Is using an Estate Agent still necessary in 2024?




20 June 2024

Whether you’re buying, selling or renting, you may find yourself wondering if a real estate agent is really necessary to your property journey in 2024. It’s hard to deny that there is a wealth of tools and technology now available for DIY property sales and rentals. Do real estate professionals really add enough value to justify their fees? David Jacobs, Gauteng Regional Sales Manager for the Rawson Property Group shares his insights: 

For Sellers
According to Jacobs, good real estate agents bring invaluable hands-on knowledge to property sales.  “It’s not just about knowing the right price point, or the right positioning and marketing strategy – although those are important,” he says. “It’s also about preparing a home for sale – knowing what to fix or improve and what to leave to create the biggest impact at the lowest price point.”

Using a professional sales agent also dramatically reduces the risk involved in selling a property, both in terms of legal compliance and avoiding scam artists.

“Property sales are highly regulated,” says Jacobs. “It helps to have a qualified professional3-Jun-20-2024-07-18-08-2765-AM ensuring due process is followed. It’s also much safer working with a professional who can screen prospective buyers before allowing them into your property. That’s not something you can easily do as a private individual.”

Let’s also not forget that estate agents are sales professionals, skilled at winning over the hearts and minds of buyers.
“There’s a reason the majority of private sales underperform those managed by professional agents, both in price and time on market,” says Jacobs. “Good real estate agents know exactly when to push, when to pause, and what to say to lock in the best possible deal for their clients. That’s not a skill you can learn in a couple of months – it takes years of insight and practice.”

For buyers
For buyers, using an agent (who is paid by the seller) to help find a property may seem counterintuitive. However, Jacobs says searching for a home independently can mean missing out on the best properties on the market.

“Even in a strong buyers’ market like we have at the moment, the best properties often don’t make it to public platforms before they sell,” he explains. “The only way to find out about these gems is to be on your local real estate agent’s radar. You want to be the first person they call when your dream home hits the market.”

Real estate agents can also offer buyers invaluable advice on neighbourhoods, property types and expectations. 
“If you’re new to an area, your local real estate agent is the best person to go to for advice on what you should be looking out for, and where to set your sights in terms of property.”

For landlords
JacquiIt’s not just property sales where real estate agents add value. According to Jacqui Savage, National Rentals Manager for the Rawson Property Group, a professional rental agent is vital in today’s complex rental market.

“These days, good rental agents are much more than just tenant liaisons and rent collectors,” says Savage. “They’re professional asset managers, helping landlords maximise the performance of their rental assets. That includes minimising risk – through expert tenant screenings, regular inspections, compliance processes like FICA, and relationship management – and maximising asset performance in terms of income stability, rental growth and property appreciation.”

For tenants
Tenants, too, will find value in the services of a rental agent.
“The rental market is really tough right now, particularly in areas like Cape Town where demand exceeds supply,” says Savage. “Having a rental agent on the lookout for a suitable rental can be an invaluable way to get ahead of the competition – especially if you have been prequalified.”

Rental agents aren’t only useful for securing a rental either. Savage says the rental experience is often much smoother when run by a professional.

“You get landlords who try to cut corners or blur the boundaries of the law to take advantage of unwary tenants,” she says. “When you’re renting through a reputable agent, however, you can be confident that due process is being followed and that your rights as a tenant are being protected.”

Professional real estate agents have a lot of value to add to the South African property sales and rentals landscapes. However, Jacobs and Savage both acknowledge that not all agents are equal.
“It’s very important to find a trustworthy property practitioner with a proven track record in your area,” says Jacobs. “Check your local listings and sign boards to identify the most active players, talk to friends, family and neighbours, and always confirm that your chosen partner is registered with the PPRA and has a valid FFC certificate.”

Time to make a move? Visit to find a neighbourhood expert perfect for your buying, selling or rental journey in 2024!

David Jacobs

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