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3 Costly Mistakes Listing Agents Make (Without Realizing It)

This post may contain affiliate links. Click here to read my full disclosure.

Throughout my real estate career, I noticed several mistakes listing agents make and wondered if they even have any idea how much money they’re leaving on the table.

I have a lot of Realtor friends, and I love them. But it’s no secret that Realtors are more concerned with showing how much they’ve done…how great they are…how many sales they’ve made…etc.

First, I’m going to talk about what a listing agent is (for those who are reading this and genuinely don’t know). Then I’ll share the 3 mistakes listing agents make costing them thousands.

What is a Listing Agent vs Selling Agent?

A listing agent is a real estate broker (or agent depending on the state) who enters into a contract to list to sell real estate for a client.

Let’s say that a real estate listing agent agrees to list a home for a certain percentage. They will often (not always) agree to cooperate with a selling (also called buyers’) agent. 

A really good listing agent will negotiate the best price and will try their hardest to sell the home herself so that she doesn’t have to share a commission with the buyers’ agent.

Listing Agent Responsibilities

The listing agent has several responsibilities. Listing properties was my least favorite part of the job because you’re at the mercy of the market. 

Some listing agent responsibilities include:

  • Offers local housing market expertise
  • Performs a competitive market analysis
  • Prices property competitively to sell
  • Prepares and (in some cases) cleans and stages property to sell
  • Lists the property in the MLS along with sites like Zillow and Realtor.com
  • Advertises the property within their brokerage, to previous clients, etc.
  • Holds open houses and shows the home
  • Screens potential buyers
  • Negotiates on behalf of the seller
  • Often schedules inspections
  • Communicates with lenders and title companies and attends the closing 

Buyers’ Agent Responsibilities

Buyers’ agents work one-on-one with buyers to find their dream home. This was my favorite part of home selling. I loved working with first-time homebuyers to perform a needs analysis and find a home that they fell in love with.

The buyers’ agent is responsible for:

  • Referring buyers to lenders for financing options
  • Find properties that match buyers’ search criteria
  • Coordinates showings
  • Often re-shows property and attends home inspections on behalf of buyers
  • Negotiates on behalf of the buyer
  • Handles paperwork and attends the closing

Do Listing Agents Earn Salary?

Listing agents (and Realtors in general) don’t have a set salary. I once showed 20+ homes to a buyer in a 1-hour radius over a span of 9 months before she finally decided on a home.

Guess how long it took me to get paid? You guessed it! 9 months. 

It’s actually illegal for Realtors to talk about specific commissions, and there is no “average” commission, but I’ll share with you how a typical paycheck might be divvy’d up.

The home I sold to that buyer (after nine excruciating months) sold for $83,000. My gross commission was $2,490. 

My previous real estate brokerage took 15% of my commission off the top, leaving me $2,116.50.

But that’s not all. I was also part of a real estate team, and my lead Realtor took 10% of my earnings. This left me with $1,904.85 before taxes, fuel reimbursement, etc.

You can see why many first-year Realtors don’t make it and quit. 

You have to be really smart about where you invest your money as a Realtor, and this includes having a 

I am now licensed with Real Broker, a virtual brokerage that charges very little compared to local brokerages. 

Now, for the meat and potatoes of this post! Are you ready for the 3 mistakes most listing agents make?

3 Costly Mistakes Listing Agents Make

1. They Slap a SOLD Sign on Their Listings

Look…we know you’re proud of yourself. We know that you’re a badass listing agent, and you might even be the #1 agent with the catchphrase “nobody sells more homes than Blair Myers in Middle Georgia”. 

The person driving past that sign isn’t looking to list with you. They want more information about the house. 

When you put a SOLD sign up, you’re telling people “Sorry about your luck”. You’re losing out on leads, and what happens if financing falls through for your listing? 

Do yourself (and your seller) a favor and leave off the SOLD sign. In fact, have a custom SOLD sign made like this one and take photos of your seller at the closing with the buyer.

When people see a SOLD sign, they automatically move on to the next home on their list. And you might not get that buyer lead.

2. They Give All Their Money to Zillow

Zillow is where buyers are showing up to search for property. I do think it’s a good idea for buyers’ agents to sign up for Zillow leads.

But listing agents need to have their own blog and website, establishing themselves as the authority in their market. 

You need IDX on your site along with menus and submenus on your site with subdivisions and neighborhoods (even small outlying towns) where people can get information about HOA’s, neighborhood amenities, and other pertinent information.

If you’re a Realtor without a blog, it’s time to stop with the outdated marketing techniques. Stop giving all of your money to Zillow, radio advertisements, billboards, and park benches. 

You can start a blog for less than $100, and then start creating content and setting up IDX on your website.

If you sign up for hosting through Bluehost with my special coupon code, you’ll receive special pricing for just $2.95 per month

3. Listing Agents Don’t Leverage YouTube

Did you know that YouTube is the #2 search engine (behind Google)? This means that if you create a YouTube video about your property with a call-to-action asking buyers to call or text you for details (or fill out your buyer information sheet in the description), you’ll receive leads.

The more video content you create, the more leads you’ll get, and the more sales you’ll make. People will start to see you as an area expert. Here’s an idea. 

Hook a GoPro to your bike and ride through neighborhoods showing off the town, little by little. Take a bike ride from your listing to the beach or from your listing to the grocery store, go inside (while filming) and chat it up with the owner. 

Show people what it’s really like living in the area. You don’t need all of the fanciest equipment or editing programs. A simple camera and bike mount along with iMovie (free) will help you get started. 

Perfectionism is a thief. I know because I’ve been crippled with perfectionism my entire life. If you’re worried that your videos won’t look professional enough, it’s time to change your mindset. No one expects perfection.

Buyers want to connect with you on a personal level. They want to see the side of you that doesn’t wear a suit and heels. Show them that you are a real person who lives in the area, and tell them all of your favorite places to eat and play!

Bottom Line

If you’re a listing agent, ask yourself if you’re making these 3 costly mistakes. Consider starting a blog and a YouTube channel and leave the Sold signs for the closing table. 

Click here to start your blog for $2.95 per month.

Costly Mistakes Listing Agents Make
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Last update on 2020-07-13 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

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