Listing Agent In A Seller's Market

Things have shifted in many parts of the country from a buyer's market to a seller's market. That is true in Northern Virginia.

This leaves many thinking that Realtors do not work hard for their clients. I would contend that the easier the process seems, the harder your agent is working on your behalf. 

When I list a home, I hope to keep the stress off the shoulders of my sellers. To do this, I am constantly one step ahead of the transaction.

In today's market, there are many ways that a deal can go south.  A smooth sale is a testament to the hard work of the Realtors involved.


Southern California is back in a solid Seller's Market. We are again seeing multiple offers on the day of the listing and slowly but surely the prices are creeping back up. As a result, the perception is that listing agents are doing very little for their pay.

It seems this is true in many cases....but shouldn't be the case.

The listing agent is not there to slap a sign on the lawn and then throw their hands up during the rest of the process. Yet this is what we are seeing. I do not believe that these agents are really servicing their clients well. As we start to see transactions fall apart and homes come back on the market after a few weeks, this situation normally can be avoided by careful preparation by the listing agent.

In a multiple offer situation, there is great temptation by a seller to assume that all they need to do is pick the highest priced offer. But this might not be their best option, and it's the responsibility of the listing agent to know this, and make recommendations.

First and foremost, when I represent a listing, I make sure that my listing post gives the proper information to the buyer. I want to ensure they know the correct tax information, school information and any/all defects that we know could present a problem....right up front. There is no point to beginning an escrow process only to find that the buyers cancel when they "discover" what we already know. In this market, there are always buyers who will be happy to accept the defects/challenges of a home.

Secondly, I have my disclosures ready to go. Often, I give these to the buyers BEFORE we accept an offer...again, to make sure they know what we know. It's not to say that these disclosures have information that is going to be a "deal breaker" but again, time is the important thing in a transaction. The seller is interested in closing, and closing as soon as possible. Along with the disclosures, I've also had a serious conversation with the seller ahead of time about what they are/are not willing to correct, if anything. Setting proper expectations are critical in an open and smooth transaction.

Once we are in a position to accept an offer, then I also do my due diligence. I talk to the lender and make sure the buyer can in fact buy. I also require the FICO scores, proof of funds and any/all other supporting documentation. I want to see a legitimate deposit check, not a copy. I meet with the buyer's agent and want to see an actionable check. In our market, we see buyers writing offers on multiple see what they get. I understand why, but I do not put my sellers in the position of accepting an offer and rejecting others only to find the buyers have decided on another home. It happens, of course, but I work very hard to avoid it.

Finally, once we are in escrow, I'm a problem solver. Even with the best preparation, things come up. This is not an opportunity to erupt in anger, shrink in terror, nor disappear altogether and hope for the best. These are the aspects of servicing my client and hopefully create solutions which allow everyone to feel good about the transaction. At a minimum, my responsibility is to protect my own client.....not yours. But this can, and SHOULD, be done in a professional manner which best represents myself and my client.

A Seller's Market is should not create listing agents who are unqualified, it should allow those of us who are professional and thorough to shine.



 Karen Fiddler
The Fiddler Realty Team/eVantage Real Estate
Lic # 01494165

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Comment balloon 4 commentsHolly Weatherwax • December 01 2012 02:15PM


Thanks for the repost Holly, great post by Karen, missed it the first time around.

Posted by Kathy Stoltman, Ventura County Real Estate Consultant 805-746-1793 (Rockwood Realty) about 6 years ago

Thanks for reposting this as I didn't originally see it. 

Posted by Debi Braulik, Selling Maple Valley to Fife WA Homes For Sale ( about 6 years ago

It's always amazing how much listing paper work and documentation we have to manage here in our Florida market at the onset. I don't know if your markets are the same. We listed a home recently and I came to the decision that I need to document, from the listing point forward, the amount of time spend on clerical work, sign installation, ad creation, several trips to make sure the home is staged, that the home owners are ready and the other miscellaneous bits of preparation and coordination that are needed to ready a home. I think it just got a little easier for me to justify an admin fee and a cancellation fee after this last one. Thanks for reposting.

Posted by John Buetergerds, The Buetergerds Team (Buetergerds Team at Keller Williams Realty Select) about 6 years ago

Hi Holly,thanks for the reblog. As we shift into the seller's market, we need to make sure that we help our sellers choose wisely so that it closes.

Posted by Karen Fiddler, Broker/Owner, Orange County & Lake Arrowhead, CA (949)510-2395 (Karen Parsons-Fiddler, Broker 949-510-2395) about 6 years ago

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