Working with a Seller’s Agent
Our goal is to help sellers reduce stress and make the most out of their home sale. From staging and marketing to picking the best offer, selling a home can easily become overwhelming. To avoid this, HomeHunt highly recommends hiring a seller’s agent who can ensure sellers receive the best value for their house and make this process efficient and worry-free.
This guide will teach sellers:
- The role of a seller’s agent
- How to find a seller’s agent
- How to work with a seller’s agent
- How seller’s agents market homes to potential buyers
Let’s get started, home sellers!
What is a Seller’s Agent?
A seller’s agent is a real estate professional who handles various tasks for homeowners selling their home. As an important part of the home selling process, they help price the home, list the property, market to potential buyers, and negotiate with other agents. A seller’s agent receives commission on the home sale, making them highly motivated to sell for the best price. An experienced seller’s agent knows how to sell a house professionally and understands the local market. Seller’s agents manage the process from start to finish and have sellers’ best interests at the forefront of everything they do.
Is a Seller’s Agent Necessary?
To get the selling process started, sellers must either use a seller’s agent or sell the home on their own, also known as for sale by owner (FSBO). When selling FSBO, it can be challenging for sellers to set aside any attachment to the home. Emotions can also interfere when dealing with objectivity and acceptance of feedback from potential buyers. Let’s go even further to break down the advantages for each:
For Sale By Owner:
- Avoids paying agent commission
- Allows complete control of the listing price
- Manages all home showings and open houses
- Motivated to sell for top dollar
- Has the most knowledge of neighborhood and area
- Understands fair market value (FMV) and pricing strategy
- Has a deep understanding of the local market
- Has access to the MLS database and online listing portals
- Has connections to real estate professionals
- Has top negotiation skills
- Knows the legality of all documents and paperwork
In an FSBO, the seller acts as their own agent, which can add a lot of pressure if unfamiliar with the process. For example, when marketing to potential buyers, a seller’s agent will advertise by listing the home on various home selling websites and working in the MLS database. This can be challenging for sellers who cannot access the MLS and other agent resources. Many sellers hope to save money when selling FSBO, but studies show FSBO homes sell for less than agent-run properties.
How to Find a Seller’s Agent
Finding the right seller’s agent can feel like a tedious process, but taking the time to research a potential agent’s experience, references, and qualifications can make all the difference. It is recommended to interview three to five agents before making a final decision. The following factors will help sellers pick the right agent:
Experience: While talking with agents, ask them about their experience in specific neighborhoods and the connections they have to other real estate professionals. Visit their website and social media profiles to see if they have a reputable clientele.
Communication: A good agent communicates with their clients effectively. This includes utilizing phone calls, text messages, and emails to notify clients of competitive listings in the area, interested buyers, home showings and open houses, and connecting clients with other real estate professionals.
Characteristics: Some characteristics that sellers usually want in an agent include experience, education, honesty, networking, negotiation skills, and effective communication. If an agent does not provide these skills, move on to the next.
What Happens After Hiring an Agent?
Once an agent is selected, sellers can relax and let the agent take control. To start the selling process, an agent will conduct a walkthrough of the home and evaluate the property through an objective lens, noting things that may require attention. The following information may be discussed in order to create a custom-tailored marketing plan:
- The basics, such as the square footage, lot size, utility costs, property taxes, and recent repairs.
- Concerns with older appliances or fixtures, exterior or interior damage, and possible structural issues.
- Total budget available for any cosmetic or necessary upgrades or repairs.
Once a timeline is established for necessary updates and repairs, the seller’s agent can offer suggestions based on local trends that maximize home value. A comparative market analysis (CMA) will then be drafted to assess recently sold comparable properties within the area.
A seller’s agent will review everything from preparing the home to sell up to the closing timeline to depict what an ideal selling process looks like. They will also provide an itemized list of expenses and credits for the final sale price. If a buyer has a significant list of requests based on the home inspection report, the agent can provide clear guidance to ensure their client understands the requests.
Benefits of Hiring a Seller’s Agent
There are many benefits to working with a seller’s agent. The following reasons are just a snapshot of what a seller’s agent can add to a home sale:
Agents know the market: Top agents know the ins and outs of the current market. This includes top trends, what is selling, current interest rates, and information found on the MLS database.
Agents have professional connections: Many agents will have a list of preferred providers who they trust and work with often. A seller’s agent may provide a list of contractors, home repair professionals, staging companies, and lenders.
Agents know when something is wrong with the property: Buyers look for homes that are in good condition with minimal issues. Agents can identify potential problems that sellers may not see, such as roofing issues and potential mold areas. An agent will suggest the best approach to fixing these issues.
Agents know how to set a price and negotiate: Seller’s agents will perform a comparative market analysis to develop an accurate and realistic listing price that will attract buyers. With this information, an agent will also negotiate the best possible deal for their client.
Agents know how to market: This is one of the best benefits of hiring a seller’s agent. They know the best marketing strategies that will get buyers interested in the property.
Seller’s Agent Marketing Methods
Aside from traditional advertising, seller’s agents should also establish an online presence for the homes they represent by utilizing various social media platforms. Here are some popular examples of how an agent should market properties:
Newspaper Advertising: Many newspapers announce which homes are for sale and when they are having open houses.
Postcards and Mailers: These are great ways to inform a neighborhood if local homes are going up for sale and may even entice others to sell.
Websites and Blogs: An agent who has their own website is already ahead of the game. An interactive, search-friendly website will help market homes to a wider base of potential buyers. Blogs also display a strong online presence and pull viewers from various online avenues.
Social Media: Agents should have a business page where they interact with potential clients. If there is no interaction or social media appears unimportant to them, this could be a red flag.
Working with the right listing agent can make all the difference when it comes to selling a home. The experienced seller’s agents at HomeHunt can help sellers navigate through this complicated process, ensuring they receive the best experience possible.