Real Estate

What are the real pros and cons of using a real estate agent?

Are you trying to sell or lease your property? Don’t know whether you need or what the real pros and cons of using a real estate agent are? Well, you’ve come to the right place.

For a long time I have been leasing my properties by myself, so I know what goes on behind the scenes. I know about all the admin, the constant emails from tenants with their complaints and the worries at the end of the month whether you will receive your rent on time.

This is not all sunshine as I thought, but it has its pros and cons. I have decided to help you guys by sharing with you what I believe are the most important pros and cons of using a real estate agent.

I will divide this post into two main categories namely, leasing and selling, each with their pros and cons.

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Leasing

Pros

The first thing I think of as n pro for using a real estate agent to lease your property is the fact that they manage your property for you. Everything that needs to be done goes through the real estate agent and if necessary, the agent will contact you. An example of this would be if the geyser breaks, the tenant will phone the estate agent and he/she will get quotes to fix the geyser. Usually, they would get two to three quotes, which they will present to you. You (owner) will then choose one and pay after the job is done. This saves you a lot of time and effort in order to something more important like looking for your next property to buy.

The great thing about using a real estate agent is the fact that if you use a reputable company, they will be fully licensed, which means they know all the laws regarding rental property and can assist you when there are any disputes.

Another major upside for me is the fact that when it is time to get in new tenants,  the estate agent will do all the marketing for you. This means they will take all the photos and do all the necessary advertising on all the major websites/newspapers for you. You don’t have to lift a finger. There is a lot of work that goes into advertising, so the fact that they do it for you will definitely take a lot of off your plate.

Cons

The most obvious con of using an estate agent to lease your property is the fact that they will take a cut of your “earnings”. Estate agents can take anything between 5%-10%, depending on a few variables like area, whether or not the agent is a bit desperate or your negotiating skills. That’s right, you can always negotiate on the commission.

If you make use of a reputable company, the chances are very good that they will have quite a few clients that they work with. This could mean that they won’t always have the time to help you immediately or that they neglect you as a client.

Together with the point in the previous paragraph goes the fact that you are basically connected to their timeline. You might not get a tenant in as soon as you thought. This could cause you to lose money which could have greater consequences.

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Selling

Pros

When selling your property, there is a lot on your brain and you definitely don’t want to stress about selling your property by yourself. This is why it will be a very good investment to get an estate agent to do the sale for you. I, for one, are daunted when it comes to legal matters, which makes it perfect for me that the estate agent deals with all the legal matters. They draft all the necessary paperwork, including an offer to purchase so you don’t have to. The agent will also be able to assist you with questions regarding all the paperwork.

The estate agent will always protect the interest of his clients which means he will always make sure you know what’s going on. Should you ever feel that something is not right or you don’t want to go through with the deal, the agent will guide you in the right direction.

As in the leasing category, the agents are licensed and registered with a board, meaning that he/she must at all times, act honest and fair when it comes to a property sale.

Cons

As in leasing, the agent will also take a commission when selling your property. The average of this commission is around 7%, which is a lot if you think what property is going for today.

The estate agent can sometimes give the buyer inside information like for instance if you tell him/her that you are very desperate for the sale, he can tell the buyer to make a lower offer than he would’ve. This could mean that you don’t get the price that you bargained for.

Conclusion

In conclusion to the real pros and cons of using a real estate agent, I will definitely encourage you to lease your property by yourself if you only have one property on the market. As soon as you are looking to buy your next property, I will suggest hiring a real estate agent.

As for selling your property, I will never propose that you do it on your own, except if you are a qualified real estate agent. The legal matters and paperwork that goes with it is just too much for a person who doesn’t deal with it every day.

I hope that you find this post informative and helpful. If you do, please feel free to like/share!

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