What do Real Estate Agents do to Sell a Home?

Outside of the legal and medical professions, most industries are filled with people that work their tails off without the general public understanding their line of work. This is quite common for people that work in the real estate industry. Here are some of the many things that an agent does to sell a home for a new listing.

Extensive Photos

realtor-pin-1As the old saying goes “a picture is worth a thousand words.” Real estate agents will take lots of pictures to show off the best aspects of the home. When prospective buyers have an opportunity to see multiple pictures of a place before they view the property it helps to get the buyers more familiar with the property. It also reduces the number of people who are certain they will not buy a home based on the presence, or lack of, certain features.

Social Media Announcement

With multiple pictures of the property in hand, an agent can post to the various social media sites and alert all their friends and connections that the home is now available. With the multiple interactions found on most of the social media sites this is a great way to spread the word and let potential buyers know about the home's availability and best selling points. Good agents post to multiple sites like Facebook, Google +, Twitter and even Pinterest.


Many real estate agents connect with their past clients and prospects by sending out a monthly or quarterly newsletter. The newsletter can be sent via email or the old fashioned way of postal mail. This gives the agent a chance to pass along helpful information, such as home maintenance tips, energy saving advice as well as all of their new home listings. This is an easy way to reach people that may not be active on social media and still give them a chance to see the home in pictures.


Some agents aggressively market their listings by sending out emails to their prospective buyer base. These email lists are built over time from a multitude of different sources like, previous clients, internet leads and people that have signed up via their website. Since some home buyers can spend many years searching for a home, this large database of previous contacts can be a key component to selling your home.

On top of that, most agents will present any new listings to their own personal buyer clients who might be interested. Since they have in-depth knowledge of the home, it's much easier to explain the benefits. They will also share the new listing with other agents in their office/company in hopes they promote it to their buyer clients.

MLS Listing

One of the most important things an agent can do is list a home with the MLS (Multiple Listing Service). This service is accessible by local real estate agents and to Realtors® across the country via certain home search websites. When a buyer comes to an agent and asks for a list of potential homes, the agent will use the MLS service to find all available homes in the area. Agents pay yearly to have access to this database in order to be ready when either a buyer or seller is in need.


When a potential buyer wishes to see a home the real estate agent is the one that meets them at the home and gives them a tour. This is where the real estate agent can show off the home and brag about the top features of the property. Agents often make themselves available day or night for showing to accommodate the schedules of both the buyers and the sellers.

Open Houses

Agents often hold open houses on the property. These typically occur on the weekends, most commonly on Sunday. Occasionally, open houses are held on weeknights as well. An open house provides a 'no pressure' forum for people to tour the home. Many times the attendees are not actively looking to purchase at that moment and many visitors will actually be neighbors. Either way, getting your home in front of the largest audience is key. Any open house visitor could know someone 'in the market' for a home who they may tell.

An experienced real estate agent will put together a complete marketing plan for any new listing to give their client the best chance of selling the property at the anticipated price. Click the following link to see how Rock Realty can successfully market and sell your house: Rock Realty Home Marketing Plan

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  • Truth be told, we really need to do almost nothing. We talk a big talk about what all youve described above, and that sounds impressive to clients but almost all homes are found by buyers in the internet, and they almost all lead back to the multiple listing services through our own sites or indirectly to asgents THEN into the MLS systems. Of course indirectly means the leeches such as Zillow and that ilk who plunder and profit because we stupid brokers let them have direct feed into our systems, which we own and should keep closed! Whgere we really are needed is proper contract work after a buyer finds a house.

  • Are you sure?????  I thought all we did was put up a sign in the front yard and wait for something to happen.

  • Ive been a broker for 34 years. With all due respect to all real estate agents and to myself, Im confused over this site and your post. My impression of this site is that its for real estate professionals and not really seen by the public? If incorrect, Ive not fully used it to a large benefit. If correct, you are preaching to the choir, lol!

