What should you look for in an agency before signing a sole mandate agreement?
Much has been written regarding the best way to sell a home and while some sellers opt to sell the property themselves, others work through a multitude of agencies in an effort to give their home as much exposure on the market as possible. Research, however, has shown that one of the best (read quickest) ways to sell a home is by giving the property to one agency, allowing them exclusive access to the sale. Commonly referred to as a sole mandate, there are enormous benefits for both the seller and the agent associated with this type of arrangement.
Agencies who secure a sole mandate will usually go all out to expose the home to as many people as possible in the shortest amount of time. This generally costs the agency money and as such is a great motivating factor in getting the property sold.
However, this doesn't mean that a seller should sign a sole mandate with the first agency that comes along. In fact it's imperative for sellers to do a little research in order to ascertain that the agency that they are considering has the resources and energy to sell the property quickly and effectively.
So what should you look for in an agency before agreeing to sign a sole mandate agreement?
How visible is the agency locally? Do they advertise in the local/national media and/or have a good online presence? Ask as many questions as possible for example:
- How many similar priced properties have they sold in your area over the last year?
- What is their success rate with sole mandates and roughly how long do properties of this nature stay on their books?
- What steps will the agency take to market your home? Try to get as much clarity as possible on things such as when and where the property will be advertised and when the home will be put on show.
- How many agents wIthin the agency will be involved with the sale of the property?
- Lastly, and we know that this could be a difficult question to ask, can the agency afford to market your home in the correct manner?
The last point is by the far the most important because marketing a home takes dedicated human and financial resources and a property that is advertised in the correct manner is more likely to sell than one that's simply put in the same pot as stale homes that have been on the market for months.
Remember that it is in the agency’s best interest to sign a sole mandate with a seller who has listened to its advice and has set a realistic selling price. Very few people, particularly savvy estate agents, are going to be willing to waste their time and money by agreeing to market a home that they know is unlikely to sell because of the price. For this reason it's vital for any agency willing to take on a sole mandate to be able to show how they have determined the sales price using a comparative marketing analysis highlighting the prices of similar properties that have sold in the area.
Lastly, if you are still unsure of which agency to go after determining all of the above, ask around. Find out which agency gets the best results by speaking to friends and family. Regardless of who you choose, make sure you do your homework before signing a mandate.