The Listing Agent - Marketing Your
House to Other Agents
The Multiple Listing Service - Outer
Even before the sign is up and the
brochures are ready, your agent should list your
property with the local MLS (Multiple Listing Service).
The MLS is a database of all the homes listed by local
real estate agents who are members of the service, which
is practically all of the local agents.
Important information about your
property is listed here, from general data such as
square footage and number of rooms, to such details as
whether you have central air conditioning or hard wood
flooring. There should also be a photo, and a short
verbal description of what makes your house "special."
Agents search the database for homes
that fit the price range and needs of their clients.
They pay special attention to homes that have been
recently placed on the market, which is one reason you
get a lot of attention when your house is first listed.
Many agents will want to preview the home before they
show it to their clients.
The main point about having your
house listed in the MLS is that you expand your sales
force by the number of local MLS members. Instead of
having just one agent working for you, now you may have
hundreds or more, depending on the size of your
The listing agent’s main job to make
sure that the other MLS members know about your house.
This is accomplished through listing your house in the
Multiple Listing Service, broker previews and
advertising targeted toward other agents, not
If your listing agent belongs to a
fairly sizable office, an "office preview" will
introduce your house to other agents working in the same
office. In effect, they get a "head start" on selling
your property. Once a week, the office’s agents will get
together, share vehicles, and "caravan" to all of the
new listings. They generally pull up in front of your
house at about the same time (some even use a bus) then
file quickly through your home like some bizarre "follow
the leader" game. It can be amazing to watch.
They go through very quickly, since
most of them are familiar with similar models of your
house. They are usually looking for anything memorable
or different and to determine if your house is one they
would be proud to show their clients. Then they all pile
back into their cars and move on to the next house on
the tour. But some of them come back…with buyers.
Broker Previews and Culinary Delights
Broker preview is very similar to an
office preview, except it is open to all the members of
the local multiple listing service. It usually occurs
within the first week your house is placed on the
market, just after the office preview. However, there
are lots of new listings to choose from, and not all the
agents preview all the new listings each week. You may
not get as many agents visiting your home as there were
on the office preview.
Unless your agent "entices" them to
come. This is where you could provide some help, if you
are so inclined.
Though it may seem funny, nothing
seems to attract a real estate agent like the offer of
free food. So if your agent offers "free eats" at a
broker preview, you are likely to get more visitors than
if nothing is offered. Realize that many agents have
been on this weekly circuit for years, so "boring" food
does not really accomplish much. In other words,
sandwiches supplied from the local grocery chain are not
If you want to help your agent sell
your home quickly, try and help them be creative and
original in the choice of a culinary treat.
Of course, some agents will actually
come to look at your house, too – whether food is
offered or not.
Your agent will undoubtedly prepare
flyers about your property so that prospective
homebuyers can be informed about the attractive features
of your house. These flyers (or similar ones) should
also be sent to all the local real estate offices, too.
Most areas have a weekly flyer service that delivers
advertisements to all of the local offices. Since agents
get these flyers every week, they do not always look at
them. However, a large percentage of them do. Some
agents will keep the flyer and bring buyers to your
The flyer should be done
professionally and photocopy well. Ask your agent to
show you copies of office flyers they have done in the
Your agent probably belongs to a
local association of Realtors and they often have
meetings once a month. At these meetings there is often
a "marketing session" where some agents stand up and
tell about their listings and other agents stand up and
tell about their buyers. Your listing agent has an
opportunity to "pitch" your house at these marketing
At the same time, these sessions may
not be as effective as they were in the past. One reason
is that they are often more social occasions than
serious business meetings. Another reason is that, as
technology has expanded, local associations have tended
to merge and create larger Multiple Listing Services and
Associations. Local meetings have become poorly attended