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Tuesday Nov 03, 2020

Property professionals are best equipped to sell your house

The real estate market has seen many 'disruptors' enter the industry over the last few years, from low-cost fixed-fee operators to the all-in-one transferring attorney meets real estate agent offering. Yet, as innovative as these concepts are, none have managed to topple the traditional model of real estate agencies - and there's a reason for this. The traditional model simply works.

According to Adrian Goslett, CEO of the largest real estate group in the region, RE/MAX of Southern Africa, offering to sell a property at a low commission versus actually selling it are two different things. "Estate agents are specialists in their field just as conveyancers are specialists in theirs. If your son had an ear infection would you take him to the dentist or the ENT specialist? You'd take them to the ENT even though they're both doctors," says Adrian Goslett, Regional Director and CEO of RE/MAX of Southern Africa.

To explain the value of having a real estate agent involved in the property transaction, Susan Watts, Broker/Manager of RE/MAX Living, explains that effectively, property professionals are marketing professionals with the technical skills to attract as many buyers as possible and then conclude the contract while negotiating between two parties who want exactly the opposite things (a skill in itself). Their value, she explains, lies not in producing an offer, but in producing the best offer both in terms of the material construction of the contract and its monetary value.

For those who think that homes basically sell themselves based on the online listing, Watts corrects this assumption by stating that as much as 30% of sales at RE/MAX Living come from their database of buyers and not directly from any website inquiry. "Of the remaining 70%, the majority of buyers do not buy the property on which they originally enquired; it takes a skilled matchmaker to take this buyer and find the right match for them. It is this ability to match properties to prospective buyers (many of whom are not even actively looking) that really demonstrates the true value of a property practitioner. In fact, 17% of RE/MAX Living listings sold, were sold to foreign buyers, a further demonstration of the value of a good buyers' network and the value of using the number one international real estate company," she elaborates.  

In addition to utilizing an existing buyers' database, Watts says that property practitioners make use of many other marketing tools to attract as many buyers as possible. "This includes the use of targeted social media campaigns, home staging, networking with other industry players and other agents to make use of their databases, digital marketing through the plethora of portals available, sitting for show houses, and then adjusting the entire marketing strategy as the campaign progresses and new insights are gained. All of this is done before the transfer process even begins."

This is why using a transferring attorney to handle the whole transaction is somewhat impractical. They are simply spread too thin to do it all with the same level of skill and energy that a property practitioner offers. "When a legal practitioner conducts a sale, they are responsible for the entire sale process. In most instances it is more lucrative for a conveyancing attorney, having studied for years to achieve an LLB, to focus on their ordinary course of business. It should also be noted that legal practitioners may not directly employ the services of a real estate agent under their attorney fidelity fund certificate. The legal practitioner would have to register a separate real estate firm under the EAAB should they wish to do so," Goslett explains.

Rather than competing against each other, many conveyancing firms and real estate companies have teamed up to offer fantastic training courses to candidate estate agents. "This again demonstrates the fact that both professions offer very different skill sets. Such training programs generally offer sales, marketing, and negotiating skills training by qualified property practitioners and legal training offered by conveyancers. It is this synergy between both professions both performing their separate tasks optimally which will benefit the industry the most," states Susan.

While innovations will continue to arise within the real estate industry, Goslett remains confident in the traditional property professional model and predicts that increased synergy will be the way forward. "Instead of being replaced by technology, the real estate agent has become empowered by it. Similarly, rather than competing against each other, increased synergy between real estate agents and other professionals, such as attorneys, can enhance the service offering of each industry and lead to greater business success for all," Goslett concludes.   

For more advice on homeownership, or to get in touch with a real estate professional from the world's leading brand in real estate, visit


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