There is currently the sentiment that an estate agency could become redundant in the future, but the truth is, says Lanice Steward, managing director of Knight Frank Residential SA, there are many areas of property negotiation and sales that could become problematic if a seasoned professional does not handle them.
It often thought that a private seller of a property gets more for his property because he will not have to pay commission to an estate agent but what often happens is that the buyer will negotiate the price down, stating that the seller is saving on commission and is, thereby, able to drop his price, said Steward.
A private seller might also undersell his property because he does not have access to the database of information and pool of buyers that a professional agent working in the area might have and might not have the negotiation leverage to get the best price.
The buyer could find himself not being afforded the protection that an agency listing sheet offers, which lists any faults on the property and which the owner has to sign as acknowledgement.
In all likelihood, there will also be a fee involved to hire an attorney to draw up an agreement of sale.
Another risk, which even estate agents battle with, is that buyers often avoid asking delicate questions with regard to the property or the pricing thereof and they end up walking away.
“It is time that the role of a professional agent is acknowledged and recognised,” said Steward.