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The Listing Agent – Preliminary Marketing of Your Home or Property

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The “Real” Role of a Listing Agent

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. 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.

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 fliers are printed, your agent’s main job is to market your home to other agents, not to home buyers.

The Listing Agent – Marketing Your Home to Other Agents

The Multiple Listing Service

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 central air conditioning or hard wood flooring. There should also be a photo, and a short verbal description of what makes your house “special.”

Agents search the database for homes that fit the price range and needs of their 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.

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 may have hundreds or more, depending on the size of your community.

The listing agent’s main job to make sure that the other MLS members know about your house. This is accomplished through listing your house in the Multiple Listing Service, broker previews and advertising targeted toward other agents, not home buyers.

The Listing Agent – Marketing Your Home to Home Buyers

Advertising in General

Every home seller likes to be assured that their listing agent or the real estate company will run ads featuring their home. Newspaper ads could be large display ads with lots of listings or small classified ads featuring just your property. Ads may also appear in local real estate magazines and your listing will also show up on the Internet.

Of course the agents and companies will run ads featuring your house, but not for the reasons you expect.

You see, the main job of advertising is not to sell your house directly. Advertising creates phone calls and some of those callers become clients of the agents answering the calls. This builds up a pool of home buyers looking for property in general, all represented by selling agents (buyer’s agents). Multiply this by all the agents and companies who also advertise homes, and there is a large pool of home buyers in the market at any given time – all of whom are represented by selling agents.

The agents representing those home buyers know about your home because it is listed in the Multiple Listing Service, has been on office and broker preview, and because your agent may have also sent fliers to all the local real estate offices.

The agents match up their clients with available homes, one of which may be yours. Then they show the homes to their clients, who eventually make an offer on one. That is how your house gets sold.

Marketing Tools Include:

Property Signs
~Sign placed on property
~Pointer signs to property
~Sign riders
~Property information sheets/information boxes
Office Advertising
~Property shown on 50” flat screen television located in main room of
  office
~Office sign
~Marquee featuring your listing for two weeks (will be rotated with
  other listings)
~Flyers provided with your properties features
Homes And Land of Tallahassee
~Customized website listing your property
  (stevewalkerrealty.homesandland.com) and virtual tour
~Distributed in highly visible racks at locations frequented by home
  buyers and sellers
~Target people that are actively involved in buying and selling real
  estate. They mail magazines to: Home Sellers, FSBOs, Major
  Employers, Professional Offices, Chamber of Commerce, Agent
  Circulation
~Their toll-free number is promoted on the cover of over 60 million
  magazines every year. Buyers can call and request a Homes & Land
  Magazine from over 15,000 communities
~They promote Homes & Land Magazine on major Web sites like

  Google.com and Yahoo.com. 

Lands of America Website
~2.1 million visitors a month
~Listing featured with photo, brief description and virtual tour
~Listings linked to over 250 websites
Magazine/Newspaper Advertising (Placed in these based on results)
~Woods and Water Magazine
~Tampa Bay Sun
~Monticello News/Jefferson County Newspapers
~Southern Almanac
~Digest of Homes
~Tallahassee Magazine
~Tallahassee Regional Airport (Billboard Ad)
~Other local, regional and national magazines based on results
Multiple Listing Service (MLS)
~Tallahassee Board of Realtors (allows all local agents to view all
  details regarding your property)
~Member of the Florida Association of Realtors
~Member of the National Association of Realtors
Our Website: www.SteveWalkerRealty.com
~Features your listing with brief description, details of property, up to
  10 pictures and a virtual tour
~Basic office information
~Information for buying and selling your property
~Community information with direct links for more information
Other Tools
~Comparable Market Analysis “CMA”-helps to strategically price your
  property
~Email notices to local agents and clients
~Open houses
~Virtual tour on all listings

Ads create a pool of clients, one of which buys your home. Ads do not usually sell your house directly.