Selling a home is a major undertaking. If you invest the time required to get everything ready beforehand you'll have a much easier time once your home hits the market.
A good listing agent is a partner in your home search, someone with whom you'll be working closely - so spend the time to develop a strong relationship.
Advantages of Using an Agent
Your agent can give you valuable insight into the market and help you set the right price for your home. He or she can also suggest features of your home that are potential problem areas and advise on possible remedies. Listing with an agent also gets your home posted to the multiple listing service - exposing the property to thousands of potential buyers.
A Good Listing Agent is a Marketing Director
An experienced listing agent should be able to effectively coordinate advertising and promotion for your home. This includes running ads in the local papers, holding open houses, and publicizing the listing to area agents.
Choosing an Agent
You want to choose an agent with experience listing homes (this is different from selling homes) and a strong knowledge of the local market. A listing agent must be available to other agents who are seeking information on the house and should be prepared to put in the time required to effectively market the property. With the Internet becoming more and more crucial to the home marketing effort, you may want to look for an agent with a strong web presence. If an agent doesn't have the time, interest, or commitment to develop an understanding of your needs, look for one who does.
Working With Your Agent
Make sure to take advantage of your agent's knowledge and experience. Start with a consultation on pricing - and be honest with your agent about specific requirements (a need to sell quickly, for example). Don't hesitate to ask the agent to suggest any repairs or improvements. While your agent may make some suggestions that are just too expensive or otherwise unfeasible, he or she can give you a good idea of what aspects of your home will turn off buyers.