definite advantage if you want to get your accommodation sorted before you move!
Reviews and Testimonials
If you are still unsure of whether or not this service is for you then I highly recommend viewing their ratings. While most of the reviews are in Korean, they have a 4.4-star rating on the Play Store, 5-star rating on the App Store, and a 4.9-star rating on Google.
The Best English Realtor in Seoul?
The biggest disadvantage to Ziptoss is that they can, at times, have limited housing options. Since they are only one realtor, they won’t have the largest variety.
However, that isn’t to say that they don’t have a fantastic variety and something ideal for you. Besides this, there really aren’t any major downsides to the service.
The price is either similar or cheaper than other services (especially those provided in English), and the whole process is very polished and smooth.
Finally, the fact that you can get assistance even after contract signing is a fantastic benefit. You can rest assured that translation issues won’t arise in the future.
Disclaimer: This post was sponsored by Ziptoss. However, all opinions stated in this post are my own. I got to experience the process of finding a house with Ziptoss and it was better than every experience I have had with other local realtors. I chose to write this article as I understand how difficult it is to find a house in Seoul without knowing Korean.