AMAZING THINGS TO LOOK OUT FOR WHEN CHOOSING YOUR REAL ESTATE AGENT
Choosing an estate agency or agent to handle your property sale might seem a little disheartening since selling of Property is not something most of us do every day except you own your real estate firm and probably a good numbers of lands and houses for sale.
Contrary to what you may think, not all agencies are the same and some will be more effective than others as I have seen quite a number of agency firms or group.
This article will serve as a guide to help you find a trustworthy professional agent or realtor that will sell your property for the best possible price.
How to Choose an Estate Agent
1. Choosing Traditional Agency or Online Agency?
In your first choice, you need to know the type of estate agency to use.
For TRADITIONAL FULL-SERVICE ESTATE AGENCY there will be a physical office that you can visit and will normally take care of every stage of the selling process in return for a fee when the sale goes through.
Most times they make agreement based on a no-sale, no-fee basis, so if the property doesn’t sell you shouldn’t be out of pocket and this means you can also register with more than one of this kind of people so as to increase your chance of selling the property and on time.
Most ONLINE AGENCIES generally don’t have offices you can visit and usually charge an up-front fee to put a property on their market list.
If a sale takes place there are further charges which comes in form of percentage as agreed by both parties.
Though online agencies handle all the selling processes since there is a percentage or commission involved and it serves as a motivation.
2. Make a list of trusted estate agents around
Create a list of about seven to ten agents you would consider using to sell your property.
Ask family, friends and neighbors for recommendations.
There are a lot of ways you can get agents details which are through their adverts pasted on the walls, through bill board or in their physical offices, whichever gets your attention.
You could walk down your street or a few streets where you can get a one-on-one discussion with any available agent that is appealing and smart enough to deliver in due time.
You can speak with people that stays around the agent so as to get some information about the agent before giving him such contract this is because aside from loosing your money you could loose your reputation and/or brand.
Ensure you make deals with only those agents that belongs to a recognized body like the association of estate agents in Nigeria Association of Estate Agents in Nigeria and Lagos State Real Estate Regulatory Authority Etc.
All good agents should operate according to codes of conduct that will ensure you are dealt with professionally.
3. Perform thorough screenings on selected agents
You need to go a bit deeper by finding out more about the firms on your list, take a thorough look at their social media platforms and websites for reviews, comments or capability.
There you will find information about the company, staff, range of services and perhaps some comments or reviews from customers.
You would obviously choose an agent with a good review and ethical standards above one with poor reviews and standards.
Look at the properties they are listing for sale, are they similar to yours and presented with good quality photographs, floor plans and clear information?
Would you be happy to see your property on their list just the same way other properties are listed?
Check that the agent advertises properties on at least one major property portal.
With your above findings you should be able to reduce your list to three or four agents that you can talk to about your property to give their professional opinion of its market value and to explain how they would sell it at this price to a reliable buyer.
4. Be sure they are for you
The urge to strike a deal with an agent right away start coming to our mind. Most times it feels tempting to place a call or email to these agents immediately but you need to take a chill pile to note that it you will get a much better and clearer picture of who they are and what they are like if you visit their offices to make the appointments.
You are about to take a financial decision that would cause a fortune.
You are about to trust your agent with what is probably your most valuable asset so you need to know if they are people you are likely to trust and get on with.
When you get to their office, how do they respond to you? Do you feel welcome? Are they helpful? Is it a professional and friendly environment? If you feel comfortable, make the appointment. If not, it’s best to walk away.
5. What to loop out for when Valuing your property
Before valuing your property you need to value your agent first.
When the agent arrives pay attention to their punctuality, knowledge, politeness and professionalism.
They will tell you what they think the asking price should be and how much the property may actually sell for which might be their worth.
If all the agents suggest similar amounts, you can be reasonably sure they are accurate so you can either increase or decrease the price reasonable depending on how fast you want to sell the land or its value.
You don’t have to be amazed if one of them comes up with a price different from the others. They might know something the others don’t.
Always ask them to justify their opinions of the value of your property by showing you examples of similar ones that are on the market and those that they have sold.
6. Open up completely to your agent where necessary
A professional agent will want to have an understanding of your circumstances and needs so as to find a better and less difficult ways to provide quality services.
Perhaps you must sell the property on or before a particular period because you have gotten a new home or because of a new job that is far from that area or there’s a baby on the way and you need to get a bigger home for the family. Help them to help you.
Try to be honest about your circumstances and the reason you are selling.
Everyone has particular choices, requirements or budget and a good agent will tailor their services to suit them.
7. Access the agent by asking relevant questions
From your fact-finding at the beginning of the search you will already have some idea of how these agents operates or showcase available properties for sale but now you will love to know what they are going to do for you as an individual and how they will go about marketing your property and getting the sales done as quickly as possible.
You could interview them.
Ask if they have “hot” prospective buyers already on their books. Check if they go for inspections together with prospects.
Ask how often they will keep in touch with you to let you know how things are going. And find out what they do once a sale is agreed as a good agent will be able to tell you about what is called “sales progression” which is really important to making sure the sale goes through.
8. The estate agent’s fees – what you can expect
The Agent fee or commission
It is very certain that the agent will charge a fee to sell your property. Fees are usually a certain percentage of the selling price.
There may be additional costs for things like advertising or photography and there might be a fee if you withdraw the property from sale.
A good agent will explain all these in detail and there should be no hidden costs.
The actual amount you pay will depend on what services the agent is providing and whether they are appointed as your “sole agent” or not.
Make a value judgment based on what services the agent provides and don’t assume that cheapest is best. It seldom is.
9. Make your choice – It is decision time
You have now met the agents, you have heard their opinions about price, found out what they will do for you and know what they will charge.
There is also the fact that “people buy people” and you will almost certainly like some individuals better than others.
It’s time to make your choice based on all you have seen and heard. You can appoint just the one agency, or several.
In practice, it is best to make use of just one as your “sole agent”.
You will pay a lower fee and because the agent is aware that they have a higher or reasonable chance of selling the property, they will concentrate their efforts on it.
The sole agency arrangement usually last for an agreed period of time.
10. Work as a team with your agent
The essence of team work cannot be over emphasized as the result achieved collectively is better and greater as when done individually.
Now that you have chosen which agent or agents to instruct they will then start the process of putting your property on the market.
Think of you and the agent as being on the same team. You are working in partnership to find a buyer who will pay the best price for the property within a time-frame that suits you.
You’ll be more likely to succeed in doing that if you work closely together and we look at how that happens in another of our top tip guides, “Working with your agent”.
This content provided by toprealestategist is for information purpose usually for additional knowledge and ideas on the above topic.
Independent and professional advice should be taken before buying, selling, letting or renting property, or buying financial related assets or products.