How estate agents should best represent home sellers in South Africa

 

As a real estate agent in South Africa, I have an obligation to my clients to do everything I can to smooth the process of selling their home. I’m their advocate, the professional they are turning to for help. Most people want an agent they can not only trust but will do all they can to get the most money for their home in the least amount of time with the fewest headaches along the way.

Because some home sellers know so little about the sales process, it is easy enough to do the bare minimum and get by as an agent, but you will never build your business by doing the least possible. I know when I do my best for my sellers and I cover all the bases of the sales process along with my personal marketing plan – Then there no doubt in my mind that i will gain a reputation for great work, and enjoy the referrals that come along with that reputation.

Home sellers understand there is a big difference from so many of the “post and pray” real estate agents that do not much more than put a sign in the yard, place it in the MLS and pray.

Sellers deserve a lot more than this. Home sellers reading this should understand that like every other industry, there are those who are exceptional and others not so much.

What this means is one thing – there is a lot of room for disappointment by picking the wrong real estate agent to represent your interests.

When selling a home, it is very easy to choose a wrong agent.

Understanding how to pick a real estate agent is something many sellers get all wrong.

How can you increase the chances you will make the right choice in picking a real estate agent? This is an easy question to answer. You need to understand what things real estate agents should be doing for home sellers! When all of these tasks are completed in the correct manner the likelihood, you will be a happy camper will increase exponentially. By understanding on what a Real Estate Agent should be doing you will be better equipped to make a smart decision.

Here is what i do for all my potential sellers and existing clients.

1. Price the home correctly.

Pricing a home is one of the most important things you can do as a Estate Agent.

Exceptional Estate agents avoid giving in to the desire to say what will make sellers happy just to attract business and getting the mandate. Top Estate agents will price each home using their training skills, understanding of the existing real estate market in the area and doing a comparable sales analyses.

Understanding how to price a home is one of an agent’s most valuable skills. Smart sellers should be looking for agents who sell homes for close to the original listing price. The best estate agents have a reputation for pricing homes accurately and not telling a seller what they want to hear to get a listing. This is one of the lowest things a estate agent can do and violates the code of ethics we are supposed to follow.

As a seller, you should be aware that pricing a home too high can cause major issues in the sale. Buyers may avoid it, and if they avoid the home long enough, it will develop a bad reputation. Eventually, you will be forced to drop the price to be competitive in the marketplace, but by that point, the bad reputation will have stuck.

Even with a competitive price, buyers will be likely to low-ball you after a period of time. Ultimately you may sell the house for less than what you would have if you had priced it correctly, to begin with. The seller loses out, and the estate agent’s reputation suffers.

While some agents will intentionally misrepresent a home’s value to get business, others lack the skill to price a home correctly. The perfect example is the estate agent who takes shortcuts and uses things like price per square meter to determine value of the property. Unless you want your home priced wrong, don’t ever listen to a price per square meter of being an accurate way of pricing a property.

2. Market the heck out of the property.

Marketing is one area where your estate agent should shine. Your agent should be taking great pictures of the property – hiring a professional photographer if necessary. The photography on your home is absolutely one of essential elements in selling homes today. I can tell you first hand how appalling it can be seeing some of the photos estate agents post of their client’s homes. What is probably even worse is the sellers who never bother to look!

The internet (Property portals) e.g Property 24 and Private Property will be where home buyers discover your home. If your homes pictures are lousy, you will lose out on a significant amount of traffic.

Your estate agent should be well versed on how to get the word out using all available marketing channels,Your agent should have a website that draws traffic and showcases all properties for sale. They should also be using social media, like Facebook, Google+, Pinterest and other platforms, to spread the word. All of these online options take some time for an agent to develop, but will ultimately strengthen their business and help their client’s homes get sold.

The estate agents marketing material should be top-notch, from photographs to videos to the brochures used to market the home. Investing in a quality estate agent who understands how crucial the marketing is will reap substantial benefits.

3. Communicate Properly

The home seller needs to know at all time’s what is going on with the sale of their home. Too many estate agents get a client and then only check back in when they get an offer. Agents should regularly update their customers on the feedback from showings and about anything else that may concern them. Even if there are no offers, keeping in touch lets a seller know that you are doing something – and worth paying for.

The #1 complaint from consumers with towards estate agents is a lack of proper communication. Estate agents who don’t communicate get bad reputations among their peers and their clients. There are some clues as a home seller you can observe before you hire an agent that will give you a pretty good indication of how things will be moving forward. Do they return your calls or emails promptly? In my mind, all phone calls or emails should be returned within an hour unless you are already with another client. There is no excuse for poor communication. Staying in touch is something all sellers have a right to expect from their agent.

4. Make Sure The Buyer is Qualified.

Anybody can say they are interested in buying a house. Not everyone can get approval for a home loan, though.

I always will make sure that buyers I work with are pre-qualified with a good credit record. You want buyers who have already submitted all information, including a credit report, and been given the go-ahead for a loan. As long as nothing changes with their financial situation or their credit, they should be able to get approval and buy your client’s home.

5. Negotiate the best terms.

I will always go out of my way to fight hard for the best terms and conditions for my clients. This, after all, is what I get paid to do. A great estate agent will never think about their pocket but what makes the most sense for their client. This is one of the reasons why you should never choose and an agent that “needs” to make a sale.

When you hire an agent who isn’t worried about when their next sale takes place, you will get much better advice.

Estate agents who advocate for their clients are always striving for the best possible terms for the transaction. Everything in a real estate contracts is negotiable, good agents when warranted don’t hesitate to counteroffer with a price that is more favorable to their client. They have the negotiation skills necessary to get the job done right.

If a client wants adjustments to contingency dates or closing times, these should be negotiated appropriately. A good agent will understand the real value of each element to the customer. Pushing to get clients everything they possibly can is what the best of the best do on a regular basis.

6. Finalize loose ends for closing.

Selling a house involves a lot of work. There are so many little details that must be taken care of, which is one of the big selling points of my personal services to my clients. As the closing draws near, you will need to take care of all the loose ends. “The less work, your client, has to do, the more appealing you are as an agent”

Selling a home can be very stressful, but when you have a top shelf agent in your corner who is taking care of the little details, the burden can be eased just a bit.

Hopefully, you now understand the things to expect from your real estate agent when selling a home!

Thinking of selling your home? I have a passion for Real Estate and love to share my marketing expertise!

Morné Prinsloo
RE/MAX MASTERS
Little Falls, Wilgeheuwel & Surrounding Area Agent
Work Phone: 011 795 1032
Mobile: 079 047 5172
Email: morne@remax-masters.co.za

“I can guarantee my services and marketing plan. If the right buyer is in the market, my marketing efforts will find him.”

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