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Home > Selling Real Estate in Southern New Hampshire > The Role of a Real Estate Agent

The Role of a Real Estate Agent

When selling real estate the agent that works on your behalf is called the listing agent. The average agent can work in a number of different roles. While some specialize in working with sellers others focus on buyers. Still others work behind the scenes running the brokerage or attending open houses.

Because of the nature of real estate advertising when most people think of selling or buying they think of a selling agent.

So if you're looking to sell your house, this is the most relevant type of professional you're looking for. When it comes to selling your realtor will wear a number of different hats and take on a lot of different responsibilities. While this article addresses many things a selling agent does, it's impossible to list them all.

Determining a Price

The market is always changing. Before any property is put on the market a selling agent has a lot of homework to do. This is arguably the most important part. If you're priced too high you won't get any offers. If you're priced too low you may wind up missing out on a lot of money.

A selling agent will go through the recent history of your area before determining what your listing has to offer the market. They'll then analyze the competition and from there a plan and price can be formulated.

The Sign

The classic image of a selling agent is their sign. If you drive around any neighborhood in the country you'll see scores of "For Sale" signs. Usually a selling agent will provide your property with a sign marking it's status on the market, although some condo associations do not allow this practice.

Not only does this allow your neighbors to generate word of mouth for you, but it'll help point buyers who are unfamiliar with your neighborhood in the right direction.

The Multiple Listing Service or The MLS

You've probably heard this term before. Simply put, The MLS is a database that contains for sale, pending and sold homes in your region. Agents use this database for a number of different tasks. Some of these include determining the value of something just about to be put on the market, viewing listings to show to prospective buyers and simply watching the market for new trends.

One of the responsibilities a selling agent has when they're servicing your home is to enter it into the multiple listing service. They'll typically provide detailed information on your house, post pictures and any other relevant information; such as open houses and price changes.

This allows other agents who may represent potential buyers to know you are ready to sell. Your selling agent will regularly update your listing on The MLS as details change.

Broker Open House / Broker Preview

Simply put, a broker open house is like a public open house. The key difference is that it's a little more exclusive. Your selling agent will invite other real estate agents and brokers to attend and preview your house for their own sellers. This gives your house greater exposure.

Public Open House

While this is not always an option a public open house is a good way to generate buzz in the early stages of being on the market. This allows your selling agent to walk many prospective buyers through a neat and tidy home, pointing out what your listing has to offer them.

We describe this process further in our Staging for an Open House article.


A good selling agent will market your home. There are a number of different ways to accomplish this, but some methods include print advertising in local newspapers, direct mailers to your neighbors, online in websites, through networking with other agents or by referring their prospective buyer clients to your listing. Every property is different, so this step needs to be approached uniquely every time.

Moving to Pending Status and Contract Negotiations

Hopefully you'll receive several offers on your home. One of the functions a selling agent performs is wading through all the contracts preceding pending status and seeing which one is the most worth your time and attention. Some buyers may not qualify to purchase your home while others may be willing to spend more.

Buyers and buyer agents are also looking out for their own best interests. It's important to have a strong, knowledgeable person on your side to help you through the process.

Closing the Deal

One of the final duties agents carry out is protecting you and your interests during the closing phase of the process. This is a critical step for obvious reasons. A good selling agent will make sure the closing happens in a timely and smooth fashion.