A good real estate agent will help and guide you to list your property at the right price while considering the market and previously sold properties of a similar size and location. At Leadhome we will make sure you get the best price at an affordable fee. Take a look at our new flexible price offering, designed to suit your needs when selling.
Here are a few things to look for when you are choosing an estate agent:
- Reputation & registration
- Services they offer, marketing plans and online platforms
- The cost of these services
Important Factors to Consider when Choosing a Real Estate Agent
Selling a house in South Africa can take anywhere between three to six months, so get a real estate agent that you trust and get along with because you will have to rely on their services for quite some time.
If nobody you know can give you a solid recommendation, start by looking at who the active estate agents are in your area. They are probably popular for a good reason – like having access to a pool of active buyers. Get in touch with them and arrange to meet in person.
You can gauge an agent’s expertise by asking them a few crucial questions about the industry and their relevant experience. A professional estate agent will be registered with the Estate Agency Affairs Board (EAAB). This governing body issues estate agents with a document called a Fidelity Fund Certificate (FFC) and you may request to see this.
Next, you need to find out what the estate agent can do for you. Will they be able to assist you with a good fair market valuation? What do their marketing endeavours entail? Can they assist you with negotiations? What level of support do they offer throughout the process? Who will show your home to potential buyers? Do they have a solid track record, do they have qualified buyers and do you believe they will act in your best interests?
Then you need to find out what commission or fee they have in mind as the seller is liable to cover that expense. An estate agent’s commission is negotiable (in most cases) and tied to a percentage of the final sale price. This, along with the services they are willing to render for the fee, should be documented and signed by both parties before the transaction commences. These details are generally captured in a mandate because a mandate is a legally binding contract between the client and the estate agent. It is important that you understand the nuances of all the different kinds of mandates. Read more about it here.
How to Compare Estate Agencies
Nowadays, there are estate agencies that challenge the old and traditional model. If you do some online research, you will find that there are various levels of service you can opt for these days. Do you want a full-service agent? Or would you like more control? Some agencies don’t do show days, for example, instead the seller shows the home to potential buyers. Find what model serves your needs.
If you are active on social media, do a search on the estate agent and the agency for whom they work. You will be able to tell if they in fact market any properties on social media, as well as get a sense of the company’s culture. Social media platforms can be thought of as shopfronts – would you go into a shop if the first thing you saw was a tatty display window? Didn’t think so. if there hasn’t been any activity on the pages in a while, that is not the best sign.
Google offers a review section which might be active for some estate agencies. You will also find a review section on Facebook Business Pages. Social media has become a big support platform, so have a look and see if they respond to their clients. They might be publishing content to look active, but if they are not responding to comments, they are not doing it right.
Questions to Ask the Prospective Estate Agent
Selling your home doesn’t have to be stressful. A qualified agent will be able to guide you every step of the way. Here are questions you can ask to establish the expertise of your prospective estate agent.
- How long have you been in the industry?
- How long have you been operational in my area?
- Do you hold a valid Fidelity Fund Certificate?
- And how many homes have you sold this month, this year, and in your career?
- What is a realistic price for my home in the current market? And how do you support this claim?
- Do you know how many homes are in the market in my area?
- How long are properties like mine sitting on the market for?
- Are people in my area achieving their listing price?
- What marketing strategy will you use to promote my property?
- Who do you think would be the target audience for my home?
- Will a professional photographer be taking pictures of my home?
- How and when will you keep me up to date with the progress of my home sale?
- What costs will I be liable for as a seller?
- Who will host the viewings? And will anyone accompany a buyer to the viewing?
- How are buyers screened? Are their identification numbers being checked against the home affairs database? Are they prequalified for a home loan with a bank?
- Can you recommend anything that would boost the appearance of my home?
- What must be disclosed to potential buyers?
- What compliance certificates do I need to sell my home?
Mistakes to Avoid when Choosing an Agent
It is critical to approach the sale of your home with careful consideration. Put in the time to do the research about your area’s property market and don’t neglect the search for your ideal estate agent.
An agent looking for a quick sale at your expense will likely try to flatter you with a valuation that is higher than the realistic sale price. Keep a level head. The sale of a property can be emotionally trying, and it is best to keep matters of the heart and mind separate so that you can make the best decisions.
Estate agents charge a fee for their services, and it is your right to negotiate this amount with them. Bear in mind that this is an estate agent’s income. The person who agrees to the lowest commission might not always give you comprehensive support.
Sellers have reported that the key to a successful collaboration with an estate agent is effective communication. Carefully consider the way forward if you are struggling with communication and availability from the get-go.
An estate agent can make or break a home sale. They are, after all, the conduit between seller and buyer and help with all the niggly bits like negotiation and admin.
Look for a reputable estate agent with a valid Fidelity Fund Certificate (FFC) that you connect with. Use all the channels at your disposal to conduct this search.
If you are keen to sell your home with a professional property partner, take a look at what we can do for you:
- Market Valuation Report supported by data and area knowledge
- Professional photography to show off your home
- Marketing exposure to a big pool of active buyers
- Access to smart tools for real-time insights on your property 24/7
- Full-service from a talented team of experts
Get in touch with us to find out more about our fair and affordable fee structure. Search for an agent in your area: click here.