A question we are often asked by owners is “what should I expect from a good Property Agent”?
Once you have established a good rapport with an agent and can communicate well together, your agent has a responsibility to:
- Get information about your property from you.
- Market your apartment to potential purchasers or tenants
- Qualify potential buyers or tenants
- Arrange for prospects to view your property.
- Handle the negotiations.
It is also very important that the agent is honest with you, and a good example of this is being realistic about achievable sales or rental prices.
Looking at each responsibility in more detail;
Get information about your property from you.
Market your flat to potential purchasers or tenants.
Qualify Potential Buyers.
Arrange for potential purchasers to view your property.
Conduct negotiations with potential purchasers.
Review the initial (or Provisional) Sale & Purchase contract
Ensure all monies due to the owner are paid by the new buyer on or before the final closing
The information should be accurate in terms of the size of the property, items that may need addressing and any recent works that have been done. It is also key to gather data on selling points such as characteristics of the property, location, local amenities and transport accurately.
This should be a focused exercise, well thought through for the type of property e.g. targeting the appropriate publications and websites that you target cliental are likely to visit.
Additional material such as fliers and brochures can be used in some cases, and it is also worth considering if it would be useful to have a floor plan as part of the details.
A good agent won’t just rely on people seeing the marketing but will also have a database of potential buyers/renters to send the property details to. Well taken photographs are also hugely helpful in creating the initial interest.
This means finding out if they are serious about purchasing or renting your property, and have the financial ability to do so. Are they in a position to move in line with your preferred timeframe?
A good agent should also offer objective advice on how to optimise the space before showing the property.
For example do you have pets? Are there smells to be dealt with? Does the paint-work need a touch up or the entrance lobby need a tidy? Is there any space that does not have a purpose which could easily be defined by moving around some furniture?
You should also decide together with your agent if you are going to manage the viewings through an Open House or Scheduled attended or unattended appointments.
The agent should tell you about all offers in relation to your property as soon as they are received.
They should be a strong negotiator to help you achieve the best outcome, and support you in signing the provisional agreement with the purchaser.
They should also possess the ability to keep other interested parties “warm” in case the first negotiation falls through.
The agent should provide feedback on the contract terms and conditions, and whether or not they are reasonable and achievable.
As well as the selling price and utility bills, there are often deposits paid by an owner to the management company. The new buyer must transfer funds to pay for these items by the closing.
It helps if Agents are enthusiastic and energetic, but above all a good agent should always act in your best interests.
With rental properties, agents are also asked “What happens if I have a problem in the property will you fix it?”
The answer to this depends on who, if anyone, manages the property on behalf of the owner, and this happens to be the topic of next weeks Property Matters where we give more of an insight in to what to expect from a “managed” property.