Re­search well be­fore choos­ing

De­cid­ing to put your house on the mar­ket is the easy part, find­ing the right per­son to sell it can be more dif­fi­cult, re­ports Sue Emeny.

Manawatu Standard - Property Weekly - - Front Page -

The in­tro­duc­tion of Real Es­tate Act 2008 and the for­ma­tion of the Real Es­tate Agents Au­thor­ity (REAA) has dra­mat­i­cally im­proved the level of ser­vice pro­vided within the in­dus­try and this means ven­dors can have more faith in the per­son they have se­lected to sell what is prob­a­bly their most valu­able as­set.

Andy Ste­wart, who has 23 years in the in­dus­try, is the Real Es­tate In­sti­tute (REINZ) dis­trict forum leader and it’s his job to as­sist and co-or­di­nate ac­tiv­i­ties for the real es­tate pro­fes­sion­als in this area who are mem­bers of the in­sti­tute.

‘‘Mem­bers of the public can be a lot more con­fi­dent that an agency will carry out its work to a higher stan­dard. The in­tro­duc­tion of the act and the for­ma­tion of the Real Es­tate Agents Au­thor­ity, a in­de­pen­dent reg­u­la­tory body for the in­dus­try and watch­dog for the con­sumer, has in­creased the stan­dard of real es­tate work within the in­dus­try.

‘‘Each in­di­vid­ual sales­per­son is now a li­censee and is in­di­vid­u­ally ac­count­able to the REAA. Sales­peo­ple used to be able to hide be­hind the agency, but they can no longer do that.’’

Andy says the act has brought about trans­parency and dis­clo­sure in real es­tate trans­ac­tions.

‘‘A sales­per­son has to dis­close ab­so­lutely ev­ery­thing they know about a prop­erty, we can’t with­hold any­thing. If a ven­dor asks us not to dis­close some­thing about their prop­erty, we are un­able to work for that per­son.’’

A sales­per­son who fails to dis­close in­for­ma­tion can be in­ves­ti­gated by the Real Es­tate Agents Au­thor­ity Com­plaints As­sess­ment Com­mit­tee or the Dis­ci­plinary Tri­bunal.

‘‘This has been a huge change and has sorted out the in­dus­try. Peo­ple should be far more con­fi­dent now about choos­ing a sales­per­son. The fines a sales­per­son can have im­posed are real fines, not to­ken gesture stuff. A sales­per­son can be held ac­count­able for their ac­tions and the fines and dam­ages that can be awarded are sub­stan­tial and cer­tainly make you think.’’

When choos­ing a sales­per­son, Andy sug­gests first and fore­most talk­ing to fam­ily and friends who have had deal­ings with sales­peo­ple.

‘‘Per­sonal rec­om­men­da­tion is prob­a­bly the best way of se­lect­ing a sales­per­son.

‘‘They need to find out how they got on with the sales­per­son, were they hon­est, and whether the sales­per­son worked in their best in­ter­ests and achieved a sale."

He says com­mu­ni­ca­tion and keep­ing the ven­dors in­formed dur­ing the sale process were im­por­tant as well.

‘‘The other thing to con­sider is which com­pany the sales­per­son is work­ing for, look­ing at the rep­u­ta­tion and pres­ence of that com­pany in the mar­ket­place and whether that com­pany meets their needs.’’

An­other valu­able tool is the REAA’S on­line Public Reg­is­ter of Li­censees. Mem­bers of the public can visit to see if a sales­per­son has any past his­tory of mis­con­duct.

‘‘Those mis­de­meanours re­main on the

‘‘Then I think you need to as­cer­tain whether you feel com­fort­able with that per­son, do they have your best in­ter­est at heart, will they put in the max­i­mum ef­fort to your cause.’’

An­other im­por­tant point to raise is in re­gard to fees.

‘‘It is im­por­tant to find out what is cov­ered in the fee struc­ture and are the fees com­pa­ra­ble in the mar­ket place.

