What is a Listing Agent & How do they Market Your Home
When you bought your home, you probably used a real estate agent. You may have found that agent while surfing the net, chatting with friends or just knew one from work or church. But now you may want someone with more experience or one that really knows the market well to market your home.
For whatever reason, now it is time to sell your home and you need to use a real estate agent again. OR maybe you think you can just stick a sign out front and all your worries of selling will vanish. But lising a house is a much more complicated thing than a sign out front. Are you prepared to deal with contracts? Adendums? Lending institutions? Inspectors? How do you know if what you are presented with is legal?
Although real estate agents can work with both buyers and sellers, most tend to concentrate more on one than the other. They specialize in either being a buyers agent or a listing agent. One doesn't require any more or less training or degrees as the other, but agents tend to find where they best fit into each category. When you bought your home, you probably worked with a "buyers agent" many times called the selling agent. This person can probably list your house as well but may like the aspect of selling rather than listing.
- As a result, many homeowners expect their listing agent to do the same things that a selling agent does – find someone to buy their home. After all, they do the things you would expect if they were searching for buyers. A sign goes up in the front yard. Ads are placed in the local newspaper and real estate magazines. Your agent holds an open house on the weekend. Your house is proudly displayed on the Internet listing site.
But this may be only the surface of what you see. Behind the scenes the agent is also marketing to other clients, agents and brokers. This is a benefit you can't get by listing on your own.
The Internet Listing Service
Even before the sign is up and the brochures are ready, your agent should list your property with the local Internet Listing Service. This is a database of all the homes listed by local real estate agents who are members of the service, which is usually all of the local agents.
- All your important information about your property is listed here, from general data such as square footage and lot size, to details such as whether you have natural gas, propane, electric, gardens,or hard wood flooring. There usually will be photos, and a short description of your home and any disttinct features Buyers agents search this database for homes that fit the price range and needs of their buyers. They pay special attention to homes that have been recently placed on the market, which is one reason you get a lot of attention when your house is first listed.
The listing agent's main job to make sure that the other service members know about your house. This is accomplished through listing your house in the Multiple Listing Service, broker previews and advertising targeted toward other agents, not homebuyers.