The goal of a listing agent is to sell a home for the highest possible price in a timeframe that is acceptable to the seller.   Here are a few things a seller should consider before putting their home on the market.

Finding an Agent

A good agent is knowledgeable about the current market place; he or she will know what is available and what price is reasonable to pay for a property.  An agent’s knowledge of the neighborhoods and the local economy is also important when selecting who will represent the seller in a transaction.    An agent who acts as your advocate is extremely important; this will help sellers avoid making costly mistakes in the home selling process.  In addition, an agent needs to be reachable and responsive to his or her client’s needs.

Listing a Home

A licensed agent has access to MLS data including actual sales prices for comparable homes that have sold, as well as what concessions were made as part of the transaction.  This information will allow sellers to place their home on the market in the most advantageous position.

A variety of advertising will be used to market a listing, utilizing tools only available to agents on the internet, as well as printed and mailed advertising.  Holding a new listing open to other prudential brokers and agents allows them to preview the listing for their clients.

An agent who is knowledgeable about the current market and has seen other homes that would compete with your listing will know how to stage a home so that it appeals to the greatest number of potential buyers.  Staging can lead to a seller getting the highest possible price in the shortest period of time.

An experienced agent will act as your advocate once an offer is received.  I will help negotiate the highest possible price and facilitate the transaction, allowing it to be as smooth and stress free as possible.

At this point, your agent can help with the next step, which is finding the seller their next home.

Costs: What to expect

The largest costs sellers are responsible for is the real estate agent commission (usually 6-8% of the sales price of the home).  This fee is split between the agent that represents the buyer and the agent that represents the seller.  Typically, the agent pays for all of the advertising of a listing out of pocket before he or she ever sees their commission.  Therefore, an agent has your best interest at heart as they would not want to incur those costs unless the agent feels that they can be successful in selling a home.

In Montana, it is customary for the seller to pay for the buyer’s Owners Title Insurance Policy.  It is also customary for the buyer and seller to split the closing fee charged by the title company to facilitate the actual closing, create the necessary paperwork, and provide notary services (this fee is usually $300-$500).  Ask your Realtor for a written breakdown of all costs associated in selling your home so that on closing day, there are no surprises.