A Seller’s Agent is a real estate agent that specializes in Listing, Marketing, and Selling Homes and other Real Estate. The seller’s agent works solely on behalf of the seller and owes duties to the seller which include the utmost good faith, loyalty and fidelity. This includes fiduciary responsibility to do whatever is in the seller’s best interest, even if the real estate agent has never met the seller and did not list the house.
The agent negotiates on behalf of and acts as an advocate for the seller. All adverse material facts about the property, known by the broker, must be disclosed to potential buyers or tenants by the agent. A separate written listing agreement is required which outlines the duties and obligations of the broker and the client.
The agent represents the seller, either as a Listing Agent under the listing agreement with the seller or by cooperating as a Sub-Agent, usually through the MLSÂ® system. In dealing with prospective buyers and clients, the Seller’s Agent can provide a variety of information and services to assist the buyer in his/her decision-making.
There are 5 basic types of real estate Seller’s Agents:
Full Service MLS Specialist – These Realtors are results oriented and dedicated to selling homes faster and netting the highest profit for their clients. You will usually find that the Full Service Realtors are the best value because they market your home extensively to the most potential buyers to get it sold more quickly, and this can save you more money at closing than a “discount” agent or broker.
Fee-For-Service MLS Specialist – This is a good option for home owners who want to do some of the work in order to save some of the real estate commission. These agents offer a “menu of services and fees” for sellers to choose from. If you are a seller that has sold a home on your own in the past or if you have a good basic knowledge of the more than 100 steps it takes to sell your home, this may be a good choice.
Flat Fee Listing Agents – Another option is to pay a Flat Fee for a specified level of service. While it may be best to go for a Full Service MLS Realtor offering Full Service marketing particularly in a Buyer’s market, a Flat Fee service may be all you need in a Seller’s market. Most Flat Fee agents and companies ask for money up front. Be aware that if your property doesn’t sell or if you are not satisfied with the service, you could be cash out of pocket with little if any recourse.
Limited Service Agents – This type of seller’s agent is for the “do-it-your selfer” who doesn’t mind paying an up front fee. With this fee, these agents can offer an “Exclusive Agency” type of listing agreement to get in the Realtor MLS system. You do most of the work yourself. Be aware that these “Limited Service” companies may offer quite a bit less than what you need to have a smooth and successful sales transaction.
For Sale By Owner Agents – Many of these For Sale By Owner Agents are online Realtors or Internet marketing companies with a For Sale By Owner Web Site. These agents are similar to Limited Service Agents. Up front fees are usual. These services are successful in locating a buyer for your property, on average, about 20% to 25% of the time. If your listing expires without a sale, you can lose valuable time on the market before listing with a full service listing, marketing, and selling Realtor.