What Is A Listing Agent?


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If you are thinking of selling your house or property, then you are going to want to find a top-notch listing agent. However, you might be wondering what exactly is a listing agent? Most people are familiar with real estate agents, but many do not realize that they are divided into  two categories: listing agents and buyers’ agents. The listing agent represents the seller by listing the property for sale and the buyer’s agent (selling agent) represents the buyer.

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Listing Agents: Job Description

 

The primary job of a listing agent is to effectively list the property for sale, market it until it sells and navigate the client through the escrow process to successfully close the property. Depending on the region, listing agents are also often referred to as a seller’s agent but NOT a selling agent, that is another term for the buyers agent. Confused? Keep reading to find out more.

A listing agent’s job duties include the following:

  • Prepare the listing package
  • Develop the pricing strategy
  • Outline the entire process to the seller so there are no surprises along the way
  • Take photos or schedule professional photos of the property
  • Complete all listing contracts
  • Add the information onto the MLS
  • Create and build an effective marketing plan
  • Schedule and arrange showings
  • Negotiate and protect the seller’s interests during every phase of the sale from start to finish
  • Initiate the final closing process

Day-to-Day Job Description of a Listing Agent

Without a doubt, a listing agent stays busy on a day-to-day basis. They will work closely with the property owner while pushing for a sale and serving crucial functions for the real estate company.

Day-to-day responsibilities carried out by a listing agent include:

  • Seek prospects on pre-qualified leads that have been generated by the agency’s sales agents
  • Convert all possible leads to build a base of new sellers
  • Respond to all possible leads
  • Contact all potential homebuyers to form an extraordinarily strong client base
  • Carry out in-depth market analysis about the regional listing prices
  • Complete all listing paperwork such as the MLS listings, social media listings, and marketing plan to promote a sale
  • Stage and market homes to gain a quick sale
  • Negotiate all contracts alongside the buyer’s agent to gain the best deal possible
  • Follow-up with clients weekly to go over all property feedback
  • Regularly engage with clients to improve customer service
  • Attend the closing process to offer complete customer support
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How Much Do Listing Agents Get Paid?

 

A listing agent makes a commission off the sale of the property. Typically, the commissions are negotiable between the client and the listing agent. On some occasions, brokerages might offer a commission discount in certain circumstances and regions. At this time, the typical commission nationwide is six percent off the property’s sale price, according to realtor.com

Example: The commission a listing agent will make is $30,000 on a $500,000 sale. However, in many cases, the commission is split between a buyer’s agent and the listing agent. On rare occasions, the commission might be split unevenly depending on what the seller and listing agent agreed on in the listing agreement and what was offered on the MLS.

Who Pays the Commission to the Listing Agent?

The commission that a listing agent receives comes from the settlement at the time of the sale and is typically paid by the seller. It is subtracted at close from the proceeds from the home sale. Sellers usually consider the listing agent’s commission when they decide on a listing price. Basically, the buyer is paying the commission when they buy the house because the commission has already been figured into the home’s sale price.

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How a Listing Agent Will Help You Price Your Home

 

The listing agent will create a Comparative Market Analysis (CMA). The detailed CMA clearly outlines the proposed sale price and then provides in-depth details for the reasoning behind the price suggestion. In addition, it includes a marketing plan that will explain exactly how the listing agent plans to sell the property.

Intricate software systems are used to create CMAs. The analytics look at the area’s recent sales and considers all the properties that are currently available on the market.

Factors included in the CMA:

  1. Average prices for the area
  2. Median prices
  3. Price adjustments
  4. Local minimum prices
  5. Local maximum prices
  6. Details on homes that did not sell and their asking prices
  7. Amount of time it took each property to sell
  8. Individual closed sales
  9. Impact of overpricing

In some areas, a listing agent might also be asked to value the property using a Broker Price Opinion (BPO). Brokers often suggest possible property values based on their experience and after analyzing the CMA. However, a BPO is often prohibited in some states.

