Most of the time, the agent who lists a home or land will not be the same agent who brings a buyer. In fact, in some agencies, it is against company policy for one agent to work with both the buyer and the seller in a given transaction. That’s why cooperation and trust between agents and agencies is vital.
When your listing agent has a reputation for dealing fairly with buyers' agents, those buyers’ agents will be more eager to show your home.
To maintain a good reputation, your listing agent must:
- Return all phone calls from agents – either with questions about the home that aren’t answered in the MLS information or with requests to show
- Make it easy to show your home – preferably with a lockbox and through convincing sellers that it is unwise to restrict times and days when a home can be shown.
- Enter complete and accurate information in MLS – Some agents leave blank spaces and even enter incorrect information.
- Keep MLS information up to date, especially with regard to homes under contract. No agent wants to take time to arrange a showing on a home that is already under contract.
- Present all offers fairly and quickly. Some agents have a reputation for holding on to offers from competitors while they attempt to get an offer from their own buyers – it’s illegal, but some do it.
- Present counter-offers within the time limits specified in the offer
- Present complete counter-offers – no blanks left unfilled and open to questions.
- Cooperate with buyer’s agents when its time to arrange inspections, and throughout the closing process
- Communicate. Short sale transactions can take many weeks or months to negotiate with the banks – buyers and their agents want to know what progress is being made, so it’s good for the listing agent to communicate regularly.
- Be polite. Such a simple thing, and yet some agents are simply rude to other agents.
While all agents will allow even an agent with a bad reputation to show their listings, an agent’s bad reputation can harm their buyer’s chances of a successful purchase. This is especially true in situations with multiple offers on a home. But in any case, if a listing agent has had a few bad experiences with a certain buyers’ agent, he or she will warn the seller to be wary.
To maintain a good reputation, a buyers’ agent must:
- Be on time for showings…or call if there’s an unavoidable delay. This may not harm chances once an offer is made, but raises a question about how the agent will conduct business throughout the transaction.
- Work with pre-qualified buyers. When listing agents know that a buyer’s agent doesn’t require pre-qualification, their offers get shifted to the bottom of the pile. No one wants to tie up a listing on an offer with low probability of closing.
- Present complete offers. There can be no questions caused by spaces left blank.
- Respond to counter-offers on time
- Complete inspections and other contingencies on time
- Behave reasonably after the inspections. Some agents routinely use this period to begin re-negotiating the price – even if the inspection didn’t reveal expensive problems.
- Communicate willingly – keeping listing agents in the loop regarding the buyer’s loan process, any anticipated delays, etc.
- Be polite – Again, it matters if an agent is pleasant to work with.