Make sure your agent has ‘drive’

Many thousands of agents have left the real estate industry in the past few years and those that remain are now often busier than they have ever been – but that doesn’t mean they should treat the sale of any home as “just routine”.

That’s the word from Ester Odendaal, operations manager of Aida National Franchises, who also says: “Home sellers should never give a mandate to an agent who isn’t genuinely excited about the prospect of marketing their home.

“Homebuyers have a very wide choice of properties at the moment and an agent with drive can make all the difference between achieving a sale or not. On the other hand, agents who don’t give their full attention to selling the homes on which they have sole mandates can cause sellers serious financial loss – and not only in terms of additional holding costs.”

For a start, she says, unless a property is marketed with enthusiasm from the outset, there is a real risk that the sellers will miss out on the “perfect” buyers who were looking for a home just like theirs.

“In addition, they could miss the opportunity to buy their own next home at the best price, and finally, it is a fact that the longer a home remains on the market, the less likely it is to be sold for its true value.”

The latest FNB Property Barometer, Odendaal notes, puts the current average selling time at between three and four months, but of course many homes that are correctly priced and marketed are selling much more quickly than this.

“And knowing this is possible, prospective sellers should not only be careful to take informed advice when setting an asking price, but also be sure to ask agents how they intend to market their property - and for a written plan of how this strategy will be put into operation – before they sign a mandate.”

Aida agents, she says, are happy to provide clients with details of their most recent sales as well as a proper marketing plan including advertising and show day proposals.

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