Selling Real Estate – faq

What is the role of a real estate agent?

Real estate agents are qualified professionals that can help you sell your property.  They are experts in the local and wider property market and provide informed property appraisals.  They help guide sellers on the best method of sale and ensure properties are actively promoted and marketed to reach the maximum number of buyers.  Real estate agents will assist in the negotiation of property sales and ensure this is done with the utmost confidentiality.  Real estate agents work for the property seller and are focused on selling it for the most amount of money.

What is an exclusive listing?

With an exclusive agency agreement, you give only one agent the rights to sell your property.

This may entitle the agent to be paid a commission if the property is sold during the fixed term of the agreement, even if you or another agent were responsible for the sale.

An exclusive listing arrangement is most commonly used for the sale of residential properties.

What is the agent's role at an open house?

An agent’s job at an open house inspection is to listen closely and observe attendees to gauge buyer interest and motivation.

By engaging in conversation, the agent can learn more about a potential buyer’s specific circumstances and requirements. This helps the agent to discuss the aspects of the property relevant to the buyer.

At the same time, buyers may need to view the property without pressure and talk about it with someone they have brought along. A good agent will be aware of this and only engage in conversation at appropriate moments.

Why should I be out during an open house?

Getting a buyer to picture themselves living in the property – sometimes referred to as ‘mentally moving in’ – is one of the most effective ways to generate serious interest.

For this to be achieved, it is essential that they feel relaxed and unhurried. Buyers do not wish to intrude on the current owner’s space, so your presence can sometimes act as a deterrent for them to stay longer and continue to consider the property carefully.

Why is it important to declutter an open house?

Decluttering involves removing personal items as much as possible prior to an open house, in order to help the buyer imagine themselves living in the property.

A first impression often lasts and excessive belongings can make a home seem smaller, darker and less airy than it really is.

Modern homes and decor tastes also tend to lean towards a more sparse presentation, while too much clutter can leave buyers with the sense that finding storage space might be problematic.

How long should it take to sell my house?

Once your home is placed on the market, the length of time it takes to sell depends on a number of circumstances.

The biggest factor is how much you want to make for the property, with auction generally proving to be the most effective way to sell it for the best price in the shortest possible timeframe.

An auction can secure you a quick sale because buyers are compelled to act on the day or risk losing the property to somebody else.

What is an open listing?

An open listing arrangement is a situation whereby you have gained the services of a number of different agents who will list your property and attempt to find a buyer for you.

You are only expected to pay a commission to the successful agent when a buyer has been found.

The benefit of this type of listing is that your property may be advertised across a wider spectrum of potential buyers, but the downside is that you may not receive the same individual attention as you would by employing the services of only one agent.

What does 'overcapitalised' mean?

The term ‘overcapitalised’ refers to a situation where you have spent more money on your property than you will recoup from the sale price.

While it is likely that any work you have done – such as landscaping or interior construction – will add value to the property, there is no guarantee that the full amount spent on these improvements will be seen in the eventual price of sale.

Can I sell my property while it is currently leased?

You are able to sell your property while it is being leased, but any potential purchaser must be told there is a current lease in place and that the property will not be sold with vacant possession.

The tenant has the right to occupy the residence until the end of the lease term, unless both parties negotiate and agree to terminate the existing agreement.

In some cases, the fact your property has reliable tenants in place may actually be appealing to prospective investors.

Do I pay a commission if I sell the property myself?

It is not a legal requirement to use an agent to sell your property – you may elect to undertake the process yourself.

However, there are many reasons why people generally engage the services of a professional to ensure the best price.

Aside from the obvious expertise in marketing, negotiation and selling that an agent brings, most buyers also prefer not to deal directly with the seller. If buyers know you are not paying for an agent, they will usually expect to see the house price reduced accordingly.

In the end, selling a property on your own might lead to a lot of work and pressure, without actually saving any money or maximising the end sale value.

What is a Sales Agency Agreement?

A sales agency agreement is a document written to protect your rights.  It includes details of the real estate agent who you have assigned to sell your property.  It states what they promise to provide for you, along with an estimated sale amount or price range.

This arrangement outlines the amount of fees or commission payable by you for the real estate agent’s services. A commission is usually only due when the sale of the property is completed.

The extent of the real estate agent’s authority to act on your behalf – such as to exchange or make changes on a sale contract – is also stipulated within this document.

You have the right to negotiate with the real estate agent about the terms and conditions of the agreement and to ask for any legally-permitted changes to be made.

The sales agency agreement usually involves a fixed term, which is a specific amount of time the sales agency agreement cannot be ceased unless accepted by both parties. An open-ended agreement with no fixed term must indicate an alternative method for being brought to an end.

If you are unsure about how to end an agreement you should seek legal advice.

In the event that you are unhappy with any of the real estate agent’s services, it is essential to officially bring the sales agency agreement to a close before signing up with a new organisation – otherwise both might be able to charge you a commission when the property is sold.

What is a sole agency agreement?

A sole agency agreement is similar to an exclusive listing agreement, to the extent that you give rights to one real estate agent to sell the property whilst maintaining the ability to find a buyer yourself.

However, in this situation no commission is payable to the agent if you are able to find a buyer who they did not introduce you to.

What is an auction agency agreement?

An auction agency agreement is effectively the same as an exclusive agency agreement, except that it specifically applies to a property you are attempting to sell at auction rather than privately.

If the property reaches a sale at the auction, you will be required to pay the real estate agent a commission.

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