In the planning stage, selling your house was more an idea. It’s now time to start the real work: find a listing agency. What is a listing agent?
Listing agents, also known as seller’s agents (not to confuse with selling agents who represent buyers), work almost exclusively for home sellers. Your agent can help you with staging and marketing, as well as pricing your home. Your agent will make sure that your home is listed in a Multiple Listing Service (MLS). The MLS is a database of homes that are for sale. It distributes these houses to other agents. This is the best method to put your house in front of buyers’ agents.
In the planning stage, selling your house was more of an idea. It’s now time to start the real work: find a listing agent. What is a listing agent?
Dual agents are agents who represent both the buyer and seller. Research the laws of your state for more information. Dual agents are preferred by some sellers because they can result in a faster closing and require less negotiation. However, if you end up having your agent represent both the seller and buyer there could be a conflict of interest. If this happens, the dual agent will not have to split commissions, and it is possible to negotiate lower fees. You can choose to hire a dual agent, but you should ask agents about this when you interview them.
When you hire a listing agent to sell your home, they will take the lead in marketing it and ensuring that the home is sold as quickly as possible for the highest price. Your agent might recommend other professionals such as a home stager, a professional photographer, an expert contractor who can make repairs and a real-estate attorney.
The right agent can make or break your sale. Let’s look at what you should look for, how your listing agreement may look, and what role your agent plays in the sale of your home.
Researching Listing Agents
You’re looking for the best candidate to represent you as a seller of your home, and you wouldn’t hire anyone before speaking with them. So, it is important to be selective when selecting an agent. You should still interview at least two other agents, even if you have an agent already in mind. You want someone with whom you can connect on a personal basis, not just someone who has the right qualifications. You need to be sure that the person you choose is someone you can trust. Here are some questions you can ask agents:
How long have been you an agent? The agent’s level of experience is entirely up to you, and you should choose someone who has at least two year’s experience. They’ve already experienced most of the unexpected situations that may arise during the selling process. This question can be used by a good agent to tell you more about them and their background.
How long have your been working in this field? If the agent does not volunteer this information, you can ask this question. You want an agent with expertise in your area.
How many houses have you sold in the last year? You want to get a number in the double-digits. This is usually between 15 and 20.
What is your list-to-sell rate? Divide the home’s sale price by its last listing price to find the ratio. If the ratio exceeds 100 percent, the house has sold for more than the list price. This ratio will tell you whether the listing agent in Myrtle Beach is accurately analyzing data, and correctly listing houses. You want to see a high percentage – around 90 percent if it is a tough market.
How many clients will work with you at once? You’re unlikely to receive much personal attention if the agent has dozens of clients working at once. This question can be used by a good agent to discuss time management.
Work with a team? Many agents have a team of experts who take care of different aspects of the process. This has some benefits, but you should tell your agent about it. Don’t be surprised if someone unknown shows up at your home.
Do you have experience with buyers? You will know if the agent has some experience with the buyer side of the transaction. Asking if your agent is a dual agent can be a good way to start the conversation.
What is your marketing strategy? You need an agent who uses tried and true methods, such as yard signs. But you also want someone who is able to use social media. You should ask how much money they intend to spend on marketing.
What is your communication style like? You probably have a good idea of the agent’s communication style after chatting with them for a while. You can get a better idea of how an agent communicates by asking this question at the end. It’s important to find an agent you can easily communicate with.
Do you have any questions for me? The agent should be able to answer this question without you having to ask it. These questions shouldn’t be limited to the basics, like your timeline or selling price. They should get to know your personality. You want to work with an agent that understands the emotional aspects of selling a house.
What is the role of a listing agent?
You can expect the following from your listing agent:
Calculate the value of your home. It’s difficult to find the right price, and many homeowners overprice their homes. You won’t be told what price to ask by your agent, but they will advise you on the best possible price.
List the house. You can list your home without an agent but it will cost more. This service is already available to your agent.
A professional agent knows the best contractors, stagers, and photographers to use in order to make your house shine.
Show the house. You can do this by having an open house or a special showing.
Negotiate with the buyer. In many home sales, the buyer and seller have never met. Your agent will work with the buyer’s representative to negotiate the details of the contract while it is being negotiated. Your agent will know what is typical and what is unusual because they have read these contracts before. They can also remain detached to negotiate effectively.
Attend the Close. When it comes time to close, an agent is very helpful, especially if they have some legal knowledge. They can review all the documents with you, along with an escrow agent and/or a closing lawyer.
Signing the Home Listing Agreement
You’ll negotiate a contract once you find an agent. In most states, real estate agents have standard legal agreements that they use to protect both the seller and agent. It’s important to understand what you will be signing, what you can negotiate and what you should watch out for before you sign. What is usually included in a listing contract?
The commission in most cases is 6 percent. This is divided between the agent of the seller and your agent. The commission will be the same if you are using a dual agent. You may have the ability to negotiate with your agent if he or she represents both you and the purchaser. Some agents are willing to negotiate lower commissions, but this is rare, especially for sales above $500,000. Keep in mind that the lower you pay, the less your agent will give to you.
Right to Sell
Agents will often ask for exclusive rights to sell. This means that only they can list your house. In other types of contracts, the agent will get their commission regardless if you or the agent find the buyer. Exclusive rights are advantageous because they motivate the agent to do the work on your behalf.
Length of the Agreement
Standard contracts are usually between three and six months. You, as the seller, benefit from shorter timeframes because you can quickly find another agent if the first one doesn’t work out. The agent will benefit from longer agreements because they can get a better price for their house if more work is done.
Listing agents in Myrtle Beach are required to protect themselves against homeowners who agree with the buyer that they will wait until the end of the contract to avoid paying a commission. If you find a buyer through the agent and sell to them, you will still owe the commission even though the agreement is terminated. In the event that the agent does not perform, you’ll need to be protected by the clause. You should ensure that this clause is exempt in the event of a change in agent. This will prevent you from paying a double commission.
Pay the agent only when the sale has been closed, not when the buyer is delivered. If payment is due when the buyer is delivered as per the contract, it’s possible that the deal could fall apart during negotiations with the buyer and you will be responsible for the commission.
The contract should clearly state what the agent will be expected to do. The list may include using MLS, putting up yard signs, a monetary budget to spend on advertising, attending walk-throughs and handling negotiations with buyers, as well as resolving conflicts. The list should be detailed.
You will be required to verify that the property is owned in good faith and that there are no claims against the title.
Negotiating the Contract
Everything in real estate is negotiable. Even your listing contract. It is only between you and your agent, so you can change or add to the contract if both of you agree. Most agents will use boilerplate forms that are fair for both parties.
This agreement should be read carefully, just as you would any important legal document. Have a lawyer review it if anything is strange. It doesn’t matter if you think everything is fine. A lawyer can still review the contract for you. Pay attention if the agent insists that you sign the contract immediately. You may not have chosen the best agent.
Call Full Potential Real Estate, LLC now, and let our listing agent help you sell your home.
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