These days many of our activities are tending towards automation. The fear of some and the conclusion of many is that all businesses will soon be conducted online.
While this might become true in many spheres, real estate and some other sectors will remain a truly human business requiring an understanding of how to relate with others.
In the real estate sector, many players could occupy roles such as buyers, sellers and agents. Due to the relatively low entry barrier into the industry, there has been a mix up between the real and fake real estate agents.
We need to dissect and identify the key factors that will help us recognise the right real estate agent for you.
One of the first basic requirement that you should insist upon is experience. Buying, selling, leasing, developing or managing real estate involves the use of several skills, knowledge and expertise that a new agent may not possess.
However, if a new agent is working with or under an experienced agent he or she should be evaluated based on that senior person’s experience.
It is important for you to select an agent that has an understanding of the market and can give you a balanced advice on the market.
An experienced agent will also have access to a good network of relationships built over time that could help you sell or buy your desired property.
When you are considering working with a real estate agent be wary of those real estate agents who overestimate the value of your property.
Don’t allow the greedy aspect of your mind to control you. Every neighbourhood has a general average price that allows for a moderate wiggle room in negotiation.
When you come across an agent that tells you that he or she could sell your property for several times higher than the market price be very wary.
Going for the highest price possible, except in a booming market,is a sure way not to get your property sold for a while.
Occasionally you will come across some real estate agents who will come with an offer that may be difficult to refuse such as waiving agency commissions.
The standard procedure is for real estate agents to negotiate with the buyer to be paid anything between five to 10 per cent of the sale price.
When an agent decides to be allowed to add his commission to the sales price it should be a red flag to you. Agents who do any of these will be under intense pressure to make a profit in the transaction even if by compromising to some degree.
It is better to agree with your agent on the amount of percentage that you will pay so that he can focus exclusively and passionately on your assignment.
Another way of recognising an agent who may not be appropriate for you is if he or she agrees with all your opinions and suggestions.
As a client it is possible to have all kinds of opinions regarding price, responding to offers, conducting inspections, advertising, documentation and several other issues that are not standard or could jeopardise your goals.
While the agent is not expected to contradict and shoot down all your suggestions, he should be able to point out ideas and opinions that should not be followed.
He is to bring his professionalism, expertise and experience into display. If he has, nothing to offer professionally and intellectually, the transaction may not be properly managed.
This is one other reason why you should engage a real estate agent that is professional and makes you comfortable. You should be wary of anyone that you would like to engage as your real estate agent who has very little regard for values like integrity, orderliness and process.
You should be comfortable relating with and transacting business with the person. Real estate involves dealing with money either as a buyer or a seller or in any other capacity and money has a way of amplifying the best or worst in people.
To minimise your risk, I strongly recommend giving preference to those professions directly or indirectly related to real estate, property and investment.
Most of the professionals in those occupations belong to professional associations that have oversight on members, which help to maintain accountability and discipline.
Some of these professions require practicing licenses which the members do not want to lose because of a misdemeanor in one transaction.
You can also get references from colleagues or people who know such professionals. To my mind, this place you in a better position than when you are dealing with individuals who do not have any professional standing or record of accomplishment in the sector.