Why choose an agent?
This is a question that probably occurs to all the market players – home purchasers and tenants, sellers and landlords alike. How to obtain the best results
For most people the decision to sell or purchase a property is a once in a lifetime event. Everyone is interested in getting the sale over quickly, everyone is interested in a good offer. The owner seeks a good price and a solvent purchaser, the purchaser wants value for money and the lowest possible price. Yet, all these disparate interests have a common deno-minator: they rely on the services of a real estate professional to help them achieve their aims. We have compiled a checklist of criteria to help you decide which agent is best suited to your needs.
• Speak to people who have had positive experiences with agents. Which company or agent did they choose, whose name is always being recommended, which company leads the market?
• Do not rely solely on the recommendations of others. Gain your own impressions and decide for yourself!
• Study the local press to find out about market prices. Which agent is used as a source of information by the local papers?
• Developments on the local property market: Which company or agent carries out the research?
• Take a look at the advertising of real estate in your area. Which company name do you always see in the press? Which advertisements attract your eye the most?
• Consider the offers made by agents who specialize in the local property market. Who is especially prominent and successful in this sub-market?
• Compare the Internet sites of various agents and the properties offered. Do they coincide with your needs regarding location and price?
• What were your impressions of this first meeting? Did you like the atmosphere at the office? Was the staff friendly? What was your impression of the person/team advising you? Were they helpful and informed? Was the presentation professional?
• Ask the agent why he thinks his office is best suited for your purposes.
• Check the qualifications of the person advising you. Do they keep to their word and fulfil promises? Are they well-informed, friendly and communicative? Do they appear trustworthy? Are they fully focussed on client needs?
• Gain a full picture of the range of services offered – from the mailing of offers to inspections of the property, drawing up contracts and handing over the property.
• Get them to explain their advertising approach. Will your property be marketed locally or further afield? Is the advertising random or is the seller asked to approve the marketing strategy?
• Ask for examples of the sales exposés and see whether there are any properties in the portfolio that are similar to yours/are similar to what you are looking for.
• Clients seeking a property should select the agent suitable or specialized in your area of interest. Enquire about the terms of contract; explain your wishes and needs in detail. Ensure that sufficient time is devoted to the first meeting. The better the agent understands what you want, the better the chances are of finding the right property quickly.
• Owners should invite the agent to a further meeting, preferably in the property to be sold.
• Inform the agent whether you are simply interested in advice, or whether you intend to commission an assignment. Only if the agent knows your real intentions is it possible to prepare the meeting properly.
• Determine whether a fee will be charged for the consultation.
• Provide the agent with all the necessary documents so that a competent documentation can be compiled using all the relevant information. Ensure that you have sufficient time for this important meeting.
• Do not state the price at which you would like to sell but ask the agent for advice on what the current market price would be. Allow the agent enough time. Remember: Under-pricing would cost you money, but so would over-pricing!
• Let the agent explain the price cited to you personally – or in writing. Do not let yourself be impressed by the highest price but listen carefully to the explanation given. The criteria that a competent agent would consider are current market prices, the target groups for your property and the period of capitalization.
• Make sure that you will be kept informed for the duration of the agent’s sales efforts – that you are informed if a serious offer has been made, what stage negotiations have reached, what further activities are planned and whether interested purchasers are being followed up. Get the agent to explain everything in detail. Make sure that in addition to the conventional marketing aids – signs, Internet and the press – all the regional, national and international avenues are being explored (e.g. international cooper-ation and synergies). How big is the network within which your agent operates and carries out marketing activities?
• Commission only one agency and agree on a time limit. Only an agent who knows that his office is the sole representative will invest the optimum amount of time and money to market your property.
• If you engage more than one agency you are detracting from the uniqueness of your property – and thus devaluing it in the public eye. Potential purchasers may be confused or irritated if they find the same property advertised with different treatments, or if they are approached twice by separate agencies.
• Every town has a large number of estate agents but not all of them are suitably qualified. In order to avoid a disappointment, take time to look around so you can find the right agent for your needs.
Remember – the agent’s manner towards you is a useful indicator of how your property will be presented.
We wish you lots of luck with the agent of your choice!
Engel & Völkers Team Porto Cervo