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Choosing the Right Listing Agent for Your Bottom Line and Your Peace of Mind
When you are selling your home, you should consider working with a seller´s agent. A seller´s agent is someone who agrees to fulfill certain duties to the seller by entering into an agency relationship with that person. There are many advantages to this relationship. You want to make sure that your interests are protected throughout the transaction, and this can best be achieved by hiring someone to act as your sole representative. Having a seller´s agent will save you almost all the time and trouble involved in selling your house on your own. A good seller´s agent will use industry information and market knowledge to help you determine the best listing price for your home. The agent will also market your home to thousands of potential buyers, as well as negotiate the sale all the way through closing. If you don´t have time, energy or specialized knowledge about selling real estate, having a trustworthy seller´s agent can make selling your home a much smoother transaction. Beyond helping you determine a fair selling price for your home, seller´s agents will make suggestions on how to make your home more appealing so that they can get you the highest possible sales price. They will screen potential buyers and make sure that you only deal with qualified, serious ones. A good seller´s agent will market your home to a network of other agents, handle all of the negotiations and paperwork, and oversee the closing process. If you take the time to find and hire an experienced, well-qualified, full-time real estate agent, it will make a world of difference.
What to Look for in a Listing Agent
You want an experienced agent who knows how to get a home sold. A good listing agent will have the following qualities as well.
An agent needs to be trusted and respected in the community for their integrity in the real estate business.
An experienced agent has a track record of many successful sales transactions and has a large referral and repeat business clientele.
Many good agents have a business support staff. This can take the form of a team member, an assistant, a real estate partner or even a virtual assistant.
An agent should have an Internet presence, an email address and proficiency in today´s technology. The ability to have virtual tours and digital photos of your home on the Internet is a benefit. Over 80 percent of all buyers begin their home-buying process by using the Internet. Talk about an unlimited number of potential buyers!
A good agent will invest in their business through websites, work in the community, mailings, promotions, advertising, custom stationery, presentation packages and so forth.
An agent who has multiple advanced professional designations shows their commitment to the profession. Remember to ask a potential listing agent for references- and ask other questions, too. What types of marketing does the agent use? How does the agent use technology to sell homes? Does the agent have a website and network with other agents? How many homes did the agent sell in the last year?
Make sure you do your homework and find an excellent agent who will work hard to sell your home. If you choose to work with a seller´s agent, you will be required to sign a listing agreement. This agreement obligates you to work only with that agent to sell your home during a designated period of time. Our team has an "easy exit program" from any listing agreement. This means that if for any reason the seller is not totally satisfied with the team´s service, the seller can exit the listing. We are proud to say that none of our clients have ever invoked this option. Check with your prospective agent to see if an easy exit clause is part of the agreement.
Under Virginia law, seller´s agents -- like buyer´s agents -- have certain obligations to their clients. A seller´s agent owes the home seller the following affirmative duties:
to exercise reasonable care and diligence;
to deal honestly and in good faith;
to present all offers, notices and other communications to and from the parties in a timely manner without regard to whether the property is subject to a contract for sale or the buyer is already a party to a contract to purchase;
to disclose material facts known by the seller´s agent that are not apparent or readily ascertainable to a party;
to account in a timely manner for money and property received from or on behalf of the seller;
to be loyal to the seller by not taking action that is adverse or detrimental to the seller´s interest in a transaction;
to disclose in a timely manner to the seller any conflict of interest, existing or contemplated;
to advise the seller to seek expert advice on matters related to the transaction that are beyond the agent´s expertise;
to maintain confidential information from or about the seller except under subpoena or court order, even after termination of the agency relationship; and
unless agreed otherwise in writing, to make a continuous, good faith effort to find a buyer for the property, except that a seller´s agent is not required to seek additional offers to purchase the property while the property is subject to a contract for sale
We're All About Service and Results
Pat Paulas, Drew Paulas and Associates, Realtors Loudoun County Real Estate and West Fairfax County Real Estate
Prudential PenFed's TeamWorks 11864 Sunrise Valley Drive, Suite 101 • Reston, Virginia 20191 703.909.6333 e-mail theTeam@eLoudounHomes.com
Real Estate: The Ins & Outs Our Continuing Series on How it All Works.