Many buyers and sellers still stuck in trying the old ways of going it alone, while the bigger majority of enlightened property owners have realised that the advantages of using an estate agent are indeed numerous.
Not only do buyers and sellers that use an agent save time and money, they find what they want quicker, they sell quicker and also realise a better price when selling. “But how is this possible?” many will ask. “The only thing an agent will ever do is take your money for little or no work done” the old guard says. Nothing could be further from the truth. We explain:
Estate agents spend money on marketing your home whereas you probably do not.
Anyone can place a free ad on Facebook or similar social media platforms but this is like throwing a stone in a bush in the hope that you hit something. In contrast to this, social media’s targeted marketing tools and boosting campaigns are not free as many may think, you have to pay for it, but it is far more effective. It targets exactly the demographical groups you aim for and this is what most estate agents use as they do not have time to sit and wait for a buyer or a seller… they are after results. The sooner you engage an audience, the better. Estate agents make use of the services of the company’s dedicated staff that are trained in social media marketing and employees do not work for free and if your home is advertised in conventional print media, it costs even more.
Knowledge and Experience
Estate agents sell property for a living whereas you do not. They do this all day, week in and week out. If you give them a mandate to sell your property or to find one for you, this is what they are best trained to do. Estate agents have knowledge of the area, properties and the owners. Estate agents also have access to buyers, not only national but also international that most private sellers will not have. Their skills are honed to match homes with existing buyers and this is an extremely important and highly effective trait of successful agents.
Estate agents are trained in negotiations and also sharpen this skill over the years. They are not emotionally involved with buying and selling like home owners or buyers and thus able to give an unbiased and informed opinion on what will be best for you. During negotiations they will also not easily be influenced by “falling in love” with a property or get angry in confrontational situations and this can be priceless. Business is no place for being emotional or hot-headed, as it clouds one’s judgement on what is best.
Estate agents, in order to operate in today’s market, have to study anti-money laundering legislation, rules and regulations that apply to regularising a property, taxes, the entire legal process, dealing with finances and more. As from the end of 2021 all agents need to be legally qualified, accredited and licensed to operate and there are several important reasons for this. Any person dealing in property sales and letting are required to formally have been trained in the following matters:
• Have full knowledge of the latest legislation regarding The Prevention of Money Laundering Act;
• Have full knowledge regarding all the latest property transaction laws;
• To be trained in all aspects regarding fair representation of any parties;
• To uphold a code of ethics as determined by law and the industry itself;
• To be knowledgeable about all aspects of the conveyancing process including the Promise of Sale, The Sale Agreement, and the Transfer of Property Contract or Agreement;
• How to interact with notaries and to have a general knowledge about their role and responsibilities towards any clients;
• Understand the impact of the real estate industry on the Maltese economy;
• Have full knowledge about the different categories of real estate classification to be found in Malta;
• Have knowledge about financial sources available to clients;
• Know and understand the principles of the Data Protection Act when it comes to the rights of clients;
• Be able to relay and explain the role, involvement and workings of any government departments involved in any of the property processes;
• Have a full understanding what sound financial investment principles are and to act in the best interest and protection of any client;
• Understand and to be able to qualify different client personality types and relate to them;
• Have knowledge and access to avenues of knowledge when it comes to appraisals and calculations regarding anything related to a property transaction;
• Be able to not only interpret, but explain to clients the complexities of technical drawings, blueprints and plans, specifications and details;
• The ability to advise clients on tax implications and all possible liabilities;
• Be able to explain to clients any basic returns on investments;
• Be in full knowledge and able to explain to clients all costs involved in property transfers;
• Be obliged to report any suspicious financial activities to the relevant authorities;
• Have excellent knowledge about market trends and associated data and be able to relay and explain this to any clients in a way they can easily understand;
• Have absolute knowledge about all legal phrases and processes and be able to explain this to clients;
• Have an expert opinion and knowledge on how a client should go about buying, selling or letting a property;
• Be an expert in liaising between clients, architects, notaries, the deeds office or any other professionals involved in any of the processes;
• Go out of their way to provide the best and honourable service pre- and post the whole process to all clients and parties involved.
It is obvious that the entire industry has become very complex and thus warrants the services of a trained professional. Attempting a private sale can thus be daunting and overwhelming, unlike the past.
Estate agents deal with sellers and buyers for a living. This is what they do and unlike the public, the rules of nine-to-five do not apply to an estate agent. They work on weekends, holidays, after hours and even when they are on annual leave. It is very unlikely that a private seller will be willing to have their life upturned by dealing with enquiries 24/7, where as an estate agent chooses to do this for a living.
Because agents have access to various tiers of buyers and a huge pool of properties for sale, they are your shortest avenue to buying or selling a property. Estate agent will also have early access to properties that have not been placed for marketing yet or also know about upcoming developments long before you do. Tell them simply what your requirements are and they will come up with the goods in no time at all. On the other hand, should you try your hand at selling or finding a property, the internet is a vast space with tens of thousands of properties, many of whom are not even on the market any longer or that have been sold. This can lead to an exhausting experience and disappointments. Agents will give you a condensed, precise bouquet of options that fulfil your requirements in hours and manage all the appointments with buyers or sellers on your behalf.
Frank Salt Real Estate’s agents can negotiate better deals and are informed about any additional savings available for buyers and sellers alike. Additionally the Group organised discounts with their network of notaries, retailers and suppliers for First-Time and Second-Time Buyers that amounts to many thousands of euros. This is something that you as a private buyer or seller will be unable to do.
Because the estate agent will sell your property sooner, it is also unlikely that you will have to go through several price drops and thus get out less money.
Selling or finding a home quicker
Estate agents go to work immediately and do this round the clock, whether it is selling a property or finding one for you as a buyer. This means fewer calls, less trips, less time off work and less chance of time slipping away getting less for your property or paying more due to an increases in construction costs for a new home. Time, after all, is money. Buying or selling is one of the most stressful life events and putting most of the responsibility of this entire process on a trained professional is one of the best things you will ever do.
After-sales and added value services
Estate agents will run around transferring utility bills for you, they will deal with handymen if things need to be fixed and they will take care of all the paperwork when it comes to buying or selling. The vast amount of administration that is required for any property transaction to take place today can be overwhelming and exhausting. Your estate agent is trained to do this for a living and has all the inroads and connections, the network and the experience of getting it done in less than half the time it will take you.
We will never dream of attempting to do the work ourselves of a notary, a dentist or a mechanic as we do not have the knowledge or experience and neither are we qualified to do it. It is also noteworthy to mention that none of them will do any work for free and most people will be accepting of the fact that they have to pay for the services of these aforementioned professional. It is therefore a mystery why people still attempt to sell or buy property without engaging the services of a trained professional, someone called an estate agent.