The seller signs a listing agreement. You (your broker) are authorized to market their house. You have walked the house, reviewed the comps, set a price, discussed access, neighborhood amenities, house upgrades, what caught the eye of the seller when they bought the house, and much more during the procurement process of securing the listing. Then you work diligently with the seller to prepare the house and demonstrate all of its specific features for best display.

Now come the questions.

Who would the seller prefer to discuss these things with potential buyers? YOU. They picked you out of 50,000 agents, you are the one because you have displayed all of the attributes that are most important because they feel you can sell their house. You have reviewed with them the specific upgrades and particular outstanding features that make this a deal for the next person. So then the question is simple, who does the seller want to answer questions about their home? You.

The seller also agrees to put this listing in MLS as there are countless benefits to the exposure. The question is, does the seller fully understand that signing a listing agreement that includes agreeing to list on MLS that now almost all of the initial inquires (buyer leads) will be fielded by a random agent, not you? Of course, all agents want a commission and they will “try” to sell an interested buyer your seller house but it’s not the best option in our opinion, as they didn’t pick just any agent, they pick you, the elite agent, because of your specific skills in selling. I believe your seller would prefer if they had the choice for buyers to speak to you and your team. I personally feel the agent that walks the house and knows the specifics, would present the best features of the house, especially if trained by you.

Oddly enough, we now live in an environment where consumers are in control of the search process. Buyers drive neighborhoods looking for their next home. Yet, 99%+ of the time when they Google the property address the internet companies send that buyer lead information to an agent that has not been in that house or done the done diligence you have with the seller. 

To my point, this is why on, Andy Florance, CEO of CoStar, said the Zillow business model was “unethical”. That putting digital yard signs of your competitors in your seller yard is a practice he didn’t think was right. Spencer Rascoff, the co-founder of Zillow and former CEO, said in response on Rob Hahn’s podcast, that so is IDX. I am not here to point fingers at either. We work with both Zillow and Costar but I agree the seller would prefer the listing agent to answer buyer questions over another agent who knows nothing about the property and who does not have a vested interest to sell the house.

One note: I believe representation is valuable but two agents on the same team or brokerage will suffice if they have higher standards.