How important is it to have the right agent?

In today’s competitive real estate market, utilising the right agent for the job can assist sellers in getting ahead of the game and standing out in the crowd. This is according to Justus Brandt, Broker/Owner of RE/MAX Sunset Coast, situated in St Helena Bay.
“A seller who wants to get the best results from the sale of their home needs to select an agent that can provide the best services. This is why a recognised, established brand should be used in marketing one`s property, preferably by way of an exclusive mandate. Through this mandate option, the seller may request that another specific agency be invited to co-market their property under the management of the listing agency,” says Brandt.
According to Brandt, interviewing agents is an important part of the selection process. This will allow the seller the opportunity to see how the agent presents themselves. He notes that during the interview a seller will be able to determine the agent’s level of integrity, standing within the local community and whether or not they are knowledgeable about the property market. He says that a seller should enquire about the agent’s experience along with the experience and positioning of the brand in the market. This is where the brand of the agency plays a vital role, especially with regard to national and international exposure. An international agency with set regulations and procedures should be the preferred marketer.
“Currently there are various start-up real estate agencies that claim to provide their client with international exposure; however not all have the required resources. They may have a referral association with an overseas realtor, although this is normally limited to a specific area or possibly a country,” says Brandt.
He notes that a key element when selecting an agent is their track record. “Working with an agent that has a proven track record is essential because it shows that the agent can get the job done in today’s real estate environment. This is often why sellers and buyers choose to use an agent who has been referred to them by a personal connection such as a friend or relative,” says Brandt.
He adds that sellers should ask the agent which properties were recently sold by them within the specific area - proof of registered transfers is preferable as claims may be made to properties sold by another agency.  “Also, enquire about how long the agent has been active in marketing property and what the agent’s previous vocation was, as well as what knowledge and experience the agent has of the area in question. A marketing plan should be called for and a specific marketing period be agreed upon as well as the rate of commission. It goes without saying that such an agent should be qualified in terms of NQF4 at least and is in the business of marketing real estate as his profession and not a housewife trying to earn additional income.
The seller should also determine whether or not the commission would be negotiable should the seller accept a lower selling price than the original marketing price,” says Brandt.
The agent must be able to provide the buyer or seller with all relevant information regarding the area they work in and all the properties on offer in that area. Brandt says that along with the marketing strategy, an agent should also be able to advise the seller on the marketing price, taking into account the time cost of money such as the present value versus future value. Timeous feedback must be insisted upon.
“A well-presented agent from a reputable agency will provide the seller with a valuable service that can ease the process of selling the home. The right choice will ensure that the experience is what it should be – the turning of a new chapter,” Brandt concludes.

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