Do you want to hire a listing agent to help you sell your home? You’re in good company.
An overwhelming number of people hire a listing agent to assist them in the home selling process. According to a National Association of Realtors survey, 90% of home sellers use a listing agent to help them navigate the sale process. A good listing agent can make selling your home a breeze, which is why we put together a guide to finding your next listing agent in Massachusetts.
Before we discuss how to find a listing agent in MA, let’s take a moment to review some key terms:
What Is a Listing Agent?
A listing agent represents home sellers in a real estate transaction. Listing agents assist you in every step of the sale process– everything from marketing your home to communicating with potential buyers on your behalf.
Listing Agent vs. Buyer’s Agent
If you’re unsure of the difference between a listing agent and a buyer’s agent, you’re not alone. It’s easy to get real estate terms mixed up. As mentioned previously, a listing agent represents the seller of a home in a real estate transaction. Conversely, a buyer’s agent represents someone looking to purchase a home.
Listing Agent vs. Seller Agent
Another common question people have is the difference between a listing agent and a seller’s agent. A listing agent and a seller’s agent refer to the same person: an agent who represents the seller– or the person “listing” a home for sale.
Listing Agent Responsibilities
A good listing agent handles almost every aspect of the sale process. Some of a listing agent’s responsibilities include:
- Helping you set a competitive listing price for your home
- Marketing your home
- Communicating with potential buyers
- Staging your home
- Hosting open houses
- Helping you negotiate offers and close the sale
While it is possible to sell a home yourself, a listing agent provides valuable expertise on the local housing market, which helps them price your house competitively. A good listing agent does the heavy lifting to make selling your home a smooth and stress-free process.
How Much Do I Pay My Listing Agent?
One of the major drawbacks of hiring a listing agent is the cost. An agent’s commission is typically 5-6% of your home’s sale price– and is divvied up between the listing agent and the buyer’s agent. Commission costs can vary by agent and location, so it’s essential to keep that in mind as you shop around for a listing agent.
How Do I Find a Good Listing Agent?
Here are a few guidelines to have in mind as you conduct your search for a listing agent in Massachusetts.
Like any important purchase, it’s crucial to do some comparison shopping to ensure you find the best deal. A good rule of thumb is to interview at least three listing agents before making your decision. The main things you want to look for in an agent are knowledge of the housing market in your area, trustworthiness, and excellent communication.
Ask for referrals from your network
A tried and true way of finding a good listing agent is by reaching out to your network for referrals. You can enter the process confidently, knowing the agent has already been vetted by someone you know and trust.
Search the web
You want to research your potential listing agent online, taking note of any reviews from previous clients and if they present themselves in an accessible and professional manner online. Additionally, check out the agent’s website to review their current and prior listings to see if they have sold homes in your area before.
Make sure they have the proper license
It’s always a good idea to confirm your listing agent meets your state’s licensing requirements before doing business with them. For residents of Massachusetts, you can verify an agent’s real estate license using the state’s Division of Occupation Licensure online portal.
An essential quality to look for in a listing agent is their communication skills. For example, are they easy to reach and responsive to questions? An accessible and responsive listing agent will make the process much smoother for everyone.
After you interview a few listing agents and make your decision, the next step typically involves signing a listing agreement– which details the scope of the services the agent will provide and establishes the commission rate.
What to Look Out for in a Listing Agreement
There are a few different types of listing contracts to be aware of, such as:
- Open listing agreement: An open listing agreement allows you to work with more than one agent to sell your home. With these types of contracts, you can work with whichever agent finds you a qualified buyer first. In other words, one agent doesn’t have exclusive rights to sell your home. Essentially, your house becomes a free-for-all for any agents in your area.
- Exclusive listing agreement: You agree to work with one agent to sell your home when you sign an exclusive listing contract. Only the agent you are under contract with can market and show your home to get it ready for sale. Even if you bring in your own buyer, you may still need to pay a commission to the agent– which is why it’s crucial to read the fine print before signing a contract with a listing agent.
The Bottom Line
Though finding a good listing agent can be challenging, it’s worth it to have a knowledgeable professional by your side throughout the process of selling your home. Just remember to shop around and tap into your network for referrals. You will find the right listing agent in no time!
Want to Sell Your House Fast for a Fair Cash Price?
Do you want to sell your home without paying a hefty commission to a listing agent? We buy houses all over the state of Massachusetts in as-is condition, so you can sell your home without having to fix it up first. Give us a call at 781-309-7085 or contact us on our website to discuss your options. You could have a cash offer in your hands in just a few days.