Monday, July 9, 2007

What's the Job?

The job of the real estate salesperson is one of the most misunderstood jobs in America. Most sellers think that the job of the real estate agent is performed by placing a sign on a property and waiting for someone to come in to their office to buy the property.
In reality, the real estate agent and their firm perform a variety of jobs for the seller. These jobs are all aimed at helping to facilitate and coordinate the activities of the real estate marketplace.
This is more than just showing the property. It means the marketing efforts which are used to promote the property to other agents and their firms as well as the end user. Much of the agent's work involves these indirect marketing efforts. For example a salesperson will usually have to fill out the forms to submit the property to one or more Multiple Listing services. The agent will also usually have to design and complete a highlight sheet to be used by salespeople who are showing the property. They may design a flyer to be sent to other offices to promote the listing. The agent should schedule the property to be previewed by the agents of their firm. They will either place a sale sign, or arrange for one to be erected if the seller permits. The agent will arrange for property descriptions to be distributed to the agents in their firm, detailing the special instructions for appointments. If the property is to be marketed at an open house a more complex marketing tool is usually designed to be distributed to buyers, and additional signs and advertising is scheduled for the event.
When other agents wish to see the property, the agent will schedule the appointments at the seller's convenience, and then follow up the appointment to discern what if anything can be done to make the sale to that buyer, or to increase the marketability of the property for other prospective buyers.
If the property is not being shown, or offers are not forthcoming, the agent should recommend some adjustment in the marketing situation. Either a price adjustment or some cosmetic changes or some change in the advertising program.
When offers on the property do come to the seller, the agent will review the terms and conditions, and should advise the seller of any potential problems, or guide them through the counter offer process.Finally the agent will assist the seller during the period between acceptance of an offer and the time of final settlement, explaining all of the documentation, obtaining inspectors or contractors, and representing the seller at the settlement table.