How Real Estate Agents Earn Their Commission

For most of us, selling a home isn’t a regular occurrence in our lives. For real estate agents, it’s a way of life. Earning that commission comes with many responsibilities. Read on to discover what goes into creating, marketing and closing on a listing.

A seller’s agent (or listing agent) represents you as the seller as you embark upon the epic journey of selling your home. A lot goes into the process of getting the listing up and running and in front of suitable buyers, from market-driven pricing to effective communications and negotiations to know-how in the intricacies of the selling process. Here are a few things an agent can be expected to do for you, should you choose an agent to sell your home.

Deep Knowledge

Working with a local real estate agent who knows the ins-and-outs of your particular housing market and the current buying climate can pay off in their ability to properly price and market your listing. Watching listings come and go on the daily Multiple Listing Service (MLS) Hot Sheet, gives agents the insights needed to create each property’s comparative market analysis (CMA). This, plus taking into account the unique features of your particular property and how it will play in the current buyer/seller climate, is a fine balance. Hiring an inspector to preempt any issues that should be addressed prior to sale is a savvy move, and with the results of the inspection, your agent should be able to advise as to which repairs to do for maximum return on investment (ROI), what to leave as-is for the buyer to address, and how both factor into your asking price.

Before setting a price, hire an inspector to preempt any issues that should be addressed prior to sale.

Getting You On The MLS

Once you’ve agreed upon an selling price, the next step for your listing agent is to actually list the property. Identifying the key aspects to highlight, giving advice on staging and curb appeal, taking or commissioning photographs and writing the property description itself are the first steps, followed by getting the listing up and running on the MLS with all accurate details filled in. Many agents now facilitate video or drone tours of homes’ interiors and exteriors to enhance the reach of their listings. Once the listing is created, producing marketing collateral including flyers, email blasts, and print, digital and/or social advertising campaigns are all part of an agent’s duties to get your home noticed and sold as quickly as possible — before the too-long-on-the-market stigma arises.

It’s Who They Know

A big part of being a real estate agent is creating a proven professional track record that drives sales. Your agent should have an active network of buyer’s agents, a stream of traffic to their website and social media pages from LinkedIn to YouTube, a healthy email list and established relationships with all of the major real estate websites that will host your listing. They should also be well-versed in placing and responding to the internet and traditional classified ads, which still drive a lot of traffic to real estate listings. In addition to these best practices, a good agent should have a list of trusted service providers such as home inspectors, carpenters, painters, photographers and home stagers for you to help get your home ready to sell.

Communication Is Key

Once they push your listing out to all applicable channels, what they do with the leads will make all the difference in promoting a quick and profitable sale. Your agent is responsible for responding to incoming emails and phone calls, planning and coordinating open houses and private showings, plus setting up meetings and communicating with clients and buyers’ agents. Once interested parties emerge, being on-call to field offers and manage the negotiation process is what can make or break a deal. 

A good agent should reach out to all interested buyers once an offer comes in to potentially incite additional, higher offers.

The End Of The Day

Once a buyer is identified and an offer is mutually accepted, the agent completes and submits documents, agreements, and records on the seller’s behalf to the proper agencies during the closing process. Multiple deadlines must be met and properly delivered with all action items addressed in accordance with local regulations to keep the deal on track. A good agent will work with their seller to explain all aspects of the contract, coordinate between the various parties and review all documents for accuracy.

A lot more goes into putting your home on the market than merely hammering a For Sale sign in the yard. A good real estate agent earns their commission by creating the best listing, marketing it to the right customers, and managing the sales process from soup to nuts.