    At any rate, for the MOST PART real estate people are those who had no other marketable skills. Its far too easy to get a license. Far too easy. Not enough attention is paid to contracts, contract law and contingencies, etc.


    We have a local Portland agency that has a huge radio ad budget. They tell half truths all day long. They claim to do national marketing to sell homes 3 times faster than the average broker here. First, what they are calling 'national' is simply inputting into all the websites such as (shudder) zillow. We all do that. Second, they list homesowned by people in the middle of fighting with their lenders, counsel them to short sale to their own group of investors. They list and sell at the same time. Naturally, they can claim to sell their listings faster than normal brokers but itnot real.

    Why do I bring this up? What is our TRUE WORTH?  Frankly, for simply 'marketing' a home its NOT MUCH. This is why there is a proliferation of super discounters who place homes into the MLS for $50 and dont even represent the sellers. The only reason we are able to profit from listing is because we have the MLS tied up and owned. Let one big national open listing service open up and we wont be needed, period. That is, on the selling/marketing side.

    So again whats our worth? Paperwork pushers. Contract writers. We have to know a few things. Correct number of fire alarms in the house.Does the wood stove meet dept of air quality rating---stuff like that. We are almost the same as paralegals to lawyers but more limited. We are not supposed to practice law. We are supposed to use fill in the blank contracts. Changes are actually practicing law. As on the listing end we only have it because we own the MLS systems, on the selling end we ONLY have it because lawyers dont taxi people around, and they charge hourly up front. We prostitute ourselves, hoping we will be paid but many times are not.


    The best thing you can do for a 'marketing plan' is correctly price the home. Most real estate agents have NO CLUE, just doing a market analysis. They have no appraisal technique background. The second is simply doing what we all do---MLS and all the zilloulia sites. Most of those pick up the properties anyway because we STUPIDLY allow them access to our systems so they can have our homes all over sites meant to bring revenue TO THEM.


    Whats the stat now? Something like 90% of buyers find the homes themselves through the internet? So unless you have a specialty property that does take specialty marketing to particular type of buyer who doesnt know how to call agents and have them search, just what does one do to say they are providing anything of value that no one else has? Not much.


    Its always been said of any 'sales' position that 90% of the work is done by 10% of the agents. (I may not have that exactly correct) Thats always been true. What we have now is a different take on it. Our profession needs to drop about 75% of its agents and make sure the 25% left know what the hell they are doing.  I followed 100 FSBOS from first sign in yard to sold. I asked them if I could. ALmost all sold. Almost all of those fell apart. The main reason was the seller didnt know how to insure the buyer was qualified. The fascinating part was most of those fall aparts had huge problems trying to disengage from the buyer! They were stuck in escrow and subject to lawsuits and argum,ents. Why? They didnt know how to put together contracts with contingencies and protections. Only 17% of the fsbos actually sold and closed. The rest listed with real estate brokers. No single office ended up with more of thelistings than the others. When asked why the sellers chose who they did, the answer was almost allways the same---they were in our face when we finally broke.


    And open homes? Come on. They are used to try and pick up buyers for other properties. Opens never sell the home. Ive seen thousands of opens in three states for 34 years.

    Regarding MLS listings, you are not needed. I am not needed. Almost all real estate broker sites have feeds to the MLS. You can go to thousands of broker sites and search everything available in the MLS. Realtor.com gives info. We should dismatle realtor.com---in its present form its not our friend. Its an income trap.

    Perhaps Im too consumer oriented for my own good. I just like total, 1000% transparency. I detest spin. Im not accusing you of that, Im sure you are an honest and enthusistic broker. Im an older much jaded one after encountering all the sales industry BS for 34 years. Look at all the seminares 'sales' people go to. There are even techniqes to get a pen into a buyers hand! You accidently drop it on a paper that you are holding up on your end and it rolls across the table to the buyer who grabs it.

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