There are various reasons why people put their property up for sale. The most common  reason is to move up the housing ladder to a larger home to cater for a  growing family or improved financial position, or to down size after  the kids have left and vice versa.

Whatever the reason for wanting to sell, it  is true that in times when property prices are not so buoyant, one of  the prime motivators is either to realise equity and downsize, or just  get away from a financial situation which has become untenable. Only the  seller truly knows the personal reason why they want to move, but the  question is how do I choose the perfect agent for me?

When going through the various media  platforms you find a host of estate agents, each vying for your  business. But which one should you choose? How do you know which one is  best suited to sell your home and how do you know you can trust them?  Below are some pointers one should consider when  choosing the right  agent for them:

  • Choose a tried, tested and trusted, well  established agency selling property in your locality, preferably one  that has been recommended by someone who has used them before.
  • Ensure that the agent you are considering is registered with the  governing body which is the Estate Agents Council of Zimbabwe to avoid  the risk of being conned along the way.
  • If an agent is well  established, it is a sure sign that they have been doing something  consistently right over that time. That said, there is nothing wrong in  selecting a newly-formed company as it may be staffed with a breadth of  experience, but do your research first. It is no good selecting an agent  with little experience just because they charge a much lower fee. As in  all things, quality often comes at a price. Test the agent before  engaging their services by acting as a prospective purchaser. Make a  checklist of how well you are welcomed, how promptly, enthusiastically  and professionally you are treated and how thorough they are in  addressing your needs. If you leave with a positive list of all boxes  checked, you can be sure if you instruct that agent to sell your home;  potential buyers will be similarly treated when introduced to your  property
  • A busy agent's office will be a hub of activity so watch each office assess the
  • mood  before you walk in. Does the office look well organised and  professional? Is each negotiator looking busy on the telephone or  attending to clients - or are they just leaning back in their chairs looking at their watches, bored?
  • You would also need to see how well the agent is marketing the  properties on their current listing and the agent’s visibility through  all authorised media outlets within the market.

The agent’s commission:

Many sellers  usually think the agent’s commission is exorbitant as they feel their  work may not justify the commission charged. What they do not know  however is that there is much more to selling a property than merely  taking a photograph, placing an advertisement in the paper and erecting a  'For Sale' board on the street. 

The reality is that  the physical process of selling a property is relatively easy if the  agent has sufficient buyers on their register. The real work of the  true, professional estate agent begins when a sale has been agreed:  keeping all parties informed, progress chasing and managing often  tenuous chains. That is when the agent earns their crust - where one can  distinguish between a quality agent and someone who is merely good at  matching buyers to properties, which is a completely different prospect  altogether. Food for thought! 

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