Selling Your Property Through an Agent

There have been tonnes of scary stories regarding buying and selling properties through dishonest agents. A better understanding of the processes might help. Here’s an idea of how it normally works.

1. How to choose an agent.

real estate agentAs with most sales people, you might want to go to a familiar name. Be it a family friend or friend’s friend or just someone you know have a good record. If all else fails, try to go for big agencies. Chances f getting a con or dishonest agent can be reduced tremendously.

Make sure you pick only registered agents as they are bound by the law and you will know exactly where to catch them if things don’t work out. Run through the list of registered agent in the Malaysian Institute of Estate Agents (MIEA) here http://www.miea.com.my/

The cost of an agent could also be a deciding factor on your choice of agents.

You should expect the structure is something like:

* X% of price of the property.

Also, decide if you want just this agent to be the SOLE agent selling your property. If not, you will most probably be paying a higher %. Make sure that this is stated clearly.

Find out what exactly is offered.

Before you commit to an agent of choice, make sure you get these in black and white.

* How and where will they market the property?
* How will viewings be conducted?
* How many similar properties has the agent sold in the area in the last few months – and at what price?
* Are providing a lawyer ?

Also surf the net, ask around, check out his past sales. Anything to give you a better idea of how good his service is. If he is really as good as he says, he will have no hesitation to let you see his past records.

2. Getting valuation for your property

Once you have appointed your chosen agent / agency. It’s time to find out the worth of your property.

Try to get more than 1 valuation before deciding whether to put the property on the market. Some estate agents offer this service for free – in effect all they have to do is come to the property, have a look around and then say what price they think it should be marketed at.

OR you could always just hop on to the internet and refer to some property websites (like http://www.hartanah.net) and find for similar properties like yours in the same areas. It should give a pretty good idea of how much your property can be sold at.

*Do be cautious that some agents might give you a very high valuation compared to another just to flatter you. Do your own homework.

3. Advertising your property

Once all the contractual agreement has been committed, your selected agent will be responsible to advertise your property to the property hunting market. Make sure that if there are interesting things about your property that makes it special, let your agent know.

Areas that they may choose to advertise in includes newspapers, online sites, posters, etc.

Try to get the agent to put up photos of your property in the ads. It might help it sell faster.

4. Viewings

Good agents will be able to advice you on what are the potential buyers looking for and how you should prepare for a viewing. You can choose to be there or not be there for the viewing. Some owners prefer to be there as they want to know who is buying their property.

2 types of viewings:

Open House

A few potential buyers will be shown the property at the same time. Sometimes it may encourage the viewers to feel an urgency to make an offer as other viewers can be seen as competition for the property

Closed

The agent will set a time for only 1 potential buyer at a time. Complete opposite of the latter, this encourages more discussions and some buyers may prefer it this way as it’s more comfortable and relaxed.

5. Closing the sale.

As with all properties, the norm is for the buyer to pay at least 10% deposit for your house (certain cases vary). The agent may charge them a booking fee first. However, the buyer should not take longer than 14 days to settle the whole 10%.

You should only sign off the Sale & Purchase Agreement (SPA) when the full 10% has been paid up. The buyer will normally only sign the agreement when his loan is approved.

IF after this 14 days and still no full payment is made, you have a choice to let another prospective buyer take over the deal or wait for this buyer.

6. Are there any fees I must pay as a seller?

No, there should be no additional charges or payments that’s due to you other than the agent’s commission and possibly the penalty fee for ending your housing loan early.

Tips: Some questions you can ask your prospective agent to help you understand more about them.

  1. Are you a full time Agent?
  2. How long have you been in the Real Estate business?
  3. How familiar are you with the area where our home is located?
  4. How many homes did you sell in this area in the last year?
  5. Can you supply 3 names and addresses of recent clients for whom you sold a home that we can contact for reference purposes?
  6. How did you arrive at the suggested listing price for our home?
  7. What is your specific marketing plan for our house?
  8. How do you plan on keeping us informed of the progress of the sale of our home?
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