How to select a good real estate agent
19 March 2021 | Life Style
Word of mouth is often the most reliable way to select a credible real estate professional, but this is not always possible. Those having to find an agent on their own have several factors to consider when selecting the correct professional.
Whether buying, selling, or renting, Regional Director and CEO of RE/MAX of Southern Africa, Adrian Goslett says that it is best to work with a skilled real estate professional who is not only passionate and knowledgeable about the industry, but who also has a working knowledge of the areas in which the client is buying/selling/renting.
“Not only should they be knowledgeable, but an essential element to the agent-client relationship is effective communication and trust. The agent should work with the client’s best interest in mind at all times. For that to happen, the client must be able to feel comfortable with the agent and be able to discuss matters openly and freely,” he recommends.
As important as having a good rapport with the agent is knowing that the agent is well-connected and has an established network of buyers and sellers to whom he/she can connect the client.
“Find out if an agent or the brand they work for lists properties for sale on national and international websites or just smaller localised ones. Sellers should remember that the more exposure their property has, the better their chances of finding a suitable buyer in the shortest possible time.
When you partner with a network that is in over 110 countries and territories, you receive worldwide brand presence and cross-border capabilities competitors cannot touch. This attracts clients who are interested in international opportunities, which can mean more potential business if you’re an agent, more potential buyers if you’re a seller, and a wider variety of properties if you’re a buyer,” Goslett explains.
As a word of caution, Goslett warns sellers never to choose an agent-based purely upon who provides the highest listing price and lowest commission rate.
“The right agent will be realistic and base their evaluation on location, market conditions and what similar houses have recently sold for in the area. Beyond this, real estate commissions vary depending on the brand as well as the agent’s level of experience and the services he/she offers. Often an agent that offers their services at the lowest commission will also provide the lowest level of service and support,” he clarifies.
As one last final check, clients can ask the agent for proof of their Fidelity Fund Certificate. Not only will this provide clients with protection against fraudulent agents and confirmation that the agent is an accredited professional, but it is also a good indication that the agent complies with the conduct rules stipulated in the state Agent's Code of Conduct.