Selling a home?
You’ll want a realtor who knows their stuff.
Real estate agents do more than list your property.
They handle marketing and advertising, paperwork, negotiations, and everything in between.
They’ll also be your advocate in any tricky situations.
This is why it’s important you know what to anticipate when working with a listing agent to sell your home.
It will allow you to identify who’s a true professional — and who’s not.
Which allows you to make more informed decisions when it comes to the sale of your home.
And better decisions lead to improved outcomes.
We’re talking more money, favorable terms, and a faster closing.
Here are the 10 most important things you should expect from your realtor when selling.
A thorough comparative market analysis
A comparative market analysis (CMA) is an evaluation of similar properties in your area that have recently sold or are currently on the market.
It’s a systematic approach used by realtors to estimate the market value of a property.
And it helps you understand your home’s value in the current market and is crucial for setting a competitive listing price.
Any prospective real estate agent you consider will provide you with a CMA.
But not all of them utilize the right approach that gets the best price.
Here’s what you should expect your realtor to do for you when conducting an analysis of your home:
- Research comparable properties in your neighborhood, considering factors such as size, age, condition, location, and features.
- Only compare your home to the comps closest to your interior square footage, closest in proximity, and most recently sold.
- Analyze the data to determine how your property compares to the best comps, and then make value adjustments based on key differences such as condition, interior square footage, lot size, features, and location on street.
- Present the CMA findings to you in a clear and concise format, explaining the key insights and their implications for your property sale.
- Use the CMA results to help you set an appropriate listing price that maximizes your profit but is still attractive to potential buyers.
- Update the CMA as needed throughout the selling process, accounting for any changes in market conditions or new comparable sales that may impact your home’s value.
Obtaining a detailed, accurate CMA from your realtor primes you to make informed decisions about your home’s pricing and marketing strategy.
And both of these strategies are key to a lucrative sale.
Clear and consistent communication
Effective communication is an important part of every step of selling with a realtor.
It ensures that you understand each other’s expectations, goals, and concerns.
And it helps build trust, facilitate decision-making, and avoid misunderstandings.
Consider it the glue that holds your sale together.
Here are five things your real estate agent should be doing when it comes to communication:
- Provide regular updates on the progress of your sale, including feedback from showings, inquiries from potential buyers, and any changes in market conditions.
- Be readily available to address your questions or concerns using your preferred method of communication, whether that’s phone calls, emails, or text messages.
- Offer guidance on various aspects of the home selling process, such as pricing strategy, home staging, marketing, negotiations, and the closing process.
- Actively listen to your needs, ensuring that your input is considered when making decisions.
- Collaborate with you to develop a customized communication plan, outlining the frequency and preferred method of updates.
Knowing when to connect with a realtor is also part of a good communication strategy.
Reach out too late and you could miss out on expert advice.
A good agent can provide you with your ideal selling plan and be by your side from the get-go.
Having this level of communication with your realtor means you’re always in lockstep.
And such alignment is vital for a smooth (and profitable) transaction.
(Open communication is important, but there are certain things you should not tell your realtor.)
Expert advice on home preparation
You’re not just selling a house. You’re selling a potential home.
A well-prepared home can attract more interest, leading to a faster sale and a higher selling price.
One trick to doing this?
Mastering its presentation.
Your real estate agent should have the knowledge and expertise to guide you through this essential process.
Here’s what you should expect your realtor to do to help you optimize your home’s appearance:
- Conduct a walkthrough of your property, identifying areas that need improvement, repairs, or updates to enhance its appeal to buyers.
- Offer guidance on decluttering, depersonalizing, and organizing your space to make it feel more spacious and inviting.
- Suggest cost-effective updates or repairs that can add value to your home and improve its marketability.
- Recommend staging techniques to highlight your home’s best features and make it more visually appealing to potential buyers.
- Assist you in finding reputable professionals, such as contractors or home stagers, to help you prepare your home for listing.
- Help you understand the importance of curb appeal and provide recommendations for improving your home’s exterior appearance.
Receiving expert advice from your agent can help your home leave a lasting impression.
Lookout for your best interests
You want a realtor who’s got your back from start to finish.
Because this is more than a transaction.
You’re entrusting someone with your most valuable asset.
That’s why you should expect a realtor who truly represents your best interests to do three critical things:
- Help you set a realistic and competitive listing price, not overpromise just to win your business.
- Champion your interests during negotiations, never minimizing their efforts in a rush to close the deal.
- Maximize your home’s marketing reach, not limit your listing’s exposure in favor of trying to represent both buyer and seller (for double commission).
The best indicator of this level of commitment?
A low dual agency rate.
This is an agent who has a lower than average percentage of sales where they’ve represented both the seller and buyer in the same transaction.
This rate speaks volumes about the realtor’s character.
Because an agent with an above average dual agency history prioritizes earning double the commission by representing both parties.
This is a clear indicator that they favor their interests over their sellers’.
And this is why we analyze an agent’s dual agency rate when vetting listing agents to match with our sellers at SoldNest.
Execute an effective marketing strategy
An effective marketing strategy increases the visibility of your listing, attracts potential buyers, and ultimately leads to a successful sale.
That’s why a well-executed marketing plan can help you sell your home faster and at a better price.
Here’s what your realtor should do to create a strong marketing strategy:
- Develop a comprehensive marketing plan tailored to your property (and ideal buyer), taking into account its unique features, target audience, and local market conditions.
- Utilize multiple channels to promote your property, including the Multiple Listing Service (MLS), online platforms, social media, and print advertising.
- Produce high-quality visuals, such as professional photographs and virtual tours, to showcase your home’s best features and make it stand out to potential buyers.
- Host open houses and private showings to allow prospective buyers an opportunity to experience your home firsthand.
