Unrealistic Expectations Can Sour Relations With Agents

This article starts with a somewhat shocking statistic, which immediately draws you in to read the rest of the article! At what point does disappointment or resentment kick in? Perhaps some badly managed or unrealistic expectations set from the get go? How does one know whether they’re dealing with a trustworthy or reputable real estate agent?

We found it quite an interesting article!

Unrealistic Expectations Can Sour Relations With Agents

Only 16% of people selling their properties trusted their estate agents, according to a Homeowner Insights study conducted by Absa and Columinate.

A possible reason for this statistic is a lack of realistic expectations set out from the beginning of the homeowner’s interaction with the estate agent, says Adrian Goslett of RE/MAX of Southern Africa.

“Estate agents need to be upfront with clients and from the outset give realistic guidelines and information about what they can expect from the agent and sales process.”

“It is important to take into consideration that of the 40,000 estate agents operating in South Africa, not everyone can be considered to be a full-time professional agent, regardless of their qualifications,” says Goslett.

“The property sales process is complex and should be handled by a professional who has the necessary experience. It takes a long time to build trust, and only one act can break it.”

“For agents to change the perception of them in the market they need to do what they say they are going to do.”

“If expectations have been established, the agent needs to follow through to ensure expectations are met to their client’s satisfaction. Agents build a metaphoric ‘trust bank’ with their clients, making deposits by being trustworthy and sticking to their word,” says Goslett.

Even if an agent has the right qualification to sell a property, it does not mean they are trustworthy or reputable.

“The agent may be qualified to deal with the complexity of a property sales transaction, but this will not give the seller insight into whether they are ethical in their business practices. The only way a seller will know whether they are dealing with an ethical agent is by contacting their previous clients for references.”

“As with most services professionals, the best agent is a referral from a trusted source, such as a family member or friend,” advises Goslett.

He says, while it is essentially the individual agent who needs to ensure he or she acts in an honourable manner, there are measures in place to ensure clients are not without recourse if the dealings turn sour.

“Buyers and sellers should only deal with estate agents who hold a Fidelity Fund Certificate, issued by the Estate Agents Affairs Board,” says Goslett. “The board aims to regulate the industry and ensure consumers are protected in their dealings with real estate agents.”

“The board manages and controls the Estate Agents Affairs Fund, which reimburses someone who, under certain circumstances, has suffered a loss due to dealings with an estate agent, such as mishandling money that has been entrusted to them.”

If a dispute arises between an agent and a client, and depending on the circumstances, the board will set up mediation to ensure the matter is resolved.

Many of the agreements that estate agents use when entering into a contract with a client will have a clause that deals with disputes and the procedure that must be followed should one occur.

Goslett says if a matter is not resolved by the Estate Agents Affairs Board, the client can contact an attorney to take legal action.

Issued by RE/MAX Southern Africa –

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