A great real estate agent for a seller is a jack of all trades. They will help you prepare your home for sale, set a price, determine a selling strategy and negotiate with buyers. Here’s more information on the responsibilities of a seller’s agent and what qualities to look for, so when the time comes you’ll know how to choose a real estate agent to sell your home.
Seller’s Agent Definition
A seller’s agent is the real estate agent or REALTOR® who represents the person who wants to sell their property. “Seller’s agent” and “listing agent” are often used interchangeably. This in contrast to a buyer’s agent, who represents the person who is interested in purchasing the property.
First Meeting with a Realtor to Sell Your House
When you’re selling your home, the first meeting that you have with a real estate agent is often referred to as a listing consultation. During the consultation, your agent will look at your property and learn more about your goals for selling. They will discuss your home's selling features with you, and suggest improvements that could lift your price. They’ll also do a comparative market analysis (CMA), which looks at comparable homes that have sold nearby, to determine a recommended price. A good seller’s agent should also come up with a marketing strategy to help you get that price.
Role of a Listing Agent
1. Preparing Your Home to Sell
An experienced listing agent will know how to maximize your property value so you can receive top dollar for your home. They’ll be able to identify which improvements you should make to your home (if any) to increase the amount it sells for. They’ll also be able to recommend service providers who provide great value (high quality at reasonable prices): an inspector, handyman, painter, landscaper, stager, etc.
It is in your best interest to hire an inspector after this first consult to complete home and pest inspections, and depending on the property, you may also want to inspect the roof, sewer, drainage, fireplace, pool, or other key features. Depending on the amount of work, your agent will advise you to complete the repairs or leave as-is for the buyer.
Your agent will help you evaluate the return on investment (ROI). For every $1 you spend, you want to receive $2 in return. In a seller’s market, with a lack of homes on the market and a surplus of buyers, your property may sell in the first week or two on market without completing repairs. However in most cases, any time you want to receive “top dollar,” it’s best to do the repairs first. The majority of buyers do not want a construction zone; they’ll pay a premium for the work to be done. They want to write a check and have the peace of mind.
2. Staging Your Home to Sell
Preparing your property is an art and needs attention if you want to maximize your sale price. Agents often say, “proper preparation prevents poor performance.” Your agent will help you “stage” your home so that it makes a positive first impression among potential buyers, from the time they look at the listing photos, to the moment they walk in the door.
The first step in staging a home is removing any excess furniture and clutter to make the room feel larger and to help the buyer visualize the space. It’s best to leave some furniture in the room, so that buyers can picture where their own furniture will go, but not so much that the room feels small.
You can also hire a professional staging company, who will bring in furniture and decor that is perfect for the space. Depending on who you ask, professional staging will net you about a 1% higher sale price. When an agent meets a seller with a $600,000 property, they may not advise staging because it may cost $5,000. However, if they meet a seller with a $1.5 million dollar property, then staging is advised because it may cost $7,000.
3. Hiring Professional Listing Photos
Once the home is prepped and stage, it will be ready for a photo shoot. When you work with a Redfin real estate agent to sell your home, you’ll receive free professional photos as part of the service. Redfin will also do a 3D scan of your house, so that buyers can view it from every angle online (similar to the street view you see on Google Maps). Many buyers who live out of the state or the country want to complete a 3D Walkthrough of your property before they waste their time and money to tour it in-person.
4. Deciding on a Price
The next step is to determine a price before it goes on the market. Your agent will create a comparative market analysis (CMA) to review comparable homes nearby that are currently on the market, pending, or have recently sold. This will give you more information on what people are willing to pay for homes that are similar to yours, so you can set a competitive price. Hopefully, your agent has sold some of the comps or at least toured them in-person. Some agents like to email information about a seller’s home to 3-5 top agents in the area to get their pricing opinion. Then the seller and their agent know the comps and how much other top agents believe their buyers would pay.
5. Marketing Your Home to Potential Buyers
Once you’ve determined a price, your home is ready to go on the market. Your agent will install a “for sale” sign in your yard, deliver flyers, set up a lockbox (which other agents will use to tour your home with their clients), and put your home on the multiple listing service and other real estate search sites. If you work with a Redfin agent, your home will receive special placement on Redfin.com and on the Redfin app, so that it appears first in the search results, tripling its exposure to buyers. Redfin will also email information about your home to people who have searched for similar homes in your area. In addition to online marketing, your agent may recommend scheduling an open house, and setting an offer deadline.
6. Closing the Deal
If you receive an offer, Redfin will send out an alert to anyone who has viewed or favorited your home to make sure they get one more chance to make an offer before it sells, to see if you can get a higher price. Your agent will review each offer and help you negotiate terms to get the best deal. They’ll also guide you through all of the paperwork and steps that need to be completed in the closing process to officially hand over your keys to the new owner. When you work with a Redfin agent, you’ll receive access to “Deal Room,” where you can track what needs to be done, and even sign paperwork online. After that, it’s officially sold!