- Network with other real estate professionals, such as top buyer’s agents, to spread the word about your property and generate interest.
- Regularly review and adjust the marketing strategy as needed, based on market feedback and the level of interest in your property.
So, when asking questions to a prospective seller’s agent, be sure to include, “How will you market my home?”
Their response should align with these expectations.
Partnering with an agent who excels in marketing means maximum exposure for your listing.
And that boosts your chances of a successful sale.
Guidance on required selling disclosures
A realtor’s role in guiding you through required disclosures is to maintain legal compliance and cultivate transparency for buyers.
This is critical.
Proper disclosures can protect you from potential legal disputes and help buyers make informed decisions.
Here’s what your real estate agent should do for you in terms of disclosures:
- Inform you about the federal, state, and local disclosure requirements that apply to your property sale, including any specific real estate regulations related to your home’s age, location, or construction type.
- Provide you with the necessary disclosure forms and explain the information you need to disclose, such as known defects, past repairs, environmental hazards, or property boundaries.
- Assist you in accurately and thoroughly completing the disclosure forms, ensuring that all relevant information is disclosed and documented.
- Help you understand the consequences of failing to provide accurate or complete disclosures, including legal liability or the risk of a buyer canceling the deal.
- Present the completed disclosure forms to potential buyers, ensuring that they have access to the information they need.
- Be available to answer questions or address concerns that may arise from the disclosure process, acting as an advocate for your best interests.
Your agent’s expertise here adds value.
It fosters trust with buyers.
And minimizes legal risks.
These lead to a smoother, more profitable sale.
Coordinate showings and open houses
Showings and open houses are your home’s time to shine.
A well-organized and professionally managed showing or open house can leave a lasting impression on buyers and increase interest in your home.
You should expect your agent to handle these things for showings and open houses:
- Collaborate with you to determine the best schedule for showings and open houses, taking into consideration your preferences and availability.
- Advertise and promote the open houses, ensuring potential buyers are aware of the opportunity to view your property.
- Prepare your home for showings by offering staging advice and ensuring it’s clean, decluttered, and presentable.
- Be present during open houses to answer questions, provide information, and highlight the key features of your property.
- Install a lockbox for buyer’s agents to show your home (or meet them at your property) and be available to answer any questions.
- Follow up with potential buyers or their agents after showings to gather feedback and gauge interest in your property.
- Communicate the results of showings and open houses to you, providing insights into buyer reactions and any possible improvements that could be made to enhance your home’s appeal.
A real estate professional manages these tasks expertly.
And that can bring more interest and better offers.
Strong negotiating skills
Powerful negotiation isn’t just a skill.
It’s a tool for securing you the best possible terms and price.
Strong negotiation skills can make a significant impact on the final sale price and the conditions of the transaction, benefiting you financially and ensuring a smoother process.
Here’s what you should expect your realtor to do when negotiating:
- Thoroughly understand your priorities and goals for the sale, such as your desired price, closing timeline, and any contingencies you require.
- Review and evaluate all offers, providing insights on the strengths and weaknesses of each and how they align with your objectives.
- Advise you on the most effective negotiation strategy based on the current real estate market conditions, buyer interest, and your unique situation.
- Communicate and negotiate with the buyer’s agent on your behalf, advocating for your best interests and working to secure the most favorable terms.
- Keep you informed throughout the negotiation process, discussing any counter offers or proposed changes to the terms and seeking your input before making decisions.
- Skillfully navigate potential challenges or obstacles in the negotiation process to reach a mutually satisfactory agreement.
The power of a realtor with strong negotiation expertise?
It can take your deal from acceptable to exceptional.
A clear explanation of how the commission works
Commissions are the fine print you can’t afford to skip.
Understanding how much you pay a realtor can prevent misunderstandings and allow you to make informed decisions during the home selling process.
You should expect a listing agent to do these things to help you understand commissions:
- Clearly outline the commission structure, including the total percentage and how it’s divided between the listing agent and the buyer’s agent.
- Explain how the commission is calculated based on the final sale price of your home and when it is due for payment, typically at closing.
- Detail the services included in the commission, such as marketing, home staging, negotiations, and transaction coordination, helping you understand the value they bring to the sale.
- Address any questions or concerns you have about the commission, including the possibility of negotiating a different fee structure or offering incentives to attract more buyers.
- Be transparent about additional fees or costs associated with the sale, ensuring you have a clear understanding of the financial implications.
Transparency from your realtor regarding commissions builds trust and confidence.
And transparency is the foundation to make your home sale a success.
Unquestionable motivation is a must-have trait for a realtor when selling a home.
It directly impacts their level of dedication, proactivity, and commitment to achieving the best possible outcome for you.
This dedication to going above and beyond translates into proactive efforts to ensure a prosperous sale.
Here are three things your real estate agent should do to go the extra mile:
- Personalized service – A motivated agent should tailor their selling approach to your unique needs, preferences, and goals.
- Professional networking – Realtors who leverage their connections to boost your home’s visibility are the ones who utilize all the resources at their disposal to sell your home.
- Addressing challenges proactively – Motivated real estate agents should take the initiative to tackle potential issues head-on, seeking solutions to keep the process moving forward while minimizing your stress.
But the best way to keep your real estate agent motivated?
Avoid getting locked into an agent contract.
So make sure you can cancel your agent agreement at any time (not standard).
Removing the safety net of a guaranteed commission can cause an agent’s motivation to skyrocket.
This can spark them to work tirelessly to prioritize your listing (one of the reasons why we require an agent to let a seller cancel the agreement at any time).
The right agent can significantly impact your home selling journey.
This is why knowing what to expect from your realtor is crucial to ensuring a smooth, profitable sale.
But finding such a professional requires careful consideration.
If you’re at the start of your journey, you can read our guide on how to choose the right realtor when selling.