I tell my real estate clients that my job involves a lot of feedback: I do something, I get feedback about it, and then I correct course based on what the feedback was. For example, if I work as a seller’s agent to list an apartment at a certain price and no one makes an offer, I consider that negative feedback and I counsel the seller to lower the price.
That said, there are certain steps I’m always going through with a sales listing. Here are the basic five things a seller’s agent should do.
1. Help You Initially Price The Property.
When I first meet with the seller, we draw up a “game plan”—what’s included in the sale, what price the seller wants to get, what price we should list at to try to get that, a rough sketch of marketing, and how much this is all going to cost in commission. The most important part of this step is to figure out the initial price. If it’s a million-dollar apartment, we’re not going to get any traffic by putting it on the market at a million and a half.
2. Market The Property.
This could be via postcards, or flyers, or newspaper classifieds, or Internet sites—all sorts of different methods can work. The agent just needs to pick at least one of them and start to advertise the property.
3. Show The Property.
This can be through open houses, appointments with potential buyers, or both. The point is just to get customers in the door, and hear their reactions.
4. Evaluate The Property In Terms Of Its Competition.
Your real estate agent should know if prices are moving up or down, but she should also always know where your home is in terms of what other buyers are looking at. Is it the biggest thing at that price point? The nicest? The smallest but the one with the nicest kitchen? A good real estate agent will always check the positioning of your listing against the competition by going to see other listings on the market in that price range, and by asking potential buyers how your home is faring in terms of what else they’re seeing.
5. Update You At Least Weekly.
The agent shouldn’t have to tell you every time she writes an email—that’s not her job—but she should conference with you on a regular basis to let you know what she’s doing to market your property, how many people have seen it, and what their feedback is. An agent who isn’t talking to you at least once per week isn’t doing her job.