Top 10 Questions to Ask Your Agent

29 Mar 2011

1. What experience do you have?
It is vital that you establish the amount of experience and knowledge an estate agent has before you choose one. Also remember to ask about other special certification or areas of expertise that the agent might have.

2. Where will you be advertising my property?
A good agent will use all advertising mediums to advertise you property including billboards, brochures, open houses, newspaper and online listings. Be sure to also ask how often ads will be published.

3. What statistics can you show me about previous sales?
An estate agent should have a record of their previous transactions, including how many properties they have listed, how many properties they have sold, the average time it takes them to sell a property, etc. Use this opportunity to ask why some properties were not sold.

4. How accessible are you?
You need your agent to be easily accessible 24/7. If an agent tells you that they are only working part time, you have to accept that he/she won’t be available most of the time. You also want your estate agent to attend the open house personally and not an assistant. If you are only available on weekends, make sure that your agent is willing to work weekends.

5. What is your commission cut?
Make sure that you agree on this and that you are aware of all terms and conditions.

6. Do you have contactable references?
Ask for the contact number of the agent’s last three clients, which does not necessarily mean the last three clients that had their properties sold. You want to hear the good as well as the bad.

7. How many properties do you currently list in my area?
Note that it is a good thing if an agent has had a large number of properties in your area, because this way he/she will be up to date with recent sale activity in the area as well as market prices. What you don’t want is an agent that has a large number of properties in a more expensive area, as this might mean that he/she will focus more on the properties that offer more commission.

8. Are you registered with the Estate Agency Board?
The agent you choose should be registered with Estate Agency Affairs Board (EAAB) of South-Africa. You can contact this organisation to ensure that your agent is registered and that he/she has a clean record, meaning no complaints have been filed against the particular agent. Visit their website for more information: http://www.eaab.org.za

9. What listing price do you suggest and why?
This is a very important question and the agent’s knowledge, experience in your area as well as reasoning behind the price should be taken into consideration. Beware of agents that say “yes” to any price.

10. Do you offer any other services?
Ask agents if they offer any other services and if they can make referrals such as property inspectors, bond originators, moving companies etc. Also find out if an agent has any help from assistants or other staff to ensure that he/she will be able to get to all the services that is promised.