THE LISTING MEETING, WHAT WILL THE REAL ESTATE AGENT DO FOR YOU?
Update November 4, 2011 If you are trying to sell a home, the most important meeting
you will have is the meeting to consider an offer. But before that time arrives the most important meeting you will
have is with a real estate agent who will try to get your listing. The listing agent -- the real estate agent who signs
you up as a home seller and who puts your home on the market -- stands to make a lot of money.
There are, in the business, "listing agents" whose entire business model is to sign up home sellers.
They do little if any actual work to sell your home. And to make money they don't have to do any work to sell your home.
If another real estate agent sells your home the "listing agent" will get part of the commission.
So when you list your home, you should have it spelled out exactly what the listing agent is going to
do for you. Is the listing agent simply going to list your home on the various computer systems that all realtors have
access to? Or is this listing agent actually going to do some work on your behalf?
the real estate agent advertise your home and what kind of advertising will it be? Will there be newspaper ads and radio
ads and TV ads? Will there be handouts at local shopping centers? How about signs -- how many signs and where?
Will the real estate agent hold an open house at your property and how many, and how will the open house be advertised?
Now, a lot of real estate agents love to hold an open house and here is a word of caution. An
open house helps a real estate agent meet home buyers who may not necessarily be interested in your house. The reality
is your real estate agent might be using your house to only attract buyers and the real estate agent could use your open house
to find a client for another property on the market. Sometimes I wonder if home sellers should charge a real estae agent
for using their home for open houses -- sort of a "staging fee" for use of the property?
And don't forget the importance of having your home marketed on the Internet. These days everyone looks on
the web first before getting in the car. So ask your real estate agent how will your home be presented on the web?
Will there be just a thumbnail photo and a copy of the basic listing document used in various listing services? That
would be dull. Or will your real estate agent take time -- and spend the money -- to have photos throughout your home,
and photos of the neighborhood and nearby shopping and transportation and schools to help "sell" your property?
Remember that fees with real estate agents are negotiable, and you want to have an understanding and
a contract about how the real estate agent will market your home. You also want to be careful selecting a real estate
agent and company so ask for recommendations and go around your neighborhood and check for other signs -- not just for the
"for sale" signs, but also the "sold" signs.