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What to Expect From a Listing Agent

success2Before you start making lofty demands of your listing agent, it's important to understand what the agent is actually responsible for. We're not saying you're high-maintenance; you just need to know what you can and can't ask the agent to do. By having realistic expectations, you're likely to leave the home-selling process feeling like your agent really did all she could to get you the best deal—even if you didn't see or hear about every little thing she did to market your home. In the interest of transparency, let's dive into the things a listing agent is responsible for once you sign a contract.

What role does a listing agent play?

A listing agent's job is to help direct the seller in preparing the house for sale, market the property to buyer's agents, and handle the offer and transaction process to get the sale to completion. So when you think about your expectations for your agent, make sure they fit within that scope.

However, the specific responsibilities can vary from agent to agent. A good listing agent will help you price your home, attend pitch sessions, recommend a photographer and stager to make your home look its best, and put your home on the multiple listing service. Some agents might be unwilling to fulfill every one of your requests if they don't think they will help your home sell.

Set expectations from the start

To make sure you're both on the same page, you should discuss your expectations from the get-go with any real estate agent you plan on hiring. Find out how often you’ll communicate, and by what means.

You won’t see all the agent's work

Just because things seem quiet doesn’t mean the agent isn’t working on your behalf. However, if more regular updates will make you happy, speak up.

When things go wrong

Sometimes, even after you’ve agreed on everything with your agent in writing, your expectations aren’t met. What then? Before you send that angry email, be honest with yourself and see if you're holding anything up. If you truly believe that your home looks show-ready and that you’ve made it available, you might need to revisit the pricing. That could be why you haven’t attracted interest yet.

Definitely have a conversation with your agent if you’re unsatisfied, and try to be receptive to the agent's feedback. If you believe that your agent isn’t taking your concerns seriously, your next course of action is speaking with the agent's agency.

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