Characteristics to consider when choosing an agent

When it comes to selling a property, it is vital for the homeowner to find a real estate professional that they can communicate with and more importantly that they trust. 

For most, the home they live in will be the largest financial asset they will ever own, so it is imperative that the person they choose to handle the sale of their property is from a reputable and professional real estate agency with the right attributes.

Adrian Goslett, Regional Director and CEO of RE/MAX of Southern Africa, says that a homeowner should select an agent who has experience and specific area knowledge. “An agent who specialises in an area will know the particular factors that influence the local market, as well as the target market of buyers who are in that area. In-depth area knowledge and a targeted market plan will give the seller the best chance of selling their home at the highest possible price, within the shortest possible time frame,” says Goslett.

He notes that sellers should meet with several agents rather than simply listing their property with the first agent that they see. “The more agents that a homeowner can interview, the better informed they will be and the better chance they will have of finding the right agent for the job. The seller should schedule listing presentations with the agents so that the can gather as much information as possible and make an informed decision,” advises Goslett.

He provides a few characteristics that sellers should consider when interviewing prospective agents:


Experience does not only relate to the number of years that the agent has been in the industry, but more specifically their record selling the type of property that the homeowner is listing. Area knowledge can also not be over emphasized. The agent should know the area and have a successful sales record within that area.

Difference between asking price and selling price

Don’t choose an agent purely because they have given the home the highest evaluation. Some agents may overinflate the asking price to get the listing, however ask the agent the average difference between the selling price of the homes they have sold and the original listing price. While the market conditions will have an influence on the selling price, it will also reflect whether the agent can skilfully set an asking price and negotiate offers.

Does the agent listen?

Is the agent rushing through a generic presentation or are they interested in what the homeowner has to say? It is vital that the agent allows for questions and is focused on the seller’s needs.

A marketing plan

The agent should present a comprehensive marketing plan outlining how they intend going about selling the property. The marketing plan should address where and how the agent intends to promote the home, whether they will hold show days and explain the reasons behind their decisions. This is where meeting with more than one agent will be beneficial - while one agent might be against holding a show day, another may be for it. The seller’s choice will be based on who they agree with more.


It is vital that the seller and the agent can communicate effectively and both understand each other’s perspectives. 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. This doesn’t mean that the agent and the seller have to be best friends, but if their personalities clash it will make it far more difficult for them to communicate with each other.

Ask for references

Ask for the contact information of the agent’s most recent three clients - and get in touch with them.

“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,” says Goslett. “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,” he concludes.

  Comment on this Article

  Please login to post comments

Post to my facebook wall
Characters remaining

    Latest Property News
    • 19 Feb 2018
      Situated approximately halfway between Johannesburg and Pretoria, Midrand was established in 1981 and forms part of the City of Johannesburg Metropolitan Municipality. It has become one of the major business hubs in the country with major pharmaceutical, textile, telecommunication and motoring giants situated within its boundaries.
    • 19 Feb 2018
      The PayProp Rental Index Annual Review of 2017 shows that the rental market suffered from much volatility during the year. It kicked off with rental growth spiking in January with weighted year-on-year growth (YoY) growth peaking at 8.3% before dropping to 6.34% in July, dipping down to less than 5% in November and then experiencing a slight uptick at 5.75% in December.
    • 19 Feb 2018
      While most homes in cluster complexes, estates and other gated communities come with at least one garage or carport, residents would often like additional permanent parking or storage areas for things like trailers, bikes, boats and caravans.
    • 16 Feb 2018
      Whether you own a property in a sectional title complex or are looking to invest in one, the financial standing of the body corporate is the single most important thing that can affect your investment or your buying decision.
    • 15 Feb 2018
      One positive consequence of the financial crash in 2008 was the rise in consumerism, especially in the property market, where buyers have steadily become more knowledgeable and more value conscious.
    • 15 Feb 2018
      While most homeowners will take the agent’s commission into consideration when they are trying to determine what the will get out from the sale of their property, many often forget to factor in the other costs involved in a home sale, says Adrian Goslett, Regional Director and CEO of RE/MAX of Southern Africa.
    • 14 Feb 2018
      The forecast for the national rental market in 2018 remains a mixed bag of good news and bad news. Although rentals are expected to rise slowly as the challenges of home affordability and tighter lending criteria tighten their grip, it’s a double-edged sword as the market also will come under increasing pressure from factors like declining disposable income levels.
    • 14 Feb 2018
      While you may not have intended to place your home on the market, what do you do if you receive an unexpected offer on your home? In areas where demand outweighs the current supply of homes available to buyers, it is not unheard of to have buyers make offers on homes that aren’t on the market, says Adrian Goslett, Regional Director and CEO of RE/MAX of Southern Africa.
    Subscribe to the MyProperty Newsletter

    Last Name  
    Email Address  
    Email Frequency
    Share this Page

    For Sale Property
    Rental Property
    More Options
    Connect with us