Real Estate Jobs: Being a Seller's Agent
When looking for a position in the real estate job industry, there are a surprising number of options to consider. Of those options, the most two common are becoming a buyer's agent or a seller's agent, and the two are quite different in their duties and practices. The role of seller's agent has a lot of great aspects to consider, and prospective agents and real estate students may want to choose this career path.
From preparing homes for selling to inspecting offers to closing the deal, seller's agents are an essential part of the buying and selling process. Here is what everyone needs to know about what seller's agents do and the types of careers they lead.
Table of Contents
- What is a Seller's Agent?
- The Duties of a Seller's Agent
- Advantages of Being a Seller's Agent
- Is Becoming a Seller's Agent For You?
What is a Seller's Agent?
When a buyer and seller enter into a real estate transaction, both parties hire an agent to assist them. However, not all agents are the same. A seller's agent's primary duty is to represent the individual selling the property, acting in their sole interest. The seller's agent, also called a listing agent, helps negotiate offers and ensure their client gets the best terms and price possible. They work with the buyer's agents (or just the buyer, if they choose not to work with a buyer's agent) to facilitate the transaction. Seller's agents help ensure that the sale runs smoothly so the seller has the best experience possible.
The Duties of a Seller's Agent
There is a lot involved in selling a property, and a seller's agent should make it as easy as possible. The agent will research the real estate market in the area, help the seller decide on an asking price, and aid with many other important aspects of the sales process. Here are a few tasks that make a seller's agent invaluable to the seller.
Preparing Homes for Selling
One of the first roles an individual will have as the seller's agent is that of a marketing specialist. The agent's responsibility is to ensure that the product — the home or property — is prepared for selling. This involves managing the appearance, inside and out, to give a positive first impression and appeal to prospective buyers.
Product presentation is everything, and the seller's agent is very serious about it, noting key selling points and enhancing them to attract buyers. They will work with the seller to improve curb appeal and make sure the interior is clean and inviting right down to the welcome mat.
Deciding an Asking Price
A seller's agent is integral in helping the seller decide on an asking price. Often the seller has an emotional attachment to the property, especially if it is a home they grew up in or where they raised their family. They typically aren't savvy when it comes to analyzing the housing market or how to compare housing sales in the area to guide the price to set.
The agent's job is to use their expertise to help determine a good asking price for the property. They will act as an unbiased third party with no emotional attachments to the home to work together to set a price that is consistent with the current local housing market.
Marketing the Home
Preparing the product is not the only marketing task the seller's agent takes on. They also actively market the property. This includes taking photos of the home, yard, and outbuildings, adding them to the Multiple Listing Service (MLS), and building buzz about the property via social media, flyers, and other marketing material.
As the seller's agent, it is their job to place the For Sale sign, prepare the property for viewing, put a lockbox on the door, set out flyers that contain information on the property, and sometimes coordinate open house events. They will also manage the open house events, providing information to prospective buyers and showing them the property either at the open house or privately.
Communicating with Buyer's Agents
When a buyer expresses interest in the property and wants to view it or make an offer, they will task their buyer's agent with contacting the seller's agent to make the arrangements. This way, the professionals can each work in their client's best interest and arrive at a mutually beneficial agreement to close the sale.
As the seller's agent, they are responsible for coordinating the showing, answering questions, and negotiating with the buyer's agent regarding price and certain terms that one of the parties wants to be met. This could be asking the buyer to pay a certain fee or requesting the seller repair the property, such as fixing the HVAC system. When both sides are satisfied, the sale can move forward.
Assisting Clients with Offers
When a buyer is interested, they will submit an offer. The seller's agent will help their client assess the offer, making sure it is fair and reasonable. They will also ensure that the buyer is qualified, meaning that they have financing in order. They will have a pre-approval from a mortgage lender or have adequate cash to pay outright.
In real estate, negotiation is the name of the game. When an individual takes on the role of seller's agent, they will receive offers and review them with their clients, explaining the pros and cons and submitting counteroffers. They will discuss fees, terms, and the price with the buyer's agent to ensure that all bases are covered and that their client will have the best outcome possible.
The final step in the selling process is the closing or settlement. It is at this point that ownership of the property is transferred to the buyer from the seller. In the western part of the United States, it is called a closing. It is called a settlement in the eastern part of the country.
Both the buyer's and seller's agents will typically attend the closing. The seller's agent, along with the buyer's agent, will be there to make sure that all agreed-upon terms are met and neither party hits any snags in the process. Each will help their client understand the closing papers and ensure everything is handled correctly, right down to passing over the keys.
Advantages of Being a Seller's Agent
There are distinct advantages of being a seller's agent – primarily security. When the seller and agent sign the listing agreement, the seller is contractually obligated to work with the agent, giving the agent security in the role that the buyer/buyer's agent relationship does not offer. There are other advantages as well, though.
Being a Seller's Agent Requires Less Running Around
Selling a home does not require a lot of running around. The seller's agent will visit the home a few times to inspect it, but they typically won't show the house. Instead, they will work with the buyer's agents to arrange a time to come over and access the housekey. Some properties don't require staging or running an open house, which also cuts down on travel.
Compare that to the buyer's agent, who spends a lot of time going from property to property, showing their clients properties that may or may not interest them. Agents who prefer spending most of their time in one place typically prefer acting as a seller's agent over a buyer's agent because of this.
It's Easier to Maintain a Routine
Less running around means more time in one place. It also means that they can maintain a more predictable and consistent schedule. A more stable routine means better management of the agent's entire client base, and they are better able to serve all of their clients.
This ease in maintaining a routine also has some personal benefits. It is much easier to maintain a healthy work-life balance. This not only helps promote good mental health but also increases productivity on the job. It's a win-win all the way around. This is perhaps one of the most compelling benefits of being a seller's agent.
Seller's Agents Can Handle More Clients
A seller's agent tends to have more time which means they can handle more clients. This is an opportunity for the agent to increase their income and diversify their workday. For instance, they may meet with one client on the north side of town and meet with another on the outskirts of town all in one day. The next day their schedule may have them inspecting a property in the southside of town and attending a closing downtown in the afternoon.
A predictable schedule does not have to mean a boring one where every day is the same. The schedule of a seller's agent can be as flexible and varied as they like. This way, the work will never get old.
Is Becoming a Seller's Agent For You?
Becoming a seller's agent carries a lot of responsibility and is an exciting career choice. There are multiple roles that the agent must fill, ensuring a fun and diverse workday. Maintaining a more predictable schedule and taking on more clients makes this real estate career an attractive career option.