The Value of an Estate Agent

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Buying or selling a home remains one of the most emotionally rewarding (and equally stressful) experiences. Before you begin either process, it’s good to look at the various options available to you such as handling the sale on your own, using an online agent or following the route of a traditional estate agency.

Current shifts still positive

Currently, in Cape Town there is still a positive shift in demand for high-end property with plenty of interest being shown in general residential and retail space. With a shortage of stock and high demand, property continues to present a good opportunity for profit and investment. The Cape is outperforming the rest of the country, and sales at every level are seeing modest growth across both homes and business opportunities. 

However, buyers are still seeking value for money – and the expertise of an experienced estate agent remains essential for finding the right balance. While the growth in prices have slowed, the demand, particularly for modest properties is still fueling an upward trend in the market. First-time buyers are more keenly aware of the importance of ownership than ever before, while many older buyers are downsizing for greater ease of maintenance and security. 

The online estate agent

While you might want to advertise and handle your sale yourself to save money and commission fees, the process requires considerable expertise – expertise that would save you a plethora of unseen additional costs and headaches. Online may allow some advantages – but also presents pitfalls, such as the lack of personal attention a dedicated agent can bring to marketing your home, important legal advice, efficient processing of admin, interviews to profile the right buyer for you, show houses – and most importantly, negotiating the best price for your property.  

While using an online estate agent might save you money – there is a major aspect missing and that is the practical and emotional support direct contact brings to the process. An estate agent is there to handle your concerns, to make the process as easy as possible, to meet your hopes with regard to price and to add the all-important human element – face to face contact so vital to ensuring that your beloved home is passed from one good person to another in good time and with the best deal possible.

The value of an estate agent

  • Knowledge is power they say. And when selling your property, the best knowledge lies with a qualified estate agent who can expertly assess your property and advise you on the most achievable price based on a range of up-to-date property data in your area.
  • An estate agent will be able to point out what is valuable about your home and what might need some attention to improve your chances of sale.  
  • An agent has access to buyers currently in the market. They know what they’re looking for – and what type of features will suit them with additions such as a swimming pool, a storeroom, an enclosed patio, etc. They know who the typical buyer audience for your home will be, and what they are prepared to pay.
  • Understanding what is trending and what moves a property quickly, is vital to the process. An estate agent is going to advise you on all the latest prices achieved and why other properties may have failed in reaching their desired price, and why certain properties have sold faster than others.
  • If you’re buying, an agent will certainly scour the market for suitable properties in your price range, saving you all those hours you might want to spend fruitlessly on the internet – and will also be able to advise you on financing, as well as the available services and infrastructure that are available in the area where you are seeking to buy or sell. There may be advantages you are unaware of and your agent can inform you of a range of benefits you may miss by trying to save on costs.  
  • At any time, for any question, you have an expert at hand to help you. This is certainly better than making mistakes you can’t recover from. Especially if you are buying a home from a seller directly. There may be many drawbacks the seller may not mention. An agent will assess a property thoroughly before placing it on the market and will get the seller to sign a disclosure form confirming the condition of the property and identifying any problems. This knowledge may prove more valuable than anything – and save you thousands in after-sale repairs or regrets, or because you belatedly discover the house is near a noisy pub or bad-odour factory.
  • Agents are there to point out potential problems you might not notice when either selling or buying: wood borer beetle, roof leaks, damp issues, etc. Making minor repairs beforehand is advised, because these might save you having to drop your price by several thousand on the complaints of prospective buyers.  
  • Solving problems, addressing your needs, positioning the property effectively in the marketing process, and negotiating the best deal, are among the key values of an agent. 
  • You will need access to the right marketing strategies, ways that will make your home appear at its most attractive – photographers, videos, media – all of these are important for you to ensure the best outcome. An agent’s access to not only the general media, but also the value of social media, is unmatched; the broadest exposure can be achieved in a matter of minutes via the right websites and social platforms.
  • Trust is the number one key emotion to help you get through what may be a complex process. It is part of an agent’s profile to ensure honesty, integrity and availability in the hard-nosed business of selling or buying a home. An agent is someone who not only understands the complexities of their industry, but also has a good understanding of people.
  • And don’t forget – real estate agents are connected to a range of key people in the home finance and property transfer process, and are able to leverage these relationships to your advantage.
  • A qualified real estate agent’s extensive knowledge about the buying/selling process also allows them to inform clients of any unexpected costs: like statutory rate and compliance certificates; or bond and transfer fees (the list goes on).
  • Last, but not least, agents are trained professionals who are accustomed to handling today’s often discerning viewers, who are adept at spotting every little detail (whether it be good or bad) while viewing your home. In this way, agents also act as buffers between buyers and sellers, while carrying their clients’ best interests at heart.

Leapfrog Property Group

Leapfrog Property Group offers a fresh and innovative approach to buying, selling, renting and property investments, ensuring the best property deals for clients across South Africa. Our agents are qualified, trained, experienced; our approach bold and spirited, driven by heart, generosity and honesty. It is our mission to advise, eliminate obstacles and save you unnecessary expense. Trust is our watchword. And value our motto. Armed with our combined credentials, we are the bright face of excellence in the South African market.  

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Author: Leapfrog Property Group

Submitted 23 May 17 / Views 2407