Demand for homes continues to be strong and, in many areas, supply continues to be lacking. That means it’s a seller’s market, which is good news for homeowners who’ve been thinking about selling their home. But just because it’s a seller’s market doesn’t automatically make selling a home easy. In fact, in a seller’s market, it’s not uncommon for both sellers and their real estate agents to be overconfident.
The truth is that even in great market conditions, a home rarely “sells itself.” And with a herd of buyers out there competing for relatively few properties, a listing agent who isn’t organized or diligent can get stampeded and cost his or her client both time and money.
How does a seller avoid this? Sellers can avoid this by finding the right agent — one who will actually sell their home rather than just list it. Potential sellers might not even be aware of all that’s involved in a relationship with a real estate agent, but there are eight crucial things a seller should expect from their listing agent as they prepare to sell a home:
1. A developed and shared strategy
Good listing agents should be able to explain to sellers their approach for identifying potential buyers and marketing to them. Marketing has to be targeted. Even in a seller’s market, putting up a sign and waiting will not cut it.
He or she must invest in advertising a property and have marketing expertise to make the investment pay off.
3. Help with getting the home ready
An agent who will help a seller get the best price in the shortest amount of time is one who will guide them through getting the home ready for sale.
4. Proper presentation
Professional photos of the property can be a huge difference-maker in the amount of traffic a home receives from potential buyers.
5. Incentives to buyers
Especially in a competitive market, buyers will need to feel as though they’re getting something extra, whether it be a membership to the local pool, a free home inspection or warranty or even free cooking classes to go along with that gourmet kitchen.
Sellers should receive a report every week so that they know what’s being done to sell their house.
7. Area-specific pricing expertise
The easiest way to mess up a sale is by pricing it wrong from the start. And just because an agent offers a market analysis doesn’t mean he or she knows the area specifically. Proper pricing takes local expertise.
If a home isn’t selling, especially in a seller’s market, the agent should be held accountable. Sellers who don’t hold their agents accountable when listed properties linger are making a big mistake.
For most people, selling a home means selling the biggest asset they own — probably the biggest investment of their lives. That makes selecting a professional expert agent to sell their home critical to their mental and financial well-being.
In a seller’s market, the temptation is to downplay the role of the selling agent. But even sellers who give into that temptation should have at least these minimum expectations or they will sabotage their own well-being.