A listing agent is a real estate professional who represents the seller in a real estate transaction. As the name suggests, listing agents help sellers price, stage, and market their property, show it off to prospective buyers and negotiate offers.
When you sell your home, that’s when you have the opportunity to cash in. There is a lot that goes into selling a house, from marketing your home to dealing with potential buyers, working through paperwork and closing on the home. And, unless you know the real estate market inside and out, the process can be daunting. Luckily, you will have a real estate agent by your side.
The first objective of a listing agent is to help prepare you for the process by walking you through each step and telling you what to expect along the way.
It may seem pretty simple to stick your home on the internet with a price and put a sign up in the yard, but really, there’s more to it than that. It’s important to get the right price for your home. If you price too high, your home may stay on the market longer. If price it too low, you could miss out on a lot of money.
To determine the right price, the listing agent will take a look at similar homes in the area that are listed or have recently sold to compare to yours. Then, pull stats from the area, look at the property value of the neighbor’s homes, and use all of this information to find the value of your home. This whole process is known as completing a Comparative Market Analysis (CMA). Once the real estate agent finds that pricing sweet-spot, he or she is half-way to listing your house.
Although it is by no means required, the listing agent might have a stager come in and stage your home for a more attractive offer. Staging happens before or during the photography process.
Next, the listing agent will hire a professional photographer to take professional pictures of your home. The photographer will be guided exactly what to feature in the images to get potential buyers in the door. If necessary, the real estate agent will hire a professional to create a virtual tour.
Once the listing agent is geared with an attractive price and incredible photos, the agent is ready to list your home on the MLS. Simply listing your house with beautiful photos and a price isn’t enough, so the agent will write a sensational description. It is your chance to get everything not seen in the pictures out to potential buyers. Next, the agent will put in the MLS description:
Proximity to local attractions or amenities
Type of neighborhood
What school districts your home’s near
What makes your house stand out
Once your home is listed, it’s time to drive traffic to it. The listing agent will post the usual signs in your yard and may even put a box of fliers. Then, list your home online on social networks.
The agent has the knowledge to find qualified buyers and the experience to market to them, the thing that will help your house get in front of the right people.
The listing agent will be in charge of advertising open house and holding it open. He or she will be responsible for scheduling showings for people to walk through and see the house. The agent will know your house in details to be able to tell prospective buyers where the sun hits the windows in the morning as well as what year the remodeling was completed.
Potential buyers will have questions — lots of them– so a crucial part of my marketing includes researching your home and knowing how to answer these questions.
Whether you need to know if landscaping, remodeling your kitchen or power washing the roof will get more buyer appeal? That’s what you will hear from the listing agent.
The agent will help you identify areas of the house that need a little love and care to get the house to asking price. If a buyer comes in and demands some changes be made, the listing agent will also consult with you on that and help you understand if that request is reasonable.
Beyond questions about changes to the house, the real estate agent will also help you with your contracts. He or she will look over each contract and help to break it down for you, then make some changes to offers that are set-up as contracts in your behalf (at your request, of course).
Having expert advice by your side to consult with is crucial to making the home selling process a success.
Once an offer is made, the listing agent will negotiate the terms of the sale with the buyer’s agent and the buyer. If you’re ok dropping $5k in price, but NOT ok replacing the roof — the agent will make that clear. The agent has a lot of experience negotiating sales and getting you the right price for your home.
Buying a home is stressful for everyone involved, so communication is key. Delayed or missed responses can even deter a potential buyer’s interest in the home. The agent will stay in touch with all parties, fielding questions, handling paperwork and negotiating the final sale price and terms of the sale with your interests in mind.
Attend The Home Inspection
Some buyers will exaggerate everything in the hopes of getting a closing cost concession or the seller making repairs. By being there for the inspection, the listing agent gets to hear all the feedback from the inspector first-hand and keep track of everything that is said and keep things in perspective should the buyer ask for concessions based on the inspection. Sometimes what the home inspector says and what is written in his report are two different things.
Selling a house involves a lot of work. There are so many little details that must be taken care of. As the closing draws near, the listing agent takes care of all the loose ends for you.
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