You’ve hired a real estate agent to help you sell your home. Now you find yourself wondering: What exactly can you expect from your broker?
A real estate agent should do more than simply post a “for sale” sign in front of the home and take bids. “Sellers are right to expect some real effort from listing agents,” notes Realtor Samantha DeBianchi, founder of DeBianchi Real Estate, an agent who has also been seen on Bravo TV’s Million Dollar Listing. “We all know those agents who simply throw a house on the multiple listing service and wait for a buyer. Listing agents are paid to sell you property, not just list it.”
DeBianchi detailed what specific duties sellers can expect from an agent in a recent article in the Denver Post. They include:
Helping you get your home ready for market: The best agents advise you on how to make your home look its very best, in order to bring in top dollar. They will point out problem areas and refer you to painters, handymen and other service providers who can alleviate the issues before the home goes up for sale.
Devising a strategy specific to your property: Not all homes appeal to the same market; it’s the agent’s job to determine the right market for your home and strategize on ways to reach that audience. For example, notes DeBianchi, “For a single-family home on 4 acres, I’d reach out to the horse community and polo clubs.”
Advertising: Effective agents use some of their future commission money to advertise. They know how to plan effective open houses, what publications to target with ads, and how to write compelling copy in those ads and on marketing fliers. The right wording can be a key factor in the sales process. “According to a Zillow study,” notes the Post article, “listings that included one of the following words sold for as much as 8% more than expected: ‘luxurious,’ ‘captivating,’ ‘impeccable’ and ‘upgraded.’”
Communicating with you: Agents can be expected to give the homeowners a report every week about what specific efforts they’ve made to sell the house.
Offering buyers incentives: If the home isn’t selling as quickly as expected, some agents offer incentives. DeBianchi, for example, included a free, one-year membership to a luxury club worth $12,000 in order to sell a penthouse listing. Obviously, not all perks will be that expensive and would be determined based on the selling price of the home.