Ways Home Sellers Can Build a Successful Relationship With a Listing Agent Don’t let communication problems with your agent be the downfall of your home sale. By Sally Forster Jones

Maintaining a positive and productive relationship with your listing agent can make all the difference in your home selling process. Just like any other relationship in your life, it requires trust and honest communication by both parties.

Selling your home can be stressful, confusing and emotional.  Choosing the right agent,  setting your expectations up front and maintaining a professional working relationship can have a significant impact in creating a positive home selling experience.

Here are four things you should do to ensure a productive relationship between you and your listing agent.

Choose the right agent. You can set yourself up for a positive experience by choosing an agent who is best suited to your goals and personality. Use a selective process and interview several candidates. Don’t be afraid to ask questions about their experience, past sales, knowledge of your neighborhood and marketing plan.

It’s important to work with someone who you feel has the professional experience and savvy to sell your home effectively. It is also important that you connect on a personal level and have compatible communication styles.

Set expectations up front. The easiest way to avoid hurdles is to set your expectations up front. Let your listing agent know how you expect to be communicated with and how often. Some clients prefer text messages and emails, while others like the personal touch of a phone call. If you expect immediate feedback following each showing, let your agent know. If you prefer not to be disturbed in the morning before 9 a.m., let them know that too. You don’t want to be stuck playing phone tag with your agent because you’re never available at the same time – let your agent know what time of day you’re most likely able to talk.

Avoid confusion and ask your agent who your main point of contact will be for each process of the sale. Some agents have assistants who they work very closely with. In addition, more and more companies are moving toward a team based system where you may be in communication with multiple team members throughout the process. Before you move forward, ask about who you will be working with and at what stages of the selling process, to ensure communication is continuously effective with everyone on the team.

Make sure you are comfortable with the answers to all your questions, and if you’re not – speak up so that you can come to a mutual understanding.

Keep lines of communication open. Nothing can be more frustrating for a listing agent than a client who suddenly shuts down or goes MIA (and vice versa). Throughout the selling process there are numerous appointments that need to be made, paper work that need signatures and questions that need answering. It’s imperative that both parties are able to plan ahead, communicate their availability and follow through with scheduled meetings, phone calls and agreed-upon actions.

Unfortunately not every transaction is without a few hiccups along the way. If you’re able to work with your agent to deal with issues as they come up, it will prevent small problems from escalating and will help to keep a productive and successful relationship.

Keep it professional. Trust and mutual respect are such important aspects of the agent-client relationship that it’s not uncommon for sellers to work with a friend or family member when selling their home. When mixing personal and professional relationships it’s important to set boundaries and expectations. Be sure you feel confident you’ll get the right amount of service from a friend or relative – you don’t want to ruin a personal relationship because the professional deal went south.

Whether you are working with an agent you’re meeting for the first time or friend you’ve known for years, keeping a clear professional collaboration with your listing agent during the sale is paramount to maintaining a successful working relationship.

An effective agent-seller relationship is vital to creating a positive experience and the successful sale of your home. By vetting potential candidates and choosing an agent who is right for you – setting your expectations up front, keeping communication open and maintaining a professional partnership – you can set yourself up for success.

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