If you have vetted a handful of agents and decided which one to go with, the next step is to sign an agreement or authority with that agent. The authority is a legally binding contract, so ask your solicitor to look over the agreement before you sign. It will detail all elements of the sale, including:

  • How much commission you’ll pay the agent for managing the sale of your home. It’s usually a percentage of the sale price – and it can be negotiated
  • The circumstances under which commission is payable. For example you may be obliged to pay the commission even if you find a buyer without the agent’s assistance
  • How much you agree to spend on marketing your home – and what you’re getting for that money
  • The selling price or reserve price of your home

Private treaty or Auction?

Your agent will recommend, or you may choose, a particular method of sale – usually either private treaty or auction. Be sure to understand the agent’s reasons for any recommendation.

  • Private treaty – This is where you set the price and interested buyers make offers for your home, not knowing what other buyers think it’s worth. Your agent will negotiate with the potential buyers on your behalf
  • Auction – This involves potential buyers coming together at the same time to bid on your property. The set auction date can encourage a faster sale however there can be extra costs involved with sale by auction, and there is no guarantee of a final sale on auction day

Your agent’s responsibilities

Once you’ve signed a contract with your listing agent, you hand over the bulk of the sale process to the agent, who will normally be responsible for:

  • Creating/managing the marketing campaign
  • Managing inspections, showing people through your home and making follow up calls
  • Negotiating the selling price
  • Facilitating the actual sale
  • Managing the auction process

When contracts are exchanged the agent should also arrange a trust account for the deposit.

Continue to information about setting a price on you home.

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