A Real Estate Agent's Inventory
For a real estate agent to sell property, she must first have something to sell. That's where the Multiple Listing Service becomes a new agent's best friend. As soon as a newly licensed agent becomes associated with a real estate brokerage and joins the Multiple Listing Service, she has hundreds of listings she can sell. She can make appointments through the listing agents to show their houses. This is a great backup while she is working on listing her own properties.
One of the first things a new agent should work on is putting together a great listing presentation to show to people who are thinking of selling property. The listing presentation shows what the agent will do to make sure the property is sold within a reasonable amount of time. That time frame depends on market conditions. The agent wants to convince the seller that she is an expert in her field, and if she's new, she can use the expertise of the company she is associated with. The listing presentation should be used on anyone who calls and wants to sell his property and on "For Sale by Owner" sellers.
To sell property, the agent must establish an inventory. If an agent uses only the MLS, buyers will question her ability as an agent because she doesn't have her own inventory.
Every real estate agent relies heavily on advertising the properties they have listed to get them sold. However, the most successful real estate agents market themselves more than they market the properties. If an agent gets the public to recognize his name or picture, people will already believe he is successful, and they will come to him. A good agent will constantly be learning about his market and new real estate laws and guidelines, fast becoming an expert in the field.
This is a highly competitive field, and agents must distinguish themselves among other agents. To do this, agents should market themselves with business cards and postcards with their pictures on them. Another tool many successful real estate agents use is establishing a quote or saying that people will remember them by. Marketing listings in real estate magazines, newspapers and postcards is an important function to get properties sold. Many agents will join organizations and put the organization's name on their signs.
Special listings require special marketing, such as a custom sign or full-page ad. Agents do this to get the property sold, but they really want others who can't buy that property to remember their names. Selling property means agents need the buyers to come to them, even if the don't personally have the property they want listed.
Mechanics of Selling a Property
The first thing an agent needs is a buyer. Once a buyer is interested, the agent writes a contract on the buyer's behalf and presents it to the seller. If the price and terms of the contract are acceptable to the seller, the seller will sign it. If they are not, then the seller can either reject the contract altogether or counter the buyer by changing the price and/or the terms and send it back to the buyer for negotiation. Once everything is agreed upon, the contract is signed buy both parties. The agent then guides the buyer through the process of financing, inspections, repairs and closing. The agent should attend the closing with the buyer to make sure everything goes according to plan and to make sure all the paperwork was prepared correctly. If a problem arises, the agent should handle it and do his best to get it resolved.
A real estate agent does not get paid at the closing table. The commission is taken to the broker of the real estate company, and the agent is paid by the broker in accordance to their contract.
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