Monday, October 10, 2005

The Role of Your Realtor

When you bought your home, you probably used the services of a real estate agent.

You found that agent through a referral from a friend or family member, or through some sort of advertising or marketing. The agent helped you in many ways and eventually you found the house of your dreams, made an offer, closed the deal, and moved in.

For whatever reason, now it is time to sell your home and you need a real estate agent again. You may have been happy with that first agent and will contact him or maybe you don't even know what happened to him. Many home sellers, especially those selling their first home, tend to think all agents are similar to the one that helped them buy their home. This is not at all true. And if you take a peek inside a real estate office business you can see that. Most Realtors spend time doing three things. Networking, serving new and old customers and market research.

Although real estate agents can (and do) work with both buyers and sellers, most tend to concentrate more on one than the other. They specialize. When you bought your home, you probably worked with a "selling agent" – an agent that works mostly with buyers. Because of the nature of real estate advertising and marketing, the public’s main image of the real estate profession is that of the selling agent (buyer's agent).

As a result, 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 would expect if they were searching for buyers. A sign goes up in the front yard. Ads are placed in the local newspaper and real estate magazines. Your agent holds an open house on the weekend. Your house is proudly displayed on the Internet.

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 homebuyers.

There are some stats that usually suprise many people:

Only 3% of house buyers buy a house from an open house.
only 5% of For Sale By Owners sell their own home.
Almost every house sale is sold by a Realtor through the MLS system even with so many homes on MLS making it to the interent, and flyers everywhere, and showhomes open 24/7

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