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Selecting the right agent
A professional, fully-qualified estate agent from a reputable agency can be an invaluable asset for sellers wanting to market their property at the best possible price and sell it in the shortest possible time, says Adrian Goslett, CEO of RE/MAX of Southern Africa.
"A good agent has in-depth market knowledge, resources and the ability to value a property at its true, market-related value, as well as ensure that the property is marketed to the right target audience with maximum exposure," says Goslett. "This is highly important to the success of the property sale transaction as statistics show that a correctly priced home which is exposed to the right audience will sell within a relatively short period of time."
According to Goslett, the key for sellers is selecting the correct agent to do the job. So how does the seller know if they are dealing with the right agent? "The change in legislation within the real estate industry has meant that estate agents are required to have a certain qualification to practise their trade and sellers can be assured of a level of professionalism across the board. However, it is important for a seller to be working with an agent that has specific knowledge of their particular area and someone that they can trust and feel comfortable with," says Goslett.
He notes that the initial step for sellers is to see which agents are working in their area by looking at the marketing and advertising boards in their region. Goslett advises that working with an agent from a brand that is well known and highly-regarded in the industry is essential. "Top names in property got there by having solid marketing strategies in place and constantly looking at ways of improving the service that they offer. Although the public has become more aware of the importance of dealing with a professional agent, very few ask to see evidence that the agent is legally registered. Buyers and sellers alike should request proof that both the agent and the agency are in possession of the necessary certificates," he says.
As a part of the process in selecting the right agent, Goslett advises sellers to arrange an interview with any potential agent. "A seller’s home is often the greatest financial asset that they have, so it vital that they meet with the agent and ask them questions regarding other properties that have sold in the area. While it may be an easy task to list large numbers of properties, the real expertise lies in selling. Closing a deal and seeing the transaction through to transfer takes a certain amount of skill and dedication, therefore it vital for sellers to choose an agent who has a proven track record in sales," he says, "A seller should ask the agent how many properties they have sold, what the original asking prices were and what selling prices were achieved. Sellers should also request that any agent listing their home provide a detailed plan, laying out how they intend to maximise the chances of selling the property."
He notes that the estate agent and the seller must be able to communicate effectively and both understand each other's perspective. "The seller must feel as though they can trust the agent and that the agent cares about and understands their situation. If the channels of communication are open, an agent and seller will be able to work together to achieve the agreed upon objectives. Essentially the agent and the seller both want the same thing, which is to sell the property for a realistic price in the fastest possible time," he says. "Buyers are also looking for the right property at the right price. A professional, qualified estate agent will be able to match all of these elements to ensure a successful sale," Goslett concludes.