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How To Work With A Real Estate Agent

June 22, 2012 | Comments: 0 | Views: 166

I have always been neutral in my views regarding whether a seller should use an Agent to sell their home or do this independently. There are definite pros and cons for both methods of selling your property. If you have the time and are prepared to put in a bit of effort then selling your own home and saving on the payment of an Agent's commission is your choice. If you do decide to sell privately then you will need to gain some perspective on the sales process and utilise the services of a good Transfer Attorney to assist you through the process.

For the vast majority of sellers who would feel more comfortable using the services of an Agent to assist them with the sale of their property, there are a few things to bear in mind. First and foremost is that any Agent wants to sell your house at the highest possible value that they feel they can obtain. They want to conclude the sale within the Mandate period rather than spend months working for nothing, remember the majority of them only earn commission on the successful sale of a property. It can be said that all Agents basically do the same thing but some are better at it that others. Start off by getting a couple of the most successful Agents in your area to do a market related assessment of your property to determine its estimated value. Choose the agent that you like and trust the most and then support him or her to the hilt. This way you will stand a chance of selling your property a lot sooner at a great value. Here, in no particular order, is what you can do to help your Agent:

  1. Do the repairs and fix-ups that the Agent suggests. A good Agent will not ask you to renovate a wing of house but may offer advice on small repairs that will work to attract buyers.
  2. Try to be accommodating when the Agent wants to bring a client to see the house. Stay out of his or her way as they use their professional skills to show your house to their client. Don't ever follow the Agent and his client around or jump in and try to sell your own house. Too much talking by a seller creates tension for a prospective buyer who often just wants to casually browse through a property and form their own opinion.
  3. Make sure that your house is as neat as it can be before the Agent brings his client around. A lot can be done in 20 minutes such as pulling the bed covers straight, picking up the kid's toys in the passage, clearing away any towels from the bathroom floors, cleaning up the dog mess and fluff the pillows on the lounge chairs. You can also put on all the lights at night just before the Agent brings their client to create a welcoming atmosphere. Remember that prospective buyers do not expect to see a surgically clean environment but they will definitely be put off by a very untidy or messy home.
  4. Temporarily lock away any barking, sniffing, over-friendly or aggressive dogs in the garage, there is nothing more off-putting for someone when they visit a property than when they are followed around by a Maltese Poodle with a high pitched bark or if they have an over-friendly Labrador with muddy paws pounce on them. Any aggressive dogs must definitely be locked away. The garage is usually the best place for the dogs as prospective buyers may want to browse through the garden.
  5. If you have pets and perhaps a cat litter box in your home or if there is a smoker in the house then you may be immune to the scent whereas visitors can be put off by this. Place the cat litter box outside, open the windows (if it is warm enough) and spray 'lightly' with an air freshener at least half an hour before the Agent arrives with their client.
  6. For show days all of the above apply and it is best if everyone goes out for the afternoon and leaves the Agent to do their thing. If possible take the dogs out with you or as mentioned above, at least lock them away, besides them annoying prospective buyers they can escape and your Agent will not have time to go looking for them.

As a purchaser you are very likely to use the services of an Agent who is a 'area specialist' for the suburb/s that you are interested in buying into. Here is what you can do to help yourself and your Agent to find a home for you:

  1. It is best to know what price range you will be able to buy in before you set off to view properties. You can approach the Home Loans Department of your bank to assist you with a 'affordability assessment' or at very least there are online property affordability calculators that you could use to get an idea. The latest calculators take your income as well as your expenses into account to determine your 'disposable income', i.e. how much you could afford to pay on monthly bond repayments. If you are blacklisted or have a bad credit rating then try to clear this before you set off to buy a new home. If you are married in 'Community of Property' then your spouse also has to have a clear record.
  2. Before contacting any Agents you should note the exact property type and features, areas and price range that you are looking for. Be as specific as possible, if you want a house with a large swimming pool, for instance, then mention this up front as this will save the Agent and you lots of time.
  3. Do tell the Agent what you like about properties that you have seen as well as what you do not like, this way the Agent will be able to get more of an idea of what you would like in a property.
  4. When you do find a property that you like, be sure to ask the Agent to note any areas of concern to you on the Offer to Purchase paperwork. If, for instance you would like a room or two re-painted or one or two repairs done, then mention this upfront so that the seller can either accept or reject this as part of the offer.

I have worked for over a decade in the Real Estate industry as a Realtor working for some large property groups and as a Principle of my own Agency. I have had hands-on involvement in residential property sales, rentals and auctioning. I currently write articles for a few Blogs and my main Propertymix site at The site contains universally relevant info for property investors as well as property and holiday accommodation listings in South Africa.

Source: EzineArticles
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