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Understanding the Role of the Listing Agent When Selling Your Home


One of the most commonly misunderstand items in the world of real estate is the role of the listing agent. If you are like most people, your first introduction to a real estate agent occurred when you first started shopping for a home. That first exposure probably formed the basis of your impression of what real estate agents do, and their role in the real estate market. Therefore, when you turn around to sell your home, you probably will expect the listing agent to do the same thing the original agent did when you were looking for the home in the first place.

Before you sell your home, however, it is important to do some research into how the real estate business works, and the real role of the various agents who work within the business. The individual who helped you find and purchase your home is known as a "selling agent". The selling agent is often referred to also as a "buyer's agent". The role of the selling agent is to advertise the home in a variety of different places, including on the Internet and in local newspapers. These ads are used to entice buyers, and they do. However, it is important to remember that few buyers end up buying the property they initially called about, so the real role of these ads is to bring business to the selling agent, and to allow him or her to show the other properties on the market.

Therefore, it is important for the home seller to understand that placing lots of newspaper ads, placing ads on the Internet and hosting lots of open houses is not likely to get the home sold. Many home sellers assume that open houses are the best way to sell a home, but that is not always the case.

In reality, the primary job of the listing agent has nothing at all to do with finding buyers for your home. Instead the primary role of the listing agent is to convince as many selling agents as possible to show your home to their stable of prospects. It is important to understand the true role of the listing agent in order to get the most value from their services.

This is one of the reasons that open houses so often include a special "broker preview" or "office preview" prior to the open house for the general public. These special events generally include food, drink and other such enticements to encourage selling agents to attend. These events are designed to allow the selling agents to get a look at your home, and to keep it at the top of their minds as they decide which homes to show to which clients.

Another job of the listing agent is to add your home to the local multiple listing service so more potential buyers and selling agents will see it. In addition, the listing agent will prepare and send flyers to all other local offices and local agents. These flyers will highlight the property and detail what it has to offer. And of course the listing agent will network with as many agents as possible to gain more exposure for your home.

Knowing how the listing agent works will give you a big advantage when preparing and pricing your home. It is important to price your home fairly during the all important preview period. If the home is priced too high, the selling agents will not be interested, but will instead wait for the price to be reduced before showing it to their clients.

It is important to remember as well that all those newspaper ads and open houses can be good marketing tools but they rarely sell houses by themselves. Instead they are used to gain exposure, and to get the attention of the selling agents.

The real role of the listing agent in selling your home is to provide information on properly pricing the home, to give good advice on how to spruce up the home and properly present it, and to market your home to other selling agents. Understanding how the real estate marketing process works, and understanding the role of each player within the business, is the best way to sell your home in the least possible time and for the highest possible price.


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