The Listing Agent - Marketing Your House to Other Agents
The Multiple Listing Service
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 whether you have central air conditioning or hard wood flooring. There should also be a photo, and a short verbal description of what makes you house "special".
Agents search the database for homes that fit the price range and needs of their clients. They pay special attention to the homes that have been recently placed on the market, which is one reason you get a lot of attention when your house is the 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 have hundreds or more, depending on the size of your community.
The listing agent's main job to make sure that the other MLS members know about your house. This is accomplished through listings your house in the Multiple Listing Service, broker previews and advertising targeted toward other agents, not home buyers.
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 you 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 Delight
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 withing the first week your house is places 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 very enticing.
If you want to help your agent sell your home quickly, try to 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. Maybe.