Allow Your Agent To Do Their Job

Private Property South Africa
Lea Jacobs

Sellers who delegate the selling of their property to an estate agent should interfere as little as possible and trust the agent to do his job. Although very few people would ever consider telling their doctor or lawyer how to conduct their jobs, this does not appear to be the case when it comes to selling property. Everyone believes that they are an expert. Unfortunately, an over-enthusiastic seller who follows the potential buyer from pillar to post while they are viewing the home often jeopardises the sale.You can say too much and mentioning the feud with the next door neighbour can place doubt in the buyer’s mind. Sometimes it is safer to err on the side of caution and keep personal information to yourself.Following the parties from room to room and discussing the highlights of the home can indicate that the seller is desperate. Buyers have an uncanny knack for sniffing out desperation and may either leave the premises unimpressed or submit a much lower offer.Sellers often believe that the personal touch actually helps sell a property. In actual fact the opposite is true. Buyers often find it difficult to discuss concerns regarding the property within earshot of the current owner. Mentioning to an agent privately, for example, that the kitchen needs to be completely revamped is one thing, declaring the same in front of the owner is quite another.Price in particular appears to be an especially thorny issue. Many sellers feel uncomfortable about the price of their home and spend their time trying to justify why they have priced it at that level. Again, this can often undermine the agent’s skills whose main function is to obtain the best possible price for the property. Part of an agent’s job is to get a clear written mandate from the seller indicating the finer points of the transaction, including the price. Once the agent is in possession of this information, the seller should walk away leaving the agent in charge of the situation. If, however, the seller feels that the agent is not doing his job, he should discuss the areas of concern and if not resolved should perhaps consider employing the services of another property professional rather than interfering in the sales process.The Americans have long recognised the problems that can arise when buyers and sellers communicate before the sale has been finalised. The model used in that country incorporates a buyer’s agent, who works exclusively for the purchaser and a seller’s agent, who has the sole interests of the seller at heart. Any problems or concerns are dealt with by the respective agents, removing any personal involvement and potential emotionality out the equation.At the end of the day sellers need to realise that an innocent comment can jeopardise a sale. Buyers will often pick up on non-verbal “tells” even if a seller is merely engaging in idle chit-chat. It really is best for sellers to employ an agent that they trust… and then walk away to let them do their job.

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