What to expect from your property agent
Category News and Advice
Research shows that the average South African family will sell their house a number of times. For most families property is their biggest asset and only a reputable agent registered with the Estate Agents Affairs Board (EAAB) and who holds a valid Fidelity Fund Certificate (FFC) should be entrusted with the sale thereof.
Gerhard van der Linde, MD at Seeff Pretoria East, says firstly it is advisable that you should always ask an agent to show you their FFC.
"This way you can be certain that the EAAB will cover you for any fraud/wrongdoing by the agent. It is also a good idea to establish how long the person has been an estate agent for, how many properties they have sold, what the difference between the listing price and selling price was on average and how many days these properties were on the market on average before the agent sold them," says Van der Linde.
Should this be a new or 'rookie' agent, you can still ask for the same information as it relates to the estate agency for which they work, he says.
Van der Linde also offers the following tips:
- The agent should be neatly dressed and be on time for the appointment.
- Their motor vehicle should be clean, display the estate agency's logo on a magnet or sticker, and they should have a name badge.
- The agent should come fully prepared with at least the following information:
The details of the properties sold in your area over the past few months.
The details of the properties in your area which have not sold.
Information about your property.
A satellite photo of your property taken from Google.
- The agent should speak with authority about the current economic climate, interest rates, the banks' loan-to-value criteria, the impact of the National Credit Act (NCA), the aspects of your suburb such as the crime rate, sold prices, schools, libraries, shops, police stations, sport fields, hospitals, parks and, most importantly, the proposed roads in the area which may impact on potential buyers or on the price.
- A good agent will inform you about sprucing up certain parts of your property to obtain a better selling price and to ensure that your property competes favourably against similar properties currently on the market.
- Determine the agent's commission upfront. Most top agents will charge a commission plus VAT of around 5% to 8%. These are the confident agents who have a big support structure helping them with your sale at the best price.
- The bigger estate agencies also generate a huge number of potential buyers every month. They know that they can charge more because they get you the best price in the quickest time and have a great track record in their area.
- Keep in mind that if you don't use a reputable agent you run the risk of only selling your property much later, while you will still need to pay your home loan, insurance, rates and taxes and water and lights. These items can add up very quickly to a large amount.
Your agent should propose a marketing plan and leave a copy with you, after having systematically shown you what they believe is the correct selling price for your property and how they intend to achieve it.
Author: Property 24