What Should Your Listing Agent Do For You?

 When interviewing for the right agent to list and sell your home, be sure you know what your duties are to your real estate agent, and what his or hers are to you.  Ask how he or she has personally overcome objections during similar transactions and during negotiations, saving the deal.  

As your agent educates you on market conditions in your area, how to make the property’s condition market ready, the suggested list price, request a marketing and PR activity summary for your listing. To help with that, I have compiled the following. Your REALTOR®’s Marketing Plan should include 3 very important facets:

1. Expose your property and highlight all benefits to buyers and REALTOR®s in your area interested in your price point.

2. Provide exceptional service through communication and follow-up during your entire listing period.

3. Negotiate on your behalf and bring your transaction to a smooth and successful closing.

The 2008 National Association of REALTOR®’s Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers reports that ‘buyers used a variety of resources in searching for a home: 87 percent used the Internet, 85 percent used a real estate agent, 62 percent yard signs, 48 percent attended open houses and 47 percent looked at print or newspaper ads. Fewer buyers rely on a home book or magazine, home builders, television, billboards and relocation companies. Buyers most commonly start their search process online and then contact a real estate agent.’ (Excerpt)

Savvy home buyers are not picking up days and weeks old marketing materials (print ads have deadlines for materials from weeks to months out) to find their next home.  Your agent should be skilled with all aspects of online and social utility marketing.

Promoting Your Property

The beginning of a listing period is work-intensive with a common list of activities required to prepare your listing for launch to the public. Your REALTOR®’s Twelve Month Marketing Plan Should Include:

Week One

 • Immediate processing of required documentation and professional quality digital photos should be taken so that no time is lost in getting your home into the local MLS system and distributed to every REALTOR® in the area.

• Color brochures should be designed and delivered to your home and strategic sites throughout the community containing all the pertinent information a potential buyer will need to develop interest and make an offer.

• Instructions on showings should be submitted to a centralized showing service and a lockbox installed to facilitate showings.

• Install a For Sale sign, when allowed, which includes your REALTOR®’s contact information. This allows buyers to call him or her directly – he or she is most familiar with your home.

• “Just Listed” postcards should be mailed out to your surrounding area. This allows your neighbors to be aware that your home is for sale so they can help sell the house and choose their new neighbor.

• Your property should be exposed to relocating companies through a national RELO Division, an extensive network of top REALTORS®.

• Your property’s full description and accompanying photos should be uploaded to several hundred of the top regional, national, and internation real estate sites.

Immediately Following Showings

• Follow up feedback exposing a potentially negative ongoing problem should immediately be communicated to you for resolution.

Bi-Monthly

• Bi-Monthly contact should be made with you to discuss the market and to summarize follow up feedback on all showings keeps you abreast of your position in the market.

• Keep you informed of all marketing and advertising efforts.

Monthly

• Email monthly market updates to keep you up-to-date on the local activity of your neighborhood and like properties.

• Monthly refresh copy and photographs shown online to keep listing fresh.

• Blog with photos your listing information with invitation to make an appointment to tour.

• Arrange print advertising as appropriate.

Regularly

• Arrange regular events such as Open Houses and other similar events to targeted audiences who are your buyer or your buyer’s agent who can keep the ‘word of mouth’ buzz going. Announce the listing to local or move-up buyers such as high profile CEO’s, CFO’s, etc., website registrants, and buyer walk-in traffic from personal visits to similar home communities who may be interested in a property such as yours and regularly (every 1 – 2 weeks, as appropriate) send them updated information about the listing or related information about lifestyle, neighborhood, or schools, as appropriate.

• Email, Blog, Twitter, and Facebook all activities with teasers and invitations to strategic audiences.

FROM CONTRACT TO CLOSE:

Your REALTOR®’s goal is to pave and negotiate the road to a smooth closing through:

Monitoring closely all lender and escrow activities to ensure a successful closing.

Assuring that all inspections and repairs are completed.

Concentrating on and creating solutions, not problems.

Representing your best interests at all times and in all negotiations.

Accompanying you to the closing.

 As an informed seller, your partnership with your agent, like any personal or professional relationship, should be based on trust.  If you develop questions, don’t hesitate to ask your broker, and call immediately if a problem arises. Step back and evaluate when problems arise and always remember, WHY people do things is more important than what they do. 

If you encounter problems with your agent during the listing period, such as lack of knowledge, professionalism, or rudeness, document all your concerns and speak with the agent before contacting the agent’s broker-in-charge.  Your local real estate commission will not allow the release of an exclusive listing agreement without obvious and just cause. 

Good luck with your sale!

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Chrystal Safari’s job? she gives great advice! She is a full-time real estate broker with Peters & Associates, a boutique firm in Charlotte, North Carolina, specializing in luxury homes from $700,000 and up, and is a MASTERS Designee specializing in New Construction, Finance, Marketing, Objection Handling, Relocation, and Technology. Visit ChrystalSafari.com for more information on luxury real estate, and Mark it your new Favorite!

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