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Monday Oct 22, 2018

'How to break up with your estate agent'

After the initial months of being flattered with high prices and wooed over with glistening listing brochures, the honeymoon phase with your real estate agent soon comes to its inevitable end. Eventually, you can't help but consider other options.

"All too often sellers make the mistake of choosing an estate agent based purely upon price, asking questions like 'What will they market my property at?' and 'How much commission will they charge' instead of asking the questions that really matter like 'How long did it take to complete their last transaction?'.

The longer a home sits on the market, the more likely people are to assume that there may be something wrong with the property, which ultimately lowers the asking price. If sellers really want the best price for their home, they'd partner with an agent from a reputable brand with a proven track record of completed sales," says Adrian Goslett of RE/MAX of Southern Africa.

According to the latest FNB Property Barometer Report, asking prices on average have become less realistic in recent years, with the second quarter of 2018 reflecting a rise from 91% in the previous quarter to 96% in the second quarter in the estimated percentage of sellers having to drop their asking price.

"The reality is that some real estate professionals exploit this fact by offering to market a home at a higher price simply to secure a sole mandate. The good news is that you can always jump ship after the stipulated mandate period is over if you've chosen the wrong agent initially," Goslett explains.

But, this is often easier said than done, particularly for sellers who avoid confrontation much like a kid with a balloon avoids grass. To make this process easier for these sellers, Goslett suggests that they remind themselves of the business nature of the transaction.

"It can become difficult to let an agent go, particularly since these transactions are so personal and require a trust relationship between yourself and the person responsible for selling the place you call home. But, you've hired this person to do a job. If they're not giving it their best effort, you have the right to find somebody who will."

When letting the agent know you're going another way, Goslett suggests that you avoid stating personal issues you might have had with the agent like, for example, if they were tardy or arrogant.

Instead, stick to the facts that relate purely to the sale of the home. For example, you could point out that there has been very few viewings for the amount of time the property has been on the market, or that you have not seen any marketing material for your home in all the time it's been up for sale.

"When phrasing these interactions, try to keep your tone professional and firm. They will likely try and convince you to give them some more time, blaming external factors for the lack of interest in your property. But, there is a difference between a lack of interest and a lack of effort.

We are currently facing a recession which means that properties are likely to stay on the market for longer; but, if your agent cannot tell you what he/she has been doing all this time to make sure your home will sell, then you shouldn't waste anymore of your time on them - no matter how gloomy a picture they paint of the current property market," Goslett concludes.

RE/MAX Press Release




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