Five Things Sellers Should Know about Their Realtors®

Realtors® are professionals who work on your behalf as sellers' agents and try to attract the best buyer for your property. Sometimes, though, people have misconceptions about real estate agents' work.

Learn how Realtors® operate to bring you the best deal and better understand their work.

Open House Showings

When you list your house on MLS or online, chances are that other agents will want to take their buyers for an open house tour of your property. Open houses are an age-old tradition that lets buyers "experience" your house and helps them decide whether or not to buy it.

This means, of course, that there will be strangers coming into your home. Thankfully, though, there is a basic real estate ethic that governs open houses. The visiting agent must make sure that his or her buyers do not walk around your house in their shoes and that they do not break anything. The agent should also take care that the house looks like no visit happened at all — they should turn off all the lights, close the windows, lock the doors, and so forth.

House as glowing lantern
House as glowing lantern by Jeremy Levine Design

Since real estate agents are also human beings, it may be that the seller will come home after an open house showing to find that not everything has been left as perfectly as it ought to have been. On these rare but unfortunate occasions, it is a good idea to share one's concerns with one's own Realtor®. While the seller's Realtor® can hardly be blamed, he or she may want to know of this misconduct so that he or she can remind the visiting agent of the neglected duties.

Please note that not all Realtors® actually enjoy open houses. If your agent does not intend to market your house this way, make sure her or she explains to you the reasoning behind the decision and the proposed alternative marketing strategies. This brings us to our next point.

Varied Marketing Strategies

Not all Realtors® actually employ all the strategies that you might expect from a real estate agent. Have your agent share with you his or her marketing vision and customary procedures before you sign the contract. You will avoid misunderstandings and eliminate the need to pay extra fees in the process of marketing your home.

Some agents specialize on online advertising, as this is increasingly the predominant source of interested buyers. These agents will likely neglect or even avoid newspaper advertising. Some agents are more sophisticated, however: they will market properties suitable for young families primarily on the internet, while accessible houses and low-maintenance houses will be advertised through more traditional channels.

A Dutch House - Inside Outside
A Dutch House - Inside Outside by dysturb

Some Realtors® like to distribute flyers and even catalogues, while others design fancy For Sale signs instead.

Every agent has a unique way of "targeting the market." Learn about your agent's favourite ways and the frequency at which her or she repeats the ads, etc. Contribute your own ideas to the formula and find the perfect marketing mix together.

Unexpected Costs

Your Realtor® cannot always predict all costs associated with a real estate transaction, yet he or she should try to go through the vast majority of them with you at the beginning of the co-operation. This applies to both buyers' and sellers' agents.

Shore house inside
Shore house inside by Affiliate

Similarly, your agent should discuss with you the list price of your property ahead of time and explain to you his or her intentions. This means that if you request that your property be priced above your agent's own estimate, you should be warned that the price may eventually need to go down if there is too little demand for your property.

Always take your agent's valuation and pricing strategy into consideration. Most Realtors® have long-term and in-depth knowledge of the market that they work in and that is their added value to you.

If you are not ready to sell for a lower price, you may need to hold on to your house or undertake renovations to increase its value. On the other hand, if you can imagine selling your property for a lower price, calculating early on with this contingency in mind will let you prepare for potential cash shortages later.


To recap, here are the main points that every home seller should remember:

  1. Open house showings are commonplace and are based on common courtesy and mutual trust.
  2. Open houses are arranged and carried out by visiting agents, not your own.
  3. Every agent has a unique way of "targeting the market."  Talk with yours to see what her or his "secret blend" is.
  4. Each home sale transaction costs money, but the fees are not limitless.  Ask how much you should set aside at the beginning to avoid unpleasant surprises.
  5. If you know what your Realtor® thinks about the future of the real estate market and your listing, then you will be ready for it.

Always make sure that your Realtor® is listening to you. Share your opinions with her or him freely and allow your agent to share with you as well. Together, you will easily sell your house to the satisfaction of all parties.

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