Choose Your Agent Carefully

Private Property South Africa
Lea Jacobs

A fascinating article recently appeared on an American webpage that discussed how much more property veteran estate agents sold. In the report it was stated that experienced agents in that country sell homes for approximately 12% more than their less experienced counterparts.

Although we weren't able to find any South African statistics that highlighted whether or not more experienced agents not only sell more property, but in the process manage to secure a higher selling price, it does stand to reason that those who have been in the industry for longer may be more successful in this regard.

Before agents respond to the negative and attempt to lynch the author of this article, experience plays a role in anyone's success. Like any other sales position, there is an art to selling and although some agents literally hit the ground running and start to sell from the second they knock their first for 'sale board' into the ground, most don't.

Estate agents come in all shapes and sizes. Some are incredibly successful, some sell consistently and are moderately successful and others achieve very little in the way of sales. While buyers and sellers could be forgiven for wondering if all of this really matters and if there is any real benefit in using an agent who outsells other agents in the area on an ongoing basis, this does seem to count. Having an agent who has proved that he has what it takes to get the job done properly can save buyers and sellers a great deal of time and money.

Highly successful agents preform well for a reason. They have a wealth of experience that is generally restricted to the area in which they work. They probably intimately know most of the properties in the area and are usually aware of what has recently been sold and for what price. They also know their stock well and because they listen to the buyers needs, are quickly able to decide which properties may appeal. These agents do not believe in guess work and understand the amount of work that has to go into each and every deal big or small.

Top agents tend to build a portfolio of happy clients - who return to use their services time and time again. The average property investor doesn't necessarily have time to scour webpages for suitable properties and will enlist the help of someone that he not only knows can do the job, but can do it well with the minimum amount of fuss.

Word of mouth is always going to play a huge role when it comes to finding the right agent. Buyers or sellers are usually the first to tell you if they were satisfied with how their agent handled the job. However, people have different expectations and while a certain agent may have satisfied one persons needs, it doesn't mean that he is going to hit it off with every client who has been recommended.

Buyers and sellers should never accept mediocrity. However given the nature of buying and selling property it isn't always possible to switch agents once the initial viewing has occurred. Choosing the right agent before you start looking for a home, or listing a home will go along way in ensuring that all parties are satisfied with the end result.

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