So you want to sell your home. Perhaps you have a new baby on the way, perhaps you are ready to move somewhere for your dream job. Whatever the case may be, you are ready to dive into the field of real estate. Most likely, you are feeling a little nervous. When you bought your home, you may have worked with a buyer’s agent to help you find the right house. That agent would have helped you make all of the big decisions in home buying, and help you weigh the benefits and downsides of different houses. Now, you are hoping that a listing agent can be that supportive person as you work on selling your home.
You know you want a listing agent to help you with the process, but you’re just not sure what a listing agent will help you do and how the experience of working with a listing agent will be different from the process of working with a buyer’s agent.
We’re here to help break through that confusion and help you understand the role of a listing agent in the home selling process from listing the home, to interacting with potential buyers, to closing.
What Does A Listing Agent Do?
Think about your biggest stressors in selling your home. Likely, you are worried about your interactions with potential buyers. You worry that you might make some verbal misstep and that will cost you a great deal of money. Something else you might worry about is that the stress of listing a house will be hard on your relationship. You might even worry that you won’t know when you get the right offer.
With a listing agent, you will not have these worries any more. A listing agent ensures that your selling process goes as smoothly as possible, without any hiccups. Listing agents are both experts in the area and the current housing market, which makes them great at finding you the right deal. Although some people are worried about getting a listing agent to sell their house because of expenses, often an agent can actually save you money since you will not have to take any time off work to show the house.
Common Concerns About Listing Agents
Many of us are not in the field of real estate, so we are not sure who we can trust. Many people distrust real estate agents and particularly listing agents. This is because they worry the agent will pressure them into a bad decision. However, buying a house today is better regulated than ever, which means that you can trust a listing agent. Let’s clear up some common concerns people have about listing agents.
Are Listing Agents and Buyer’s Agents Different?
Generally speaking, yes, the process of buying a house is a collaboration between the listing agent and the selling agent. However, there are some notable exceptions. In some states, it is legal to do something called “double agency” where one agent acts as both the listing agent and the buyer’s agent. Generally, states are cracking down on this practice because it presents a conflict of interest for the agents. It can sometimes prevent an agent from fulfilling their fiduciary responsibility.
Do I Pay The Listing Agent?
Your listing agent will not have a fixed price that they will charge to sell your house. Instead, they will most likely make money through commissions, meaning that they will get a cut of the money you earn from the transaction. This is good because it means that your listing agent has an incentive to sell your home quickly, and they will not string you along.
I Liked My Buyer’s Agent, Can I Use Them As My Listing Agent?
Maybe! Many agents specialize in one side of the transactions, but all real estate agents are certified to work as both buyers agents and listing agents. Sometimes, a real estate agent will choose to work only as a buyers agent or a listing agent because of their unique skill set, but often they will do both.
Am I Stuck With My Listing Agent?
No. Some people worry that if they do not like their listing agent, they will not be able to change agents and work with another. However, you will be in a contract with your listing agent (generally for 90 days) which means that you must work exclusively with that agent until the 90 days are up. After 90 days, however, you are free to choose another agent if you are not compatible with your agent. With this in mind, it is important to think carefully when you choose a listing agent. In the next section, we will talk about how to choose a listing agent.
Choosing A Listing Agent
As you start to look for a listing agent, you will learn that agents can give you a quote for how much they think they can sell your house for. This might make it seem very easy to choose a listing agent. Unfortunately, it’s not that simple. Listing agents will sometimes completely overestimate the price that your home will sell for for just this reason. So how do you avoid falling for this?
Choose An Agent Who Lists A Price Range
If you are most interested in getting the best price, you should look at agents who give you a good range of prices. This is often much more honest than agents who simply give you the price that they expect to sell your home at.
Choose Based On Commission
Another option is making the choice of your agent based on the commission they ask for. This might seem quite logical, but you should be wary of shockingly low commissions. These often come from agents that are trying to break into a highly competitive market. They feel that low prices are the only way for them to get clients. In these cases, the agents are sometimes much less qualified than those who charge a higher commission.
Choose Based On Agency
When you are choosing a real estate agent, you are doing more than just choosing a person. You are choosing the agency that you want to work with. In this way, you need to decide whether you would rather work with a small agency or a large agency. Both have their benefits and downsides. If you choose a larger agency, buyers might trust the agency if they recognize it. What’s more, you will probably have better advertising. However, when you choose to work with a smaller agency, you have the chance for more flexibility and less bureaucracy. Smaller agencies will have fewer clients so it will be much easier for you to have your specific needs met.
However you choose your agent, remember that your relationship with your agent will be just like any other relationship in your life. It will require lots of honesty and time to work well. Make sure that your agent knows what you are looking for from the transaction and make sure you have given the agent all of the information they need. If you are in need of a listing agent, contact us, and visit our blog to learn more about Fresno real estate.