We have recently touched on ways to sell your home abroad without the requirement of an estate agent, looking at alternative methods for marketing your property from using your own website to literally getting out on the street and handing out fliers about your home for sale.  This is because many people resent the commission they have to pay if they employ an estate agent.

However, there are certainly reasons for choosing to use an estate agent’s assistance – particularly when you’re selling property abroad.  Take Turkey for example, it’s a country popular with international buyers, but also a nation with a strong local market that is in fact slowly increasing.  Therefore, if you have a property to sell in Turkey and you choose ‘only’ to focus on the expat market, you could be missing out on many potential local buyers that an estate agent could bring to view your property.

In this article we look specifically at using an estate agent to sell your property in Turkey, although much of the advice is generically about using estate agents full stop!  We’ll also show you how best to ‘incentivise’ your agent and make sure they work hardest for you!

Estate agents the world over have a terrible reputation – which many of them deserve!  In the good times they act like greedy sharks, never caring who they tread on to make a sale…and in the tough times like today, thankfully a lot of the bad boys go out of business.  What that means is that those who are surviving and still working in this time of recession are far more likely to work hard and fair to win your business and make a sale on your behalf.  Which means that there are good things to come out of a global recession after all!

So, does this mean you can haggle hard to make your agent work harder for you?  Well, you can, but it may make them resent you and sideline your property believe it or not.  After all, whilst agents may be going out of business because they cannot make sales, there are still more than enough properties for sale for every estate agent’s books to be full to bursting point.  So, if you do decide to choose an agent to market and sell your property in Turkey, you need to ‘incentivise’ them to market your property first and sell your home quickly!

To do so you shouldn’t consider haggling an agent down on the commission they will receive – rather the opposite is a wise move to make.  Where an agent will sell for 1 or 3% of the sale price, why not offer them a percentage point more for selling your home and 1.5% more if they sell it within three months perhaps?  Estate agents in Turkey are hungry for business and hungry for sales – if they have an incentive to market your property over and above all others on their books, you can guarantee that they will do so.

So, should you choose one agent or multiple agents?  If you choose a sole agency contract you’re restricting the reach of the marketing of your home to that agency’s contacts, to the people who walk through the doors of that agency and those who, like you, choose to trust that agency.  In the good times when all agencies had multiple people walking through their doors and your home would be likely to be viewed by multiple people, it was perhaps fine to sign with a sole agency – nowadays however, things are very different.

Turkey has certainly not escaped the effects of the global recession- domestically people have less money to spend and can get their hands on fewer mortgages.  Internationally, whilst Turkey remains popular with expats, holiday homebuyers and even international retirees, the numbers of those with the cash in the bank to buy abroad have dwindled – so you have a smaller market to target your property to.  Which is why, in our opinion, you’re better off signing with multiple agencies with a wider reach.  If possible target agencies with different special ‘talents’ – such as one with a good online presence, one preferred by Russian buyers perhaps, one with good standing in the local community, and one popular for walk-in trade.  Offer each of them your business, and as mentioned, give each an incentive to market your property first!

Continue to build your relationship with your estate agents, whilst we don’t suggest you’re on their back 24/7, it is wise to speak to them regularly, ask them how things are going, whether there is anything you can do to make their job easier, and whether they have had any viewings and the feedback they have received.  Take advice from your agent – if they tell you that they think your home will be hard to sell because of the interior décor and this is backed up by viewer comments, get the paintbrush out.  At the same time, you can make your agent’s job easier by always having a key holder available to let in viewers, by providing them with marketing material such as a lovely website, and by ensuring your property is something of a blank canvas that prospective buyers can move into as soon as possible.  Finally, remember that you can make the whole sale process easier if you are ready to sign contracts and vacate your property in the shortest time possible.

It is possible to build a good professional and working relationship with an estate agent.  Give them the incentive to sell your home first, give them the tools to do their job, encourage their efforts, remain proactive – but don’t pay them a penny of their commission until everything is signed, sealed and delivered!