Estate Agents How do you choose one?

When buying of selling a property, theres no doubt that you will need professional assistance to conclude a successful deal. Some people are confident enough to sell their own property, but the vast majority of homeowners still require the services of an estate agent to either sell their property or help them find a suitable home.

As in all industries, there are good and poor estate agents. The majority, however, are reputable professionals who aim to do the best job possible. Whilst the estate agent technically works for the seller, a good agent is one that brings value to the buyer as well as the seller and can quickly conclude a deal to mutual benefit.

When choosing an estate agent to sell your home, it is wise to establish who is active in your particular suburb, since they are likely to have potential buyers on their books for that area. They will also have a good idea of market related property values.

You might be considering an agency on their reputation as an organization, but it is important to meet with the individual agent who will be responsible for the sale of the property before you make your choice. A professional appearance goes without saying, but it is their knowledge of the home buying process and the local market that is really important. You will soon get an idea of the agents competencies by asking a few key questions, like the length of time theyve been in the industry and the law pertaining to property transactions.

They will ask questions of you and your needs, and here too, you will be able to assess their abilities by the type of questions they ask, e.g. Are you aware of any latent defects in the property? A professional will also give you advice on how far you need to go in respect of preparing your property for sale whether you need to do painting or repairs, and how much you should spend doing these to establish saleability versus over capitalisation. Listen to what an agent has to say as this will aid in selling your property and getting fair value.

A good agent will suggest a selling price of your home at a marketable level. Ask the agent to substantiate this value by giving you comparative prices of recently sold homes in your area. Be wary of an over-inflated of under-valued price. The agent might be trying to impress you with a high evaluation to elicit a sole mandate. On the other hand, they might give a low evaluation to make a quick sale.

In the relationship you will soon find out whether the agent is reliable and really interested in selling your property, by the frequency with which they contact you. If youre doing all the calling, then its time to consider another agent.

Agencies could make promises to advertise your property, such as posters in their windows, Internet exposure, For Sale signs, newspaper advertisements and putting your house On Show. Make sure that you get these promises in writing before appointing an agent, particularly if youre giving them a sole mandate or sole selling rights.

Be aware of the following types of agreements between the seller and the agent.

  • SOLE MANDATE here, the estate agent is the only person with the right to sell your house. If you find a buyer yourself, you still have to pay the agent a commission. Any exclusions to this would have to be made in writing on the mandate prior to signing, such as If my friend, Mr Jones buys directly from me, the seller, no commission would be payable to the estate agent
  • OPEN MANDATE you can appoint several agencies. The agency that sells your property is entitled to the commission.

Your local Bond Choice office can give you a list of reputable estate agents operating in your area, and independently advise you on any aspect of how to deal with them. This is a worthwhile exercise that will save you time, effort and money.


Courtesy Bond Choice Home Loans


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