Benefits qualified agents bring to property transactions

For most people purchasing a property will be one of the largest financial decisions they will ever make in their lifetime. Due to the fact that it is a decision that will impact their financial well-being far into the future, it makes perfect sense to seek out the expertise of a trained real estate professional who will be able to guide them through the process.

“If managed in the right way, property can be the cornerstone of wealth creation. It is an asset class that has the potential to be just as profitable, if not more so than the stock market - provided the correct decisions are made. With so much at stake, it is advisable that homeowners wanting to sell a property make use of a professional estate agent to ensure that the sale is successfully concluded,” says Bruce Raasch, Broker/Owner of RE/MAX Property Professionals in Queenstown.

There have been significant developments within the real estate industry over the last decade, most notably the fact that real estate agents are required by law to have completed certain qualifications before they can handle a property transaction.  The agents who are working within the industry today are recognised as the professionals they are and are able to add even more value to a property transaction than ever before.

According to Raasch, estate agents have a wealth of knowledge regarding the ins and outs of property transactions that will assist in selling a home in the shortest possible time for a fair market value. He adds that it is their extensive knowledge of the industry and access to a variety of statistics and property tools that enable them to correctly determine fair market value. “In addition, estate agents have relationships with bond originators, which will assist both the buyer and seller. A bond originator can prequalify buyers to ensure that they are looking at homes that they can afford, which will help sellers avoid having to deal with buyers that won’t be able to purchase their home. This will prevent the sale from falling through due to the lack of access to credit or affordability issues,” says Raasch.

The value added services that estate agents provide in marketing the property are invaluable. Among other tasks, generally estate agents will take photos of the home for sale, list them on a website, pay for the costs of advertising, arrange viewings and show days and manage offers.  Aside from access to all legal requirements and documentation for the sale transaction, estate agents also have a network of contacts and sites that they access to source potential buyers. 
Due to the nature of property sales and the huge financial impact these transactions have on people’s lives, it is important to select an agent that is credible and will do the best job possible. So how should sellers go about selecting a credible agent?
Raasch says that sellers should find out the following things when interviewing prospective agents:

- Ask how well the agent knows the area and their insight into trends and selling prices
- Inquire about credentials, licensing and areas of expertise. Qualified agents must and will present you with their own unique - Fidelity Fund Certificate. If they don’t have one, they may not practice in the real estate profession.
- Ask about the types of homes the agent typically deals with.  Are these similar to what you are buying and/or selling?
- Ask about the marketing plan for your property
- Ask how often the agent will provide you with feedback
- Ask for a list of references from previous clients
- Ask about the average number of days homes listed through the agent remain on the market
- Ask what percentage of the asking price, on average, the agent has received for the homes sold during the last year
“It is vital to select a reliable agent from the start.  Both buyers and sellers who have a good relationship with their agent and trust their agent’s expertise and knowledge, usually buy or sell a property smoothly and within a good time frame,” Raasch concludes.

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