Possible Price Adjustments

A listing agent always looks at the big picture when valuing a property. If you have a 2,100 sq. ft home but the only comparable property in your neighborhood is a larger 2,300 sq. ft home, then your house is going to end up valued at less than the comparable property. The same holds true when comparing features such as bathrooms, swimming pools, garages, etc. All factors are weighed to arrive at a fairly accurate listing price.

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How a Listing Agent Will Help You Market Your Home

 

Many sellers mistakenly believe that it is the listing agent’s job to find a buyer for their home. The listing agent helps you set the price of your home, starts the process of ‘advertising’ the home via the MLS, photos are taken, flyers created, and a ‘for sale’ sign mounted in your front yard. The sign clearly shows the listing agent’s company, name, and phone number so any prospective buyer can reach out. Usually, flyers are placed in a box affixed to the for-sale sign that outlines additional information about the home along with photos.

Additional marketing steps include the following:

The Office Preview

Your listing agent will usually have an ‘office preview’ where they will formally introduce your property to all the agents in the office. Sometimes, they will tour your home to get a feel for the property so they can better match it with any potential buyers that they are currently working with.

Open House

Throwing an open house is a popular option for most listing realtors but please remember that not every property is appropriate for such a marketing tool due to location or other factors. However, an open house is a great way to make sure that the property is priced right. If a listing agent feels that an open house will benefit the sale of the property then they will put signs up advertising the event, update the MLS with the time and date, advertise in the local paper, right out via flyers, and also reach out to other agents using word-of-mouth.

Email Marketing

The listing agent will usually market the property via email blasts. Basically, flyers are sent out to other agents or potential home buyers via email. Most agents receive email flyers once a week. They will use the information that they receive to match properties to the wants/needs of their buyers.

Marketing Sessions

Most brokerages have marketing sessions which are office sales meetings. Your listing agent will stand up and tell the other agents about your property and basically ‘pitch’ their listing to other agents. The agents will then try to match their buyers to the various properties. This is very much like the office preview but basically just a refresher to keep your property at the forefront of all the agents’ minds.

Real Estate Advertising

Listing agents often advertise their properties in the local newspaper, real estate pamphlets, and other print venues to market the house. In recent years, print advertising is not as popular but it does have its place in certain locations and demographics.

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How a Listing Agent Will Negotiate with Buyers

 

Without a doubt the goal of any listing agent is to sell the property but they often do not have the buyer’s ear like the buyer’s agent so they must instead create a feeling of urgency when the two agents talk together. Basically, they will respond in such a way that it feels like there is always a competition for the property and it is a hot commodity.

They can state that there is interest in the property and elude to the fact that another potential buyer might be stepping forward soon. This can be accomplished by referring to a possible buyer wanting to take a second look or one who is currently seeking approval. Yes, it is a smoke and mirrors tactic but one that is often employed by listing agents to spur interest in buyers and negotiate a sale.

Negotiations

A listing agent always wants to work towards receiving a strong offer to present to the seller. A timely offer is also very much appreciated in most situations. If the initial offer is too low, then the listing agent will work with the seller to counteroffer to see how much the buyer is willing to come up with. Remember, the goal is always to get the highest, strongest, and best offer for the seller.

Concessions

Nowadays, offers are rarely straightforward. Your listing agent might have to go over concessions with you and then write up further counters. Things like closing costs, title insurance premiums, and home warranties may all become concessions.

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How to Find and Choose a Listing Agent

 

Picking a listing agent is never easy. You will want to familiarize yourself with your local housing market before you start your search.

Here are a few tips that might help you pick the most qualified agent to help sell your house:

  • Keep an eye out for real estate signs in your neighborhood and then make note of the listing realtor’s name on the sign. Usually, the real go-getters have an abundance of successful listings.
  • Attend open houses and talk with an agent.
  • Compare reviews of various listing agents online to see how past clients rated their performance.
  • Do not be afraid to ask friends and family for a referral.
  • Schedule a meeting with at least three individual agents to pick your favorite.
  • Discuss the agent’s selling strategy to determine if it fits your needs.
  • Always take the time to work out the commission and other details to make sure you are on the same page with each other.

Selling your home is stressful but with the right listing agent, you can feel confident in the process and the handling of the involved intricacies.

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