How Real Estate Agents Represent Home Sellers
Selling a home is no small undertaking. Aside from the significant monetary value that property holds, home sellers are often also quite emotionally invested when it comes to the property they might have called home for years. In this regard, home sellers often make the mistake of assuming that they are the best people to manage the sale of the property they are putting on the market.
Real estate agents, however, are uniquely qualified to assess the value of a particular property, market it to potential sellers and, ultimately, sell it at the best possible price.
A real estate agent that knows their stuff has taken time to gain the qualifications required by the state they operate in, and have to undergo hours of in-service training before even being able to obtain the licence that is relevant in their state. Training of this kind is not just invaluable to a real estate agent that has to understand the conditions at play in the property market in a particular state, but also keeps them accountable by law.
When choosing a real estate agent to help you sell your property, you should take care to verify the qualifications they claim to hold. This can easily be done online in New South Wales, Victoria, South Australia, Western Australia, Tasmania, the Northern Territory and Queensland.
Read on to find out why you should use a real estate agent to sell your home, and what real estate agents do for sellers.
1. Price the Home Correctly
In a property market that is always changing, determining the value of any given home can prove a conundrum to people who do not have the qualifications and experience that real estate agents have taken years to come by.
Qualified and experienced real estate agents won’t be able to successfully conduct their business if they do not stay up to date about the specific property market they operate in. Evaluating the property market (which tends to regularly change, depending on local and international market sentiment and trends) is key to pricing a property correctly – something that is paramount if you want to sell your property relatively quickly.
Your real estate agent will be able to advise you as to what the best asking price for your property is, based on a number of factors. Comparable properties in the city or suburb you are selling in will give your real estate agent a base to work from when suggesting a selling price, but he or she will also perform a comparative market analysis of the property, which includes the interior and exterior features of the property, the style of the residence, as well as the yard features, location and mechanics of a home. Furthermore, an agent will suggest an asking price based on the suburb and local area, taking into account the other properties and amenities that surround it.
As objective bystanders, real estate agents do not let their emotions get in the way of pricing a property fairly, leaving room for profit, while not overpricing it based on the perceived value it holds to someone who has lived in it.
Shane Kempton, Chief Executive Officer of Professionals Western Australia, concurs.
“Because they (sellers) are emotionally attached, they also tend to overprice their home, which means the property stays on the market longer and becomes ‘stale’, with the end result being the seller may have to sell the property for lower than its original market value,” says Kempton.
2. Market the Property
Real estate agents are the best assets home sellers could have when putting their homes on the market for many reasons, but also chiefly because of the extensive databases of potential home buyers they have access to.
“A good real estate agent will have a database of potential buyers, and if they belong to a large real estate group, the home has the potential to be marketed nationwide as well as internationally through the internet,” says Shane Kempton of Professionals Western Australia.
Proper market exposure ensures that as many potential buyers as possible are aware that you are looking to sell, broadening the scope of people that may be the next owners of your property. Trying to market this widely without the assistance of a real estate agent simply won’t reap the same results in terms of the publicity your property receives, both in the traditional and in the online media.
A wider potential market leaves more room for competition, and if you are planning on selling to make a profit, this is a factor that makes all the difference.
3. Communicate Properly with the Seller
Finding the right real estate agent is not only beneficial in terms of the technical and detail aspects associated with selling any given property. Home sellers will do well to make sure that the real estate agent they decide to use is also someone they can communicate with openly and freely about any concerns they have surrounding the sale of their property.
Your real estate agent should reciprocate this open line of communication, and he or she should regularly keep you updated as to the progress with the sale of your property. Preceding your initial interviews with prospective candidates, you should already get a good indication of how keenly a real estate agent communicates with clients. Don’t take this first impression lightly – a good real estate agent is one that regularly disseminates news about the progress of the sale to home sellers.
4. Make Sure the Buyer is Qualified
Anyone can express interest in purchasing a property, but not everyone is financially capable of actually going through with a sale. Part of a real estate agent’s job is to handle all the paperwork associated with a sale on the seller’s behalf. This also entails verifying a potential buyer’s pre-approval rating for home loans.
