Top 10 tips for finding a top agent

Finding a really excellent estate agent can take a lot of stress out of a property deal and save consumers time and money.

The question, says Dr Willie Marais, national president of the Institute of Estate Agents (IEASA), is what makes an agent a great agent - and how does one find such an agent?

"There are of course some intangible qualities that catapult some agents into an exceptional class of their own. However, there are some clear pointers that consumers who want to identify a top agent can follow," he says.

Here are 10 of the best:

* Choose a full-time agent. Part-time dabblers in real estate have mostly been pushed out of the industry - and it is with good reason that full-time professionals have weathered the challenges of the current property market.

* Speak to satisfied clients and ask them what made their agents special to start you off on your search.

* Look for an agent who displays passion, drive, enthusiasm and dedication and who will gladly go the extra mile when called upon to do so.

* Find a local agent with a good grasp of the market where you intend buying or selling.

* Find an agent who can think creatively and who can come up with solutions that will satisfy sellers as well as buyers in tough negotiations.

* Make sure your chosen agent is comfortable with technology. The internet is playing an ever greater role in property transactions and top agents know how to use technology to the best advantage.

* Look for an agent that has access to related experts, especially if you are buying property in a strange town. An agent who can refer you to a reliable plumber in the middle of the night can be worth his weight in gold.

* Make sure your chosen agent is respected by his peers - respect is a key ingredient when an agent has to network with others to find you a buyer or a property.

* Check support systems. A good agent is a busy agent and you need to know that a capable assistant can help you when your agent is tied up elsewhere.

* Finally, listen to your instincts and choose an agent you can trust and feel comfortable with. A good rapport with an agent will go a long way towards concluding a satisfactory transaction.

Issued by the

Institute of Estate Agents of SA

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