7 Tips for Working With the Listing Agent

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Representing two parties with separate goals and expectations can make the relationship between Realtor® and listing agent tricky at times.

These tried-and-true tips from Realtors who routinely interact with listing agents can help you maintain harmony as well as your clients’ happiness.

1. Create an open line of communication

Chris Pagli, a real estate broker and accredited buyer representative in New York and Maine, uses clear, detailed communication every step of the way to keep all parties on the same page.

During the inspection process, for example, he follows up written communications with photos of any areas of concern to help explain the expectations of the buyer.

2. Humanize your buyers

Mark Wozniak, a real estate agent in Virginia, shares information about his buyers with the listing agent to build understanding and empathy.

“It's just so much easier to deal with possible issues down the road when that humanization exists between the parties involved,” he explains.

3. Make representation clear

Sometimes, homebuying clients don’t understand the role of the seller’s agent. Pagli makes it clear to his clients the listing agent is representing the seller’s interests—not theirs. This helps ensure their negotiating position isn’t compromised, both parties receive the representation they deserve and the relationship between the buying and listing agents can remain professional.

4. Coach clients on interacting with the listing agent

While interactions between the homebuyer and listing agent are generally few and far between, if they do occur, Wozniak suggests encouraging clients to keep the conversation high-level. Attempts to negotiate or bringing up areas of concern can be counter-productive to what you’re trying to achieve.

5. Be transparent

After having experienced a rocky situation with a not-so-transparent listing agent, Pagli is now a firm believer in transparency. While the deal did end up going through, the process was anything but smooth.

Open, honest communication is the best way to ensure smooth sailing to the finish line.

6. Show mutual respect

When both parties feel respected and appreciated from the get-go and along the way, communication becomes easier.

“It's important to remember the listing agent is likely as busy as you are and trying to do the best for his/her clients as you're trying to do for yours,” Wozniak says.

7. Don’t lose your cool

“I try to keep the playing field calm and friendly,” Pagli says. “Once one party gets a bad taste in their mouth, things start to go south.”

Wozniak also stresses the importance of not getting caught up in situations where one heated exchange can change the tone of the entire transaction.

“No matter the circumstance, you're 100% in control of choosing your attitude and your reaction,” he says.

Attitude and approach are everything. Other than that, working agreeably with the listing agent is simply a matter of communicating well, showing empathy toward all parties involved and making sure your clients understand who does what.

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