Recently, I was talking to a prospective client. We were discussing commissions and he commented, “well, a listing agent really doesn’t do anything”. I resisted the urge to scream obscenities at his face, and calmly replied that a good listing agent does a lot more than you think. Besides, taking care of the essential duties when listing a home for sale, I’ve gone above and beyond for my Austin area real estate listings more times than I can count.
So, what exactly does a listing agent do? Well, first and foremost, I cover the basics. I help you price your property, prepare it for the sale, market it to prospective buyers, negotiate the offers, and ensure a smooth closing. I don’t just put a sign in the yard, a lockbox on the door and say good luck.
When I help my seller clients prepare their home for sale, that sometimes means I’m getting down and dirty with them. I want the home to show the best it can, after all, any listing is a reflection of my work. In the past, I have helped clear out the belongings from a home that had been vacant for over 5 years, mopped the floors of a condo minutes before the photographer arrived, coordinated extensive remodels so that my seller would get the highest price for his home, and even mowed the lawn. I also have personally staged a number of my vacant listings. A staged home sells quicker and for more money than a vacant property so I lug couches into and out of homes, and add décor touches.
Once the home is ready, I pay a professional photographer to capture the property in its best light. I try to always meet him there to make sure he captures unique elements of the property, and then I take those images and create a full-fledged marketing campaign. I stay up late designing flyers, spreading the images through social media, and promoting the property through a plethora of other modes.
Sure I put the property on the MLS, as any competent agent would, but I also field numerous phone calls and emails from prospective buyers, coordinate showings, and when it’s necessary personally show the home. I host open houses, and door knock the neighborhood to make sure all the neighbors no your home is for sale. I put your home on REALTOR tours to make sure all the agents who work your neighborhood know the home is for sale as well.
While your home is on the market, I make sure it stays in tip-top shape. This winter, we had an unprecedented amount of freezes in Austin. I regularly attended to my listings, making sure the heat was on, cabinets were open, and just to be sure the pipes wouldn’t freeze, turned the water off. I joked with one seller client recently that this was the hardest part of my job; I had bloodied my knuckles and bruised my arms countless times while struggling with a wrench to move that tight knob to turn the water on and off.
At another listing of mine, I noticed someone had tracked mud all across the brand new carpet. I personally got on my hands and knees and scrubbed and sprayed that carpet till it looked good and new.
My listing efforts are not limited to physical labor. A few years ago I was helping a young lady sell a home she had inherited in East Austin. Unfortunately, her grandmother didn’t have a will and the mortgage company refused to release the payoff statement to her. This was delaying closing and something had to be done. I must have called, and emailed at least twenty high up employees at the bank. I sent out hand-written notes, and finally, I got through to someone, and she was able to send us the payoff statement.
Of course, I handle all the other tasks a good listing agent takes care of too. I negotiate for my clients’ best interests, prepare net-sheets for incoming offers, vet prospective buyers, and ensure the final settlement statement is prepared correctly.
I’m sure this sounds like a lot of work, and don’t get me wrong it is, but I love every minute of it. I take great pride in my work, and feel a great sense of accomplishment when my client sees the amount of money they made on their home sale. If you’re looking for a go-getter, who works hard to ensure your Austin area home sells for the most money, contact me today.
Erika Rae Albert
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