We have seen the results time and time again and there is no doubt that signing a sole mandate with a reputable estate agent is still the best route to take when selling your property. When deciding to sell your home you have a number of options open to you. You can choose to sell privately, you can invite several agents to market your home on an open mandate basis or you can sign an exclusive mandate with one agency.
There is no doubt that technology has changed the industry over the years, with the internet having a major impact on the way homes are bought and sold. Many years ago, a buyer would walk down the street, browse the listings in the estate agency window and then walk in and talk to an agent about their property requirements. The estate agent would then take the buyer to several properties based on the information that they had given them. The agent had a wealth of information that was not easily accessible to sellers or buyers.
Today buyers do most of their initial shopping online. Properties are listed on online portals and a buyer can search for homes using specific criteria such as area, price and accommodation. Buyers eliminate some properties before even viewing them. Sellers can easily get access to information such as what is currently on the market as well as recent sales. So naturally sellers have started questioning why they would need the services of an estate agent especially if they can save money in the process.
Then there are sellers that don’t want to sell privately but also don’t want to ‘risk’ using one estate agent. So they call in several estate agents as they feel that some competition is needed to incentivise the agents to work harder to get a buyer in the shortest possible time. They also don’t want to be tied into using one agent in case they don’t perform.
Sellers think that by opting to sell privately, they will have more money in their pocket in the end. But this is usually not the case as sellers are generally not strong at negotiating the highest price for their own home. They also don’t have an existing client base to draw from and although they have access to a lot of information, they don’t have a clear understanding of current market conditions and the importance of pricing correctly. They may have access to an attorney to assist them with a contract but there is often a disconnect between buyer and seller requirements and the paperwork if there is no understanding of the potential issues that can arise. It is important to consider factors such as occupation date, the initial deposit required, what bond a bank will be prepared to grant and more importantly what occurs with a ‘subject to’ offer.
Opening up the property to several agents can be a risky exercise as you open yourself up to possible disputes between agents as well as double commission claims. It also creates a bad impression of the property as everyone is trying to sell it but no one is buying it. This has become even more evident on the online portals as they now lump all the listings together and it clearly shows that the same property has been listed by several agencies. There is often little coordination between the agents with conflicting descriptions and different prices, thus confusing the buyer. Feedback can also be distorted as one buyer may have enquired with several agents. The bottom line is that agents don’t fully commit to and invest in a listing where the seller has not committed to them. They are actually disincentivised to work on the property. They are also more focussed on the sale and less on the seller’s best interests.
Take your time and choose to work with an agent who is going to give you the best results. By choosing one agent, you will ensure a level of quality, greater security, more competition between buyers (not agents) and will ultimately end up with more money in your pocket at the end.
At Harcourts, our mission is to create clients for life. To achieve this, we commit to Our Promise; a written assurance that we will deliver you an exceptional level of service and most importantly, deliver on your primary objective – to achieve the best possible result for your property.
Principal - Harcourts Heritage
13 November 2019