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When you’ve appointed an agent to sell, nine times out of ten you will sign an exclusive authority. This is the sticking point, this is where I see an agent’s worth. An agent who asks for or writes up a period longer than sixty days has already shown their cards, unless due to circumstance a greater period is needed.

If an agent has guided you through the selling process thoroughly and honestly, then they also know that it won’t take longer than sixty days to finder your buyer. The only reason why they will need more time is because they have lied to you somewhere. That somewhere will most likely be price, they would have sold you an inflated appraisal and now need the time for you to come down in price.

You absolutely must pay attention to what you’re signing. If you are going to auction, then only sign a thirty-day exclusive authority after the auction. If it’s private treaty, then sixty days is your max.

There’s a few things that will happen here. Firstly, if your property hasn’t sold in good time, then you have the option to appoint another agent before your property becomes too stale in the market. The other is that you should receive great service by the agent you choose. Say for instance your property doesn’t sell by the end of the exclusive authority, it doesn’t mean you have to change. Some properties for one reason to another, take longer to sell. By keeping the pressure on the agent by not giving them a long period to sell, should keep them working hard from the start. As long as they are working hard, keeping you informed with your property and servicing you and your buyers, there is no reason to move on. The trick is not to let them know that.

I personally think that when appointing an agent, this period is the most important, yet everyone is worried about getting the cheapest commissions or lowest advertising. Look at this decision logically and work it in your favour. Pressure to perform rather than paying less money, will always bring a greater return.



The following advice is of a general nature and intended as an opinion and broad guide. For all legal, financial or real estate advice you should obtain independent professional advice to do with the specific nature of your circumstances before making any legal, financial or real estate decisions.

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