BENEFITS QUALIFIED AGENTS BRING TO PROPERTY TRANSACTIONS
Category Regional News
Buying a property is one of the biggest financial decisions many people will ever make in their lifetime. It is a decision that will probably affect their financial well-being far into the future, so it would make perfect sense to seek out the expertise of a trained real estate agent to guide them through the process.
"Property is considered to be a vital aspect of any investment portfolio, and if managed correctly, it is an asset class that has the potential to be just as profitable, if not more so, than the stock market. Therefore homeowners wanting to sell a property should make use of a professional estate agent to ensure that the sale is successfully concluded," says Adrian Goslett, CEO of RE/MAX of Southern Africa.
With the significant market developments that have reshaped the real estate industry, most notably the new legislated qualifications estate agents must have completed by the end of 2011, agents with years of industry knowledge and experience are becoming recognised as the professionals they are more and more and are able to add even more value to a property transaction than ever before.
"Estate agents have a wealth of knowledge about the ins and outs of selling a property that will assist in selling a property in the shortest possible time for a fair market value. It is their extensive knowledge of the industry and access to a variety of statistics and property tools that enable them to correctly determine what fair market value is. In addition, estate agents have relationships with mortgage originators, which will assist both the buyer and seller as mortgage originators ensure buyers qualify to purchase a particular property, among other services. This will prevent the sale from falling through due to the lack of access to credit or affordability issues," says Goslett.
The value added service that estate agents provide in marketing the property is invaluable. Among other tasks, estate agents generally 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 possible job. So how should sellers go about selecting a credible agent?
Goslett says that sellers should ask the following questions:
- Ask how well the agent knows the area and their insight into trends and selling prices
- Inquire about credentials, licensing and areas of expertise
- 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 have stayed 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," Goslett concludes.