Please note that you are using an outdated version of Internet Explorer which is not compatible with some elements of the site. We strongly urge you to update to a newer version for optimal browsing experience.

What do property agents bring to the table?

02 Dec 2015

A certain type of home seller will often be tempted to ‘do it alone’ and sell his home without the help of an estate agent.

However, Rowan Alexander, Sales Manager at the Rawson Property Group’s Brackenfell franchise, says this all too often leads to very serious problems.

"One of the big advantages of employing an estate agent from a company where the estate agents are thoroughly trained is that he or she is likely to be capable of valuing the home accurately, something many DIY operators often do not get right,” says Alexander.

Recently, Alexander says he came across two cases which illustrate clearly how the average home seller involved in a property transaction can be seriously unaware of implications concerning contractual conditions. In both these cases problems were caused for the seller and buyer, he says.

In the first case the seller signed a document accepting an offer from a buyer conditional on the buyer being granted a bond, which was then given to him. The seller then changed his mind and decided that he did not want to sell, completely ignoring the very obvious fact that he had agreed to do so under law.

Alexander says actions of this kind are often based on a lack of familiarity with property law, but whatever the cause, they can lead to big financial losses. In this case the buyer could have claimed compensation for the trouble and inconvenience he had been put through.

If, for example, he had sold his own home in anticipation of moving or had been forced to rent premises, the claim he could have put through would have been enormous. Even selling his car because it would not fit into the new home's garage would have entitled him to claim compensation for the extra cost of buying a new car.

In another case, a buyer bought a property in which a tenant still had an extended lease entitling him to live there for a further nine months. Unaware of the legal principle huur gaat voor koop, he then tried to evict the tenant, which was simply impossible due to the weakness of his legal position.

Alexander says these and other cases show that going ahead with a property transaction without being aware of current legislation can very easily lead to disaster.

“Well-trained estate agents know where to look for the hazards and pitfalls in any property transaction, and they are taught to point these out to their clients. They are, in short, trained to make a difficult job simple and hassle-free,” says Alexander.

“Well-trained estate agents know where to look for the hazards and pitfalls in any property transaction, and they are taught to point these out to their clients. They are, in short, trained to make a difficult job simple and hassle-free,” says Alexander.

“Quite frankly, the average seller simply does not know how to go about selling his home. One of the big advantages of employing an estate agent from a company where the estate agents are thoroughly trained is that he or she is likely to be capable of valuing the home accurately, something many DIY operators often do not get right.”

He says DIY operators often price too low and miss out on profit that is rightly theirs. Alternatively they overprice, which almost always leads to the home sticking on the market for a longer period of time. This, in turn, eventually leads to the property selling below its true market value.

“Today’s buyers are shrewd: they have learnt how to use technology available to them, and by calling up a few websites they can get a very accurate idea of the pricing of similar properties in the area they favour,” says Alexander.

In his experience, he says estate agents are always more competent negotiators, and by using facts at their disposal they will achieve a very satisfactory price.

Furthermore, he says agents who are part of a big national group have the added benefit of being able to go big on advertising and being able to expose the property to a host of other franchises who may well have buyers looking for such a home and is keen to earn a referral fee.

“If the franchise if part of a national group which is well branded with high visibility in the area being investigated, that in itself is likely to lead to a quicker, more affordable sale,” says Alexander. 

“The best advice I can possibly give any person contemplating selling their home is to use the dominant agency in their area.”

Asked how he responds to some of those contemplating a DIY operation quoting unfortunate experiences with estate agents in the past, Alexander says it has to be appreciated that the entire property market industry has in the last decade become a great deal more professional.

This is a result of the Estate Agency Affairs Board making fairly stiff educational qualifications (NQF4 and NQF5 in particular), the writing of examinations and one year internships for new beginners completely mandatory.

“You simply cannot overestimate the effect that this has had on the industry,” says Alexander.

“It has reduced the number of estate agents employed by over two-thirds and has given a career in property marketing and selling a new appeal, which in turn has attracted more capable people, many of them young and hold other qualifications.”

Print Print
Top Articles
For wealthy South Africans an investment from $500k is often less than the cost of a second property, and with this minimum amount set to rise, the rush is on...

Those hoping to sell in the current market should be patient, but pricing your property right and working with a good agent can speed things up. Here's what to expect...

With rentals so high in Cape Town’s prime coastal strip, buying property often makes more financial sense than renting, with good buy-to-let opportunities for investors...

Loading

Your browser is out of date!

It looks like you are using an outdated version of Internet Explorer.

If you are using Internet Explorer 8 or higher, please verify that your Internet Explorer compatibility view settings are not enabled.

For the best browsing experience, update to the latest Version of Internet Explorer or try out Google Chrome or Mozilla Firefox.


Please contact our Property24 Support Team for further assistance. Tel. +27 (0)861 111 724