Many homeowners expect their listing agent to do the same things that a selling agent does - find someone to buy their home. After all, they do the things you expect if they were searching for buyers. A sign goes up in the front yard. Ads are placed in the local newspapers and real estate magazines. Your agent will hold a Realtor® open house and possibly a public open house on the weekends.
But this is only "surface" marketing. More important activity occurs behind the scenes. After the "for sale" sign goes up and flyers are printed, your agent's main job is to market your home to other agents, not to home buyers. Even before the sign is up and the brochures are ready, your agent should list your property with the local MLS (Multiple Listing Service). The MLS is a database of all the homes listed by local real estate agents who are members of the service, which is practically all of the local agents.
Important information about your property is listed here, from general data such as square footage and number of rooms, to such details as whether you have granite counter tops or hardwood floors. There should also be numerous pictures and a verbal description of what your home's "special" features are.
Agents search the MLS for homes that fit the price range and needs of their buying clients. They pay special attention to homes that have been recently placed on the market, which is one reason you get a lot of attention when your house is first listed. Many agents will want to preview the home before they show it to their clients. Thus, your listing agent will need to hold a Realtor® Open House so the other agents may preview the new listing.
The main point about having your house listed in the MLS is that you expand your sales force by the number of local MLS members. Instead of having just one agent working for you, now you have hundreds of agents working for you throughout the area.
The listing agent's main job is to make sure that the other MLS members know about your property. This is accomplished through listing your house in the Multiple Listing Service, Realtor Open Houses and advertising targeted toward other real estate agents, as well as home buyers. Make sure Your Agent lists Your Property in your local MLS!