Is your agent up to scratch?

How do you know whether your estate agent is up to scratch or not? You'll be able to tell from the after-sales service given by the agent.

According to Tony Clarke, MD of Rawson Properties, once the money is in the bank, the service from the estate agent is not meant to come to an abrupt halt.

“Often after the sale has been made, agents will leave the seller and buyer in the hands of the conveyancer," but this is not the way it should be. It is the duty of the agents to "stay in touch with his clients and to see that not only are all the suspensive clauses on the sale completed or cancelled quickly, but also that all other legal matters required to speed up transfer are completed”, he says.

Suspensive clauses

Suspensive clauses usually relate to the obtaining of a mortgage bond, clearance certificates on beetle infestation, the electrical wiring, the payment of rates and transfer duties and the sale of the purchaser’s property. After these matters have been attended to, it is then essential to get the Receiver of Revenue’s acknowledgement that transfer duty has been paid and ensure that all the legal documents are signed and logged at the Deeds Office.

Suspensive clauses not met timeously could nullify the deal — or create long, expensive delays.

“In general, transfers go through in four months but delays do occur and cause frustration and financial loss,” he says.


That's why it's important for estate agent to still be assisting the process.

“A percentage of sales will always be cancelled due to non-performance of either party, making it necessary to find another buyer. The agent must play his part in keeping the sales process on track — and he or she should be on hand to pre-empt any problems or delays and take appropriate action, where possible.”

When choosing an agent, make sure that the agent:

  • belongs to an established organisation that has been operating in the area for some time;
  • presents a comprehensive market analysis and marketing plan unique to that property;
  • has an action plan in the event of no buyer materialising; and
  • has been through appropriate training.

He says, “It is easy to offer a cut commission and thereby obtain a mandate but excessive commission cutting is often an indication of desperation. It frequently points to the fact that the agency is not marketing their client’s property thoroughly, i.e. so as to achieve the best possible price in the best possible time.”

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