UNDERSCORING THE IMPORTANCE OF ESTATE AGENTS
Category General News
IT MIGHT seem to make sense, to save money, to consider cutting out the middle man, the estate agent, when it comes to buying, renting or selling property – but those who think along such lines might want to think twice.
Generally speaking, an agent, being clued-up about property supply and demand, is au fait with recent going prices for homes in a specific area. He or she comes with good knowledge of average home prices, and often has more fresh and accurate listing data than what is available to consumers.
Also an agent, as your loyal and dedicated professional middleman, is there to offer practical advice about bonds and loans, as well as all legalities involved in the buy-sell process. He or she acts as the voice of reason between buyers and sellers, handling all scheduling and negotiation on a client’s behalf.
He or she will deal with any hiccups and get all the fiddly bits done quickly – such as advertising and arrangements for home viewings. He or she will take all steps to get your worries discussed and solved, providing more peace of mind.
The commission an agent receives is not money for nothing. An agent provides a dedicated service that involves a lot of running around, ongoing negotiation and scheduling. A client is also paying for an agent’s professional experience, knowledge, data base and marketing infrastructure.
Approached for comment, Corne Austin, office manager of the Dormehl Phalane Property Group’s Hartbeespoort Dam branch, said: “It is our opinion that when individuals decide to sell their home, they lack the knowledge and correct data to make educated decisions and often become too emotionally involved.
He adds: “For this reason, it is advisable to use a reputable, experienced agent in the area where the property is located, to get the best advice and guidance.’
The key responsibility of a qualified and experienced estate agent, explains Austin, is to accept a mandate from a seller who is willing to listen to sound real estate advice on a variety of matters which make up the selling process of property.
“One of my favourite challenges posed to agents is establishing the asking price of a property – based on a statistical breakdown of recent sales in the area, current market conditions and future projections of increase/decrease of value in the suburb/area.
“A respectable agent will be able to put together a good presentation in this regard to support his or her reasoning when presenting a seller with the suggested selling price of their property.”
Employing the best platforms to advertise/expose the property is most certainly also a great point of discussion, advises Austin.
“Most estate agents advertise on major portals, in major newspapers, on social media and many other marketing platforms.This, in my opinion, sometimes overshadows the value of an experienced agent’s ‘matching’ capabilities.
“These agents can meet buyers/sellers in social circumstances and effectively bring together matching parties effortlessly – they live the industry!
“The under-utilisation of show days is also rife in the industry. Agents are up against a good few challenges in this regard – for example, home-owners’ associations that don’t allow for show days, and security issues when on show in less-secure suburbs.
“When an agent does, however, have the opportunity of showing a property – be it a full ‘on show’ day on a Saturday or Sunday, or open-hour during the week – he or she should use the opportunity to its fullest. Show houses remain one of the simplest but most effective marketing techniques available to committed real estate agents.”
Austin states that qualities that make up a reliable and knowledgeable estate agent should be highly appreciated and remunerated accordingly.
While there is an industry standard of 7.5% plus VAT, it is up to the agent and his/her client to negotiate and settle on an acceptable monetary sum to indicate the value which was added to effect a swift and stress-free property transaction.
“An agent’s ability to negotiate his or her fee gives him or her freedom to make transactions come to fruition, to the benefit of all parties involved,” Austin explains.
“Most sellers do not want to pay full commission, but seasoned agents are able to cross that bridge easily and will not be deterred to ‘make the deal happen’.
“Some agents have been able to win over their client base to such an extent that clients are willing to pay them up to 12% commission, as they are seen as a valuable asset to the client’s property portfolio – in acting more as a confidant than, simply put, an ‘estate agent’.”
Author: Billy Suter