The appointment of an estate agent to sell your property can make an enormous difference to the final price you will get for it, the time it takes to sell and the stress that you may – or may not – be subjected to during the sale process.
“It always surprises me,” says Barry Fourie, the National Training Manager for the Rawson Property Group, “how little research some property sellers do before deciding whom to appoint as their estate agent.” By way of contrast, those who understand property will, before making an appointment, always carefully assess such factors as:
1. The agency’s – or the agency group’s – infrastructure and operating systems.
2. The agent’s track record to date, especially in the last six months, and, equally important, his knowledge of his neighbourhood. This can usually be revealed by asking for a comparative market analysis.
3. The sophistication or general appeal of the agency’s online data – a really good website is almost always indicative of an efficient agency.
4. The agent’s own marketing techniques and his negotiation skills – which can often only be investigated by talking to previous clients.
5. Testimonials from other clients lodged with the agent (if he has them).
6. The regularity and effectiveness of the agency group’s training: some, says Fourie, are excellent and others pay only lip service to training or neglect it, usually with serious consequences.
Throughout South Africa, says Fourie, there is a belief among sellers that the more agents they appoint, the better their chances will be of selling quickly and at a satisfactory price.
“One can understand how this belief has come about,” says Fourie, “but all my experience goes to show that this concept is totally false. With open mandates there is always the fear in the agent that he may be pipped at the post by a rival. Agents will often therefore scramble to be the first to come up with an offer – whether or not it is a good one.”
On a sole mandate, the agent is contractually committed to providing a really comprehensive service – and has the power and the time to negotiate with those putting in unacceptable bids so as to ensure that they revise their ideas. Furthermore, the agent with a sole mandate is far more likely to focus on that property, spend heavily on advertising it and probably, in my experience, come up with a better than expected price – particularly in today’s market where many buyers, having decided they like a property, simply do not have the time to let it go and look for another.
This article “Sellers Must Take Great Care In The Appointment Of Their Estate Agent” was issued by Rawson Property Group SA – http://www.rawson.co.za/