As part of this month’s Active Rain Challenge, I’m going to outline the services I provide when I work as a listing agent. There is no standard list of services provided, and sellers will find that no two listing agents work in exactly the same way. However, with a recent trend of flat fee listing agents whose job is only the enter the listing in the MLS, it’s important to understand what’s included when you hire a full service listing agent. In other words, what is his or her value proposition?
Here are the things that my sellers can expect from me when I agree to list their home:
- I pay for a professional listing photographer to take photos and create an interactive virtual tour for your home. Many listing agents make their sellers pay for this service upfront (in case the listing doesn’t sell, they don’t want to be out of pocket several hundred dollars). Or, the listing agent takes the photos him or herself. However, I pay for this service myself because I only take on listings that I know I can sell. Not only does my photographer have a great eye for capturing a home through photos, but he’s also fantastic with Photo Shop. His pictures are high resolution, clear, and bright. Even on an overcast photo shoot day, he can adjust the lighting and skies so that the home looks its best. I’ve included above a screen shot of the interactive, 3D floor plan, and I’m happy to share live tours with sellers so they have a better idea of what our recent listings look like with this feature.
- I give my sellers a pricing range based on a full CMA (comparative market analysis) which I create using MLS statistics. In addition to the hard numbers, I have a thorough conversation to help them understand how I came up with this range. Depending on their time frame for selling, we use a lower range that will sell quickly or a higher amount if we have more time.
- If there are any repairs needed before we list (such as obvious wood rot), I’m happy to help coordinate one of our contractors to fix problems that can prevent an offer from coming our way.
- My company, Carolina One Real Estate, is by far the largest in our Charleston, SC market and sells more homes than most of its competitors combined. Chances are that our listings will be sold in house by another Carolina One Realtor. A unique service that our company provides is called Caravan. Every Thursday after our weekly sales meeting, the offices tour (in person) new listings and provide feedback. This exposure is priceless for sellers for two reasons. First, it gets roughly 25 local Realtors into your home. Each of these Realtors is currently with buyers who might be a perfect fit for your home’s floor plan or other features (like a huge fenced backyard with trees). Second, these Realtors provide feedback on price and also give suggestions for helping your home sell. The idea behind this Caravan service is that 25 heads are always better than one!