A lot goes into selling a home–it involves marketing, meeting with potential buyers, and handling negotiations. If you’re selling your home for the first time, you’re probably wondering if you need to hire a listing agent. The short answer is: yes. Listing agents help homeowners sell their homes for higher prices and make the home-selling experience as easy and painless as possible.

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What Is a Listing Agent?

Listing agents, also known as real estate selling agents, walk homeowners through every step of the home selling process. They represent the owner during the real estate transaction and act in their best interests.

What Do Listing Agents Do?

Listing agents do much more than list and show homes. A lot happens behind the scenes to help homeowners sell at the highest price possible. The following are just some listing agent responsibilities:

  • Provide valuable professional insight. Listing agents explain to their clients what to expect when selling their homes and provide advice every step of the way. They are experts in their local markets and can suggest home improvements that increase the property’s value.
  • Conduct research to determine the asking price. If a home is priced too high, it’s likely to sit on the market too long. If priced too low, the seller misses out on potential profits. Seller’s agents know how to conduct comparative market analysis to price the home appropriately.
  • Market the home. Seller’s agents list homes on a multiple listing service (MLS), a private database used by real estate agents and brokers. The MLS is used to find properties for clients. Agents also rely on their professional network to find potential buyers.
  • Show the home to prospective buyers. Listing agents know how to stage homes in a way that appeals to potential buyers. They also set up showings and answer any questions buyers may have.
  • Communicate and negotiate with potential buyers. Sometimes selling a home takes a lot of back and forth between the buyer and seller. Listing agents represent their clients when speaking with buyers and handle any negotiations.
  • Oversee all paperwork involved. Listing agents overlook all documents involved in a real estate transaction. They also ensure both buyer and seller meet all outlined conditions.

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Why Homeowners Should Hire a Listing Agent?

First-time home sellers may wonder whether it’s worth it to pay a commission fee to a listing agent when they can sell the home themselves. Although for sale by owner (FSBO) real estate transactions are legal in every state, selling a home requires skill, expertise, and patience. Most homeowners have demanding jobs and personal lives that leave them little time to sell a home.

If a homeowner decides to sell their home themselves, they will have to do the following:

  • Conduct market research to figure out a sale price
  • Advertise the property
  • Take phone calls from prospective buyers
  • Make appointments
  • Meet with potential buyers
  • Handle any negotiations
  • Hire a real estate attorney to oversee contracts (in certain states)
why nj homebuyers need to work with listing agents

Selling a home is not only time-consuming–it’s a legally binding contract that could potentially harm the homeowner. Both buyer and seller can take each other to court if any outlined conditions are unfulfilled. Listing agents understand real estate contracts and advise their clients against agreeing to conditions they cannot meet. They are also trained to filter out unqualified buyers, saving the homeowner’s time for serious buyers.

Listing agents help make the home-selling process run smoothly. Because homeowners are attached to their homes, the home selling process can be very emotional. Direct negotiations between buyers and sellers can quickly sour based on personalities. Having a listing agent act as an intermediary during negotiations removes emotions and can lead to better outcomes. Agents also understand how much leverage a buyer and seller have. They can advise their client to accept an offer or continue with negotiations.

The Takeaway

Listing agents take care of the entire home-selling process so that homeowners can focus on their daily lives. Hiring a listing agent often leads to a higher sale price, a quicker sale, and less stress for the homeowner.

Ready to sell your home? At Casa Real Properties, our expert listing agents have years of experience helping homeowners like you sell their homes. Contact us today to get in touch with an expert listing agent who can guide you through every step of the home-selling process.

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About the Author: Nancy Pavic

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Nancy Pavic is an expert in the New Jersey real estate market. For the past 25+ years, she has brokered Casa Real Properties, a well-distinguished real estate office in the Northern New Jersey area. Her prestigious awards include membership into the Top 1% of Realtors, the “Circle of Excellence” award by the New Jersey Association of Realtors, a front page cover spread of Top Agent Magazine, and a recipient of the Mayoral Award for Financial/Real Estate at the 2009 Paterson Women’s History Awards Ceremony.