It has come to my attention recently that sellers often misunderstand the nature of business with their listing agent. Sometimes it’s a misunderstanding, miscommunication or perhaps it’s not clearly articulated at the time of listing. I thought I would address the issue here and perhaps elevate some confusion.
This issue was first brought to my attention recently by someone I know who wasn’t speaking favourably about their current listing agent. I asked them what the problem was because I’ve know this agent too be quite good with a good reputation. Their response was that “he’s never shown the home to anyone”. I explained to them, and to my own clients with homes on the market, what I’m about to explain now.
The main goal of your REALTOR® is the same as yours – to sell your home as quickly as possible and for the highest possible price. Therefore, one of our key jobs is marketing your property properly to potential buyers both directly and through their sales representatives.
When you interview REALTORS® to list your home, you can (and should) ask them if they have buyers who are currently looking within your price-range and in your neighbourhood. The REALTORS® may say yes or they may say no. If they say yes, it’s certainly no guarantee that those buyers they are working with will be interested in viewing your home not to mention purchasing your home. And if they say no, that’s ok too. What’s important is not in the yes or no answer but in what they say next.
Your real estate representative should fully explain their marketing strategies for your home and should explain to you, as part of the marketing strategy, what the MLS means. Whether or not we have a buyer right now for your home or if we personally show your home to clients is not completely relevant. Our job is to market your home to other REALTORS® and to potential buyers.
When you sign a listing agreement with your chosen sales representative you will initial a box that either says MLS listing or Exclusive Listing. In an exclusive listing, typically only the agents employed by the brokerage you sign on with can show and sell your home. The MLS system is what all licensed REALTORS® use to match homes on the market to their buyer clients.
Currently the Sault Ste. Marie Real Estate Board represents more than 150 REALTORS®. This board represents agents working North to Wawa and East to Elliot Lake and everywhere in between. Most of these REALTOR® are working with buyers out looking for homes. You want to reach all of them because one of their buyers may be looking for a home exactly like the one you are about to put on the market.
MLS vs REALTOR.CA
The MLS (Multiple Listing Service) is a cooperative system used only by REALTOR® members of Canada’s real estate boards. This system contains detailed information and a variety of advanced search tools designed to help REALTORS® match buyers with properties that fit their needs and wants.
Realtor.ca on the other hand is operated by CREA (Canadian Real Estate Association) and it displays an abbreviated version of listings that are uploaded to the MLS system. This is one of the systems the public use to access information about homes currently on the market.
What does all this mean for you? This means that it’s OK that your listing agent hasn’t shown your home. What you want is your home sold. If your home is being shown (by any REALTOR®) then your agent is likely doing their job in marketing your home properly to agents on the MLS system.
Believe me when I tell you that all REALTORS® would like to find the buyer that fits with your home that they’ve listed.
Your agent, as part of their marketing strategy, may also be hosting Open Houses where they are showing your home to many people at one time, agent open houses to market your home even further to other agents, online advertising, email strategies and so forth all in an attempt to attract the largest number of potential buyers to your property to meet our (shared) main goal – to sell your home as quickly as possible and for the best possible price.
So don’t fret if your (potential) agent says they don’t currently have buyers for your home or if they haven’t personally shown your home while it’s listed. Pay attention to how and what they’re doing to market your home to other REALTORS® and to potential buyers.
If you have any further questions you’d like answered, I’d be happy to help.
Real Estate Representative
Century 21 Choice Realty
Sault Ste. Marie, ON