Let’s face it, everyone knows an estate agent – and you may well have a close friend who is an agent. When it comes to selling your property do you list with your friend, or not?
Can your friend sell your property? Probably. Selling real estate isn’t that hard, to be honest. You could even sell your property yourself.
However, you need to consider whether you just want to sell your property, or you want to sell for maximum price. There is a big difference – and it can mean tens, if not hundreds of thousands of Rands to you.
Anyone will buy a bargain. If you stuck a board outside your property saying “For Sale at 15% below Market Value” you are bound to get interest, and you would sell in no time at all.
But, if you want to sell for full market value then more is needed. A really good agent will be able to help you achieve maximum price. How do they do this?
It’s a combination of print advertising, electronic and website marketing, and use of technology, that will ensure your property is exposed to a wide buyer audience.
In addition to this, your top agents also have access to a database of buyers they are already working with. For example, at Harcourts Platinum when we take a new listing we match it to our database of over 3000 buyers. These buyers are targeted as they have already indicated what they are looking for.
They are invited to view the property, very often even before the first adverts appear. Often we will have a group of different buyers viewing the property at the same time. This creates a sense of urgency with the buyers, and results in buyer competition.
When a property enjoys massive marketing and buyer competition then buyers are motivated to make their best offer – not just any offer. And that’s the difference between just selling your property, and selling it for what it’s worth.
When interviewing agents in your selection process, be sure to enquire what they will do to market your home to ensure it stands out and appeals to a wide buyer audience. Find out if they have access to a buyer database, and how they use technology to access these buyers.
When you’ve compared estate agents then select the one you believe will do the best job for you and help you achieve full market value. Ask for a written marketing plan so that you know you will get what is promised.
If your friend happens to be the one who comes out on top, then there is no reason not to list with them. If, however, they don’t, then you may find yourself selling for less than you need to – and this could put unnecessary strain on a good friendship.
When you select your doctor, surgeon, dentist or financial advisor you make sure you select those with the best skills and resources to help you. Make sure you do the same when it comes to selecting your estate agent.
Principal of Harcourts Platinum, and Director of Harcourts South Africa
Email your real estate question to firstname.lastname@example.org.