It’s amazing how surprised we are when we buy the cheaper product and then get frustrated that the quality isn’t what we expected. We then end up having to buy the more expensive product anyway. Result: the cheaper product was more expensive.
There is an international rule that says’ “you get what you pay for”. Every time we break that rule we kick ourselves. True, sometimes we are forced to go with the cheaper product or service because we can’t afford the better one. But then we rightly expect an inferior experience.
Real Estate is no different. Sadly though, with our biggest asset, many property sellers make the mistake of selecting the “cheapest” agent, thinking it will save them money.
So do you really need an agent to sell your property? Probably not. Stick a board outside. Someone will call and make an offer, and you will sell. If you just want to sell your property then by all means, go for the cheapest option – and try it yourself.
However, if you want to maximize your asset and get the best result in the market, then you need to do something different.
This is what I’ve learnt in over 25 years of real estate: The better the marketing and selling strategies the more buyer interest you get. The stronger the buyer interest, the more the buyers compete. When the buyers compete they may their best offers and you sell for the most the market will pay.
The reality is that, if you want the best marketing and selling strategies they won’t come from the cheapest agent – it’s just not possible. But what counts at the end of the day surely isn’t what agent fees you pay – it’s what you net “in your pocket” after fees. So the agent that is the “cheapest” and sells low will net you less than the agent who charges more but has the marketing and selling strategies to sell for much more, thus netting you the maximum.
The result simply is that the agent that appears the cheapest usually is the most expensive, because you net less in your pocket.
Now that doesn’t mean that the agent with the highest fee will get you the best result. As with everything in life, you need to determine what you are getting for the fee. What is the marketing plan? How will buyers be attracted to the product? What strategies will be employed to get the buyers to compete against each other?
You need convincing proof that your agent has the answers. I’d suggest you need them in writing. In fact, why not ask that the agent undertakings in terms of marketing, service, and strategies are in writing and part of the sole mandate. That way you get what you’re promised.
Don’t be fooled. If you pay peanuts you get monkeys. If you pay a professional to do a professional job you get what you pay for – a great result that maximizes your net return. You deserve nothing less.
Principal of Harcourts Platinum
Director of Harcourts South Africa