4 Compatibility checks when choosing a real estate agent

Selling a home is one of the biggest transactions a person can make. Selecting the right agent will make a huge difference in how it all plays out. A skilled real estate professional can help navigate everything from marketing the home to negotiating the best possible offer, which is why it is important to choose wisely and select somebody who is compatible with your unique needs.

“It is important to work with a registered real estate practitioner who understands your needs and has the experience, drive, and backing of an established brand to help you secure the results you’re after,” says Adrian Goslett, Regional Director and CEO of RE/MAX of Southern Africa. “Not all real estate agents are cut from the same cloth, so it is worth doing your due diligence on an agent before committing to a sole mandate,” he explains.

When you’re considering an agent to list and market your home, RE/MAX of Southern Africa encourages you to consider asking these four questions…

1. “Are you qualified and registered with the PPRA?”

Before you reach the compatibility questions, you need to ask them about this. All real estate practitioners are required to be registered with the PPRA that regulates the industry and must be in possession of a valid FFC. Without this, sellers are at risk of working through somebody who may or may not be up to date with all the necessary requirements in handling property transactions. Part of being registered and having a valid licence means that you are earning enough CPD (continuing professional development) points and have passed your PDE (professional designation examination). This protects consumers against dealing with somebody who claims to have knowledge of the industry but doesn’t.

It could also be useful to know if the agent specializes in any areas of real estate that could help with your sale, like distressed property sales (look for CDPA certification) or luxury homes.

2. “How well do you know the area?”

It is important to find out if the agent has sold comparable homes in your price range and in your suburb. An agent with local knowledge is far more likely to recommend and accurate asking price for your property and offer competitive tips on preparing the home for sale. Plus, the better the agent knows your community, the better they understand its current market conditions.

3. “How do you plan to market my home?”

A good real estate professional should be able to adapt the marketing strategy depending on your needs. In general, a good marketing strategy would include advertising your property through traditional media (such as print and various other property portals) as well as on social media, hosting show days and individual viewings at mutually convenient times, and meeting with you regularly to discuss the marketing progress.

Listing your home with an agent also means that you will have access to the agent’s marketing power, along with access to their network and connections. Find out if the tools and connections they have are the ones that suit the potential buyer profile of your home.

4. “How much will your commission rate be?”

The agent’s commission should be discussed and agreed upon upfront. Keep in mind that an agent who offers their services at the lowest commission might also provide the lowest level of service. You need to work with somebody who can fit in your budget but who also will offer the best chance of securing a sale for the full value of your home.

“Selling a home is one of the biggest financial transactions a person will make. Having the best possible professional at your side will ensure that everything runs smoothly. Be thorough in your selection and don’t be scared to ask as many questions as it takes for you to feel comfortable with your decision,” Goslett concludes.

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