‘‘Mar­ket­ing is an im­por­tant in­vest­ment by ven­dors, in­creas­ing the pro­file of your prop­erty and mak­ing sure it stands out from the crowd cer­tainly as­sists the prop­erty to sell. The level of in­put is en­tirely op­tional and you should be able to ne­go­ti­ate an ef­fec­tive mar­ket­ing pack­age in con­junc­tion with your se­lected agency.

‘‘With the me­dian num­ber of days to sell a house in March be­ing 30 days, it is im­por­tant to hit the mar­ket hard in the first four to six weeks to achieve the op­ti­mum price whilst the prop­erty is fresh to the mar­ket.’’

Andy is­sues a warn­ing when it comes to flat fees.

‘‘These aren’t nec­es­sar­ily the best op­tion, and nei­ther are slashed fees.’’

They can re­duce the sales­per­son’s in­cen­tive to se­cure the best price.

‘‘It’s all about ser­vice and value. Sales­peo­ple are trained ne­go­tia­tors, they’re there to get the best price for a prop­erty.’’

Andy says there are a lot of suc­cess sto­ries from peo­ple who have sold their houses them­selves, but says they may not have got the best price for their prop­erty.

When a ven­dor signs a con­tract with a sales­per­son, it is as much a com­mit­ment to the real es­tate agency as it is to the prop­erty owner, says Andy.

‘‘As a sales­per­son, you have got to com­mit your­self to do ev­ery­thing within your power to get the best pos­si­ble price for the ven­dors, in a time frame that meets the ven­dors cir­cum­stances and with the min­i­mum of in­con­ve­nience.’’

Andy Ste­wart reg­is­ter for ever,’’ says Andy.

‘‘There are no sec­ond chances and that’s good, af­ter all, you are deal­ing with peo­ple’s ma­jor as­sets.

"The num­ber of sales­per­sons who have a dis­ci­plinary record on the public reg­is­ter is a small num­ber com­pared to the num­ber of li­censees in the in­dus­try," says Andy.

Sales­peo­ple are aware they have to work to a Pro­fes­sional Code of Con­duct and Client Care and that look­ing af­ter the client’s in­ter­ests is para­mount.

‘‘Sales­peo­ple have to be far more ac­count­able and that’s the best thing that has ever hap­pened to the in­dus­try.

Of­fer­ing client pro­tec­tion at a dif­fer­ent level is the Real Es­tate In­sti­tute of New Zealand, which Andy says still has a pos­i­tive role.

‘‘A ques­tion clients should ask them­selves is whether the sales­per­son is a mem­ber of the in­sti­tute.

‘‘Mem­ber­ship is vol­un­tary, but the peo­ple who do be­come mem­bers tend to be ca­reer pro­fes­sion­als and part of com­pa­nies that want to make sure they adopt best prac­tice stan­dards, are up-to­date with cur­rent leg­is­la­tion, and are bound by REINZ’S Code of Agency Prac­tice.’’

An­other ad­van­tage of be­ing a mem­ber of the in­sti­tute is that it pro­vides ac­cess to up-to-the-minute sales in­for­ma­tion, says Andy.

This in­for­ma­tion helps sales­peo­ple pro­vide real time ap­praisals.

‘‘Set­ting a price for a house isn’t an ex­act sci­ence,’’ says Andy.

‘‘Sales­peo­ple are in­ter­pret­ing the mar­ket­place, and where a prop­erty sits on the mar­ket.

But get­ting back to the is­sue of choos­ing a sales­per­son, Andy sug­gests a home­owner short­lists two or three to pro­vide a mar­ket ap­praisal of their prop­erty and in­ter­view­ing them.

‘‘It would ef­fec­tively be like con­duct­ing a job in­ter­view, af­ter all, you are em­ploy­ing that per­son to work for you.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from New Zealand

© PressReader. All rights reserved.