Real estate agents will discourage sellers from selling to prospective buyers who do not meet all the financial requirements, and thanks to the extensive checks and balances that real estate agents go through in order to rate a potential buyer’s eligibility to see a sale through, using the services of a qualified real estate agent that is affiliated with a company that has a proven track record of sales is much easier than having to verify buyers yourself.
5. Negotiate the Best Terms
Shane Kempton highlights the negotiation skills of good real estate agent when he says, “Negotiation skills are a key factor in why private sellers have difficulty achieving the market price of their home. The market reality is that because it is a private sale, buyers will try to negotiate the price down further, believing the seller has a much larger margin of discount available”.
A real estate agent you can trust will always look out for the client first, and when it comes time to get into the nitty-gritty details and technical aspects of the sale of a property, real estate agents are the saving grace.
Of course, negotiating the best terms for their client also benefits the real estate agent in terms of the commission they will earn after the property has been sold. Because it also affects their own livelihood, you can rest assured that your real estate agent won’t negotiate terms that aren’t primarily beneficial to the home seller.
6. Attend the Home Inspection to Represent the Seller
Once a house goes on show, the marketing of the property really starts. Interested home buyers place a high premium on the home inspection, as the impression they get of a property here will probably be the deciding factor, determining whether they will opt to buy a property, or not.
Objectivity goes a long way when introducing potential buyers to a property. A real estate agent is a designated professional who will not let sentimentality influence the way in which potential homebuyers perceive the home.
For a real estate agent, highlighting those aspects of the property that are most likely to entice potential buyers is part and parcel of a successful home inspection. You can trust an experienced real estate agent to focus on the selling points of your property without favour, with one single purpose: exchanging the “for sale” sign for one that reads “sold”, and getting the best possible selling price.
Being represented by a real estate agent at the home inspection saves sellers from having to start negotiating with potential buyers by themselves. Allowing your agent to handle this part of the selling process on your behalf leaves the technicalities of the sale to a seasoned professional.
In addition, your real estate agent can advise you on the best way to style your home in order to allow potential buyers to see themselves in the space, and can also give advice on repairs and improvements that may need to be done before home inspections commence.
7. Attend the Home Appraisal
In the context of the Australian property market, the terms “home appraisal” and “home valuation” are not interchangeable.
While a home appraisal is usually done by your real estate agent, it is an estimate based on your property’s standing within the broader property market of the suburb or city, taking into account the features of the property, among other factors.
A home valuation, on the other hand, determines the actual value of the property by means of a formal and complex process, which is legally binding and done by a qualified valuer.
Should your property require valuation for whatever reason – dispute resolution, asset accounting and management, a property settlement, or for the purposes of obtaining finance, refinancing or to draw down on the equity in your property, among other reasons – your real estate agent can attend the valuation on your behalf, highlighting any features that may be of value to the person doing the valuation.
8. Finalise the Loose Ends for Closing
Ultimately, a qualified and experienced real estate agent handles all the final aspects surrounding the sale of your property on your behalf. This may include the legal transfer of the property, and the extensive paper trail that comes with it.
This may include a Contract of Sale, Certificate of Title, Verification of Identity, as well as Form 1, which is a document that shows any registered or unregistered documents lodged on the property in the last 90 days, the title and valuation details, a copy of a register search for the certificate of the title, and any government interests associated with the land. If you are selling a second property that is not your main residence, you may also be liable to pay capital gains tax. Unless you have been involved in closing the sale of a property sometime before, having someone that understands all the technical and administrative requirements of selling property on your side will make the process of selling a property much less strenuous on the seller.
The tasks of real estate agents go far beyond simply facilitating the sale of a property. Real estate agents provide a range of services to home sellers, including pricing the home, marketing the property, attending home inspections and valuations, negotiating on behalf of the seller, making sure potential buyers are qualified, and ultimately closing the deal – all the while ensuring that home sellers are kept informed throughout the entire process.
Can you really sell your property at the very best price without enlisting the services of a qualified and experienced real estate agent? Let Perfect Agent help you to find your perfect home-selling match today.