Seller Advice: Selecting An Estate Agent
Avoid Mistakes Sellers make selecting an Agent
Selling your property should be just like any other business transaction, but very often South African property sellers make decisions based on emotion or impulse that end up costing them both large amounts of money and often loads of time.
Selecting the right estate agent to market, negotiate the terms and sell your property is singularly the most critical part of the process.
Take your time and give the following some thought.
Selecting an Estate Agent that just agrees with your opinion of the property's selling price.
There's no doubt that certain agents will simply tell you exactly what you want to hear when it comes to selling your property but unfortunately this can be an expensive lesson.
This is referred to as “buying a listing”. It's a tactic utilised by estate agents who are really more interested in their own goals than they are in you achieving yours. In current market conditions it is an extremely poor strategy if you actually want to get your property sold.
The reality is that your property garnishes the most attention from prospective property buyers when it comes on the market as a new listing or sole mandate.
If priced correctly, more buyers will see it. If you overprice your property in today's market-wise buyers won't even take the time to view it and it's going to languish on the market.
When you eventually are forced to reduce your price to the property's true value, it's already “tired” and canny buyers who watch the market may well believe you are getting desperate.
This may well result in offers coming in at low prices and you may end up having to consider prices that are below what you could have achieved had your property been priced at a market related level in the first place.
Remember that buyers buy by comparison and elimination and by overpricing your property you make the homes you are competing with look even more attractive.
Selecting your Estate Agent without qualification checks, references or client endorsements
Gut Feel isn't enough. You are hiring a professional - make sure you are getting one!
Property sellers should not be afraid to ask questions and determine how experienced and qualified their estate agent is.
Ask for proof of the fact that the agent and agency hold current and valid Fidelity Fund Certificates from the Estate Agents Affairs Board, ask them if they have completed the regulatory qualifications in terms of the National Qualifications Framework, any advanced qualifications or designations, how long they have been practicing in the area, if they have clients who will endorse them on recent sales or whether they have recent endorsement letters, what their average listing to selling time and listing to selling price is.
Whilst the length of time an estate agent has been in the industry may be relevant it isn't all you should be looking at - recent track record of the estate agent and agency are just as important.
Selecting your Estate Agent because they are a “friend” or family
Friendship or familial connections alone are really not the yardstick to use to measure competency or ability to get your property sold.
In selecting your estate agent to market what for most folks is their biggest asset requires a higher standard - in the same manner in which you would select any other professional like an attorney, a medical specialist, or a financial advisor.
Very often sellers select their friends or family members who have limited knowledge of the area or no track record of sales there.
Any good friend will understand that this is a business call and will expect to compete for right to market and sell your property. Outside of this, real estate transactions and negotiations can be tricky and emotionally charged which can make things very uncomfortable for both parties.
Selecting your Estate Agent based on a slick presentation
Take a careful look at more than one presentation, ask questions about the content, ask for empirical data and weigh up the pros and cons for your specific needs. Making an impulse decision or granting a mandate based on being impressed with a showy presentation which isn't substantiated with facts and figures can be a disaster.
A top estate agent will include specific details on the area, prices, provide a Comparative Marketing Analysis (CMA), details their sales record and provide you with a detailed marketing plan specific to your property.
Selecting an estate agent based on a low commission offering
Simply put - you really do get what you pay for. A cheap commission may get you “listed” and a board in front of your property - and little else.
The “put up a board and pray” method with no additional agent interaction in this market won't get you the desired result.
Quality agents and agencies invest large sums of their own funds in marketing and advertising South African properties for sale.
Marketing and advertising houses is expensive and very often it's a case of the lower the commission, the less incentive there is for an agent or an agency to front funds to market a home.
Negotiating ability is probably an estate agents single most valuable skill - how comfortable are you entrusting your asset to an agent who is unable to negotiate or substantiate their own professional fee?
Selecting an estate agent without considering their agency
Professional estate agents, like those at Chas Everitt, are operating under the banner of larger well-established agencies with teams of agents and multiple offices do offer you certain advantages.
Major National real estate brands offer many additional advantages including larger marketing and advertising budgets, more powerful website offerings, group buyer referral programmes, and much wider overall marketing exposure for your home.
The larger estate agencies often have larger agent bases which helps as this again increases the amount of professional agents who will be exposed to your property and have their own buyer lists and acts as additional marketers of your home.
Top real estate brands also are often better at providing relevant ongoing education to their estate agents - this means your agent is often better educated, up to date and qualified to offer a top end marketing service.
Selecting an estate agent based on a promise to hold show houses EVERY week
Show houses can and do sell property in South Africa - but not always yours. Whilst this should be one of the tools in the professional estate agents armory, it should never be the only one.
Show houses are also undeniably more important in certain areas than others.
Professional estate agents do not put all their property selling efforts on showhouses alone but utilise their energy, time and effort in a myriad of marketing methods.
Selecting an estate agent because they tell you they sold more homes in the last year than anyone else.
Whilst this may be true and valid to a degree - it's only a part of the equation. Which would you choose - an estate agent who listed 150 houses for sale and sold 21 or an agent who listed 21 houses for sale and sold 20?
Again if the estate agent listing 150 and selling 20 sold these at 70% of the listing price compared to the second agent who sold theirs at 95% of the listing price?
Sellers really need to ask pertinent questions of their estate agents:
- How many of the agent's listings failed to sell?
- How long the properties they sold houses were actually on the market?
- What was the agents marketing and after sale plan?
- How often do they provide feedback on marketing efforts?
Whilst sales volume is important - make sure the quality component is present as well!
Selling through a Chas Everitt Estate Agent
There are a number of factors to consider when selling your home. These range from identifying a fair price for your property, granting sole mandates, choosing the right agency and understanding the sales process. With over 30 years of experience in the South African property market,
Chas Everitt estate agents are qualified and experienced to provide quality service and advice during the entire sales process.
Chas Everitt has a track record spanning over 30 years of service, so you can safely entrust us with the care of your assets.
We also offer our Sellers a written Service Guarantee which confirms in writing that we will cancel our agreement with the Seller if we fail to meet our promises.
Our agents are trained to high standards, are highly professional and supported by the latest technologies, products and services. Our policy is to be No 1 in service to our customers - always.
Allow one of our experienced estate agents provide you with an up to date evaluation - simply call the Chas Everitt National Call Number on +27 860 104 355 and we will get one of our local estate agents to arrange a viewing appointment at your convenience.
Author: Chas Everitt