Estate agents, we love them, we hate them, we love to hate them but we can't do without them! This might come to a surprise to some people but you get different types of estate agent. Some specialize in selling and letting of residential properties. Others specialize in selling and letting only commercial, industrial or agricultural type properties.
Today we'll only focus on one type of estate agent, namely those that specialize in residential properties. Just like any industry, you get real estate agents and you get REAL ESTATE AGENTS. A professional agent can help you sell your property at the best price in the shortest possible time frame, with minimum inconvenience to you.
The Estate Agent
Plainly put an estate agent is a link between the buyer and seller, he/she negotiates the sale and terms between both parties and helps by drafting the Offer To Purchase (OTP) which will be signed by the buyer, the seller and the estate agent himself. The estate agent gets by by charging a commission fee which the seller pays. Usually this commission is calculated as a percentage of the selling price. All this you might know but what are the other benefits of having an estate agent in your corner?
Well first of all you should know that not anyone can call himself an estate agent, it's a complicated process to become one, and it involves a lot of learning and even exams! Estate agents must then adhere to a code of conduct, common laws and provisions set forth by The Estate Agency Affairs Act, failure to follow these provisions, laws or codes of conduct can get an estate agent in big trouble with The Estate Agency Affairs Board in the form of disciplinary action.
Some of the benefits of having such a professional at your side are obvious such as them knowing the local property market and the people in the area and if you're selling a home your estate agent will put his experienced sales techniques to good use.
Other benefits are less obvious such as the estate agent protecting the interest of you the client at all times, knowing all the legal, financial and marketing aspects and even being able to spot fraudsters. All for your protection and benefit!
So what else do real estate agent do?
As mentioned above estate agents have rules and a code of conduct to follow, here we'll take you through these to better understand exactly what your estate agent can and will do for you.
- To always act honestly with fair conduct
- To qualify the buyer (to gather information about the buyer in order to find the ideal home)
- To show selected properties
- To maintain contact with the buyer
- To assist the buyer to make an offer and to obtain finance
- To provide after-sales service
- To comply at all times with the obligations set forth by the Estate Agency Affairs Board
- Advising him on the market value of his property;
- Marketing his property effectively;
- Assessing prospective purchasers to ascertain whether they are financially able to purchase his property and what their housing needs are;
- Advising a prospective purchaser on the suitability of the property for his needs, its general conditions and whether there are any restrictions on the use of the property;
- Negotiating the transaction, taking into consideration the interests of all parties concerned;
Completing the Offer to Purchase document, making sure that the document is legally valid and reflects the requirements and intentions of all the parties concerned;
- Advising the buyer on financing the transaction and assisting him in arranging such finance;
- Liaising with the conveyancing attorneys attending to the transfer of the property and assisting them to expedite the registration process