What does a real estate agent do
Blog > What does a real estate agent do?
clock 6 mins

What does a real estate agent do?

In our years working in real estate, we’re often asked what the role of an agent is. After all, if you’re selling a house, you should know what’s involved. 

A real estate agent works on your behalf to sell your property with the most effective strategy and for the highest price — but what does that really mean? 

In this article, we delve into 8 key steps of selling a property and how a salesperson can help. Whether you decide to sell privately or enlist the help of an expert, read on to find everything you need to know throughout the sale journey. 

What is a real estate agent? 

Simply put, a real estate agent is a licensed professional who helps people buy, sell, and rent properties. Some key responsibilities include processing documents, networking with buyers, conducting market research, and hosting property viewings. Real estate agents are paid a commission for their services, which is usually a percentage of the property sale price.

Real estate agents aren’t the only people who can sell homes. While a real estate agent has been licensed under the Real Estate Agents Act 2008 to negotiate and transact the sale or lease of a property, anyone can sell a property. So while this article will talk about real estate agents, we will also cover other professionals who dedicate their careers to selling property.

The difference between a real estate agent and a real estate salesperson

The fundamental difference is their level of accreditation with the Real Estate Authority (Te mana Papawhenua) in New Zealand. 

A salesperson’s license enables the holder to carry out real estate agency work for, or on behalf of, an agent. The salesperson must be supervised by an agent or branch manager. A branch manager’s license allows the holder to do work on behalf of an agent and they may supervise salespeople. An agent’s license allows the licensee to carry out real estate agency work on their own.

Using a real estate salesperson vs conducting a private sale

While it can be tempting to avoid paying the salesperson’s fee, there are some challenges involved with a private sale, including:

  • Finding buyers.
  • Generating enough offers.
  • Unexpected advertising fees.
  • Understanding legal jargon.
  • Processing paperwork.

When partnering with an agent, or salesperson, they are working for you. And, since they’re paid commission on the sale, they are motivated to get you a good deal. 

8 steps to selling a house

To simplify the sales process, we’ve broken it down into 8 key steps. If you’re ready to sell your property, here’s what you need to prepare for:

1. Research the property market

Before anything else, you need to know how much the property is worth on the current market. This involves comparing similar listings, tracking recent trends, and assessing the condition of the property. This process will determine what the listing price should be, as well as the appropriate marketing strategy. 

While you can perform some market research yourself, a real estate agent will already have a detailed understanding of the current local market. They will conduct a thorough market assessment, taking into account current demand. You can book a no-obligation property appraisal with a local real estate professional to get an accurate idea of your property’s value.

2. Choose a type of sale

As the market is always changing, certain sales strategies may be more effective than others. Whether it be by tender, negotiation, auction, deadline, or multi-offers, the type of sale you choose has a direct impact on its success. Most notably, it can affect the sale price and the number of offers. 

Having an industry expert on your side makes this decision much easier, especially when it’s a buyer’s market. To determine the most suitable strategy for your property, an agent will draw on their expertise and established network of buyers to generate a range of offers.

3. Take quality photos

One of the most common pitfalls of selling privately is using poor-quality photographs to advertise. Some sellers take photos themselves to save money but this can be a grave mistake. For most buyers, photos are the first thing that catches their attention — or deters them entirely. 

If you want buyers to express interest or book a viewing, you need to use professional photos with bright lighting and an appealing presentation. An experienced agent will have the skills and equipment for this, including a high-definition camera and a wide lens. Since photos create the first impression for buyers, some agents will even have a professional photographer on contract. 

4. Put your house on the market

Once the details of the sale strategy have been determined, it’s time to put the house on the market. Some common places to advertise a house include: 
  • Agency office window.
  • Agency website.
  • Local newspaper.
  • Billboard.
  • Roadside signs.
  • Online tools such as TradeMe.

Some marketing channels will incur a fee, which you will need to pay. This is called Vendor Paid Advertising (VPA) and your agent will give an accurate quote for this before anything is listed. They will also explain the different strategies for marketing your property, including which channels are likely to attract a good selection of buyers. 

5. Network with buyers

It’s helpful to have a range of connections when selling a home, especially if you want to get the most competitive offer. For this reason, experienced real estate salespeople usually have a network of buyers who are already looking for homes exactly like yours. That way, finding buyers is much simpler and more efficient. 

If you sell your home privately, you may be networking with buyers through online marketplaces like TradeMe and Facebook. Unfortunately, these platforms have no vetting or selection process, meaning you will have to sift through numerous people before finding a suitable buyer. 

6. Arrange open homes and viewings

One crucial step of the selling process is to show the home to prospective buyers through open homes or private viewings. Seeing the property in person can make or break a buyer’s decision so it’s critical to get it right. 

To help buyers imagine living in the house, your agent will share insights into what buyers most want to see. A bunch of fresh flowers and a few throw blankets can make all the difference. On the day of the viewing, your agent will welcome people, get their details, and answer any questions.

If you want some help prepping for your open home, you can download our free digital guide. It’s a helpful resource whether you’re selling with a real estate professional or privately.

7. Communicate with lawyers, agents, and brokers

Since selling a house is such a major transaction, it requires a lot of input from lawyers, conveyancers, brokers, and realtors. If you decide to manage the sale yourself, the legal technicalities, industry jargon, and complicated negotiations can be overwhelming. On top of that, it can cause delays in the transaction process if each step is not completed in the correct sequence of events.  

Fortunately, a real estate agent can communicate with these experts on your behalf and relay everything to you as required. This ensures everything is processed smoothly and on time, with minimal stress. 

8. Process the paperwork 

To ensure each stage of the sale runs smoothly, paperwork and administration must be completed at the correct time. From the moment you begin valuations to settlement day, you must be prepared for the following tasks:  
  • Answering phone calls and emails.
  • Scheduling appointments and showings.
  • Updating property listings.
  • Drafting and delivering legal documents.

A professional real estate agent will take care of all of this for you to keep the transaction on schedule. With their experience and industry insights, they can guide you through everything. 

Benefits of hiring a real estate agent

When selling real estate, it’s a smart idea to have the support of an experienced real estate professional. Not only will they take the responsibility off your shoulders, but they’ll also use their skills to get you the most favourable deal. 

Real estate agents in Taranaki

At McDonald Real Estate, our sales team is dedicated to providing a streamlined experience for our sellers. If you’re looking for a real estate agent near you, consider the following advantages of working with us: 
  • A large network of buyers.
  • Effective marketing packages.
  • Strong community values.
  • 8 convenient offices around the Taranaki region.
  • Over 110 years of local experience.

If you still have questions or need tailored advice, reach out to us today. Or, if you’re ready to start the sales process, book a free, no-obligation appraisal


Get a free appraisal ›

May 1, 2023
How to choose a real estate agent
When it comes to selling your home, selecting the right real estate agent is a critical...
Read full post
April 27, 2023
What is my property worth?
One of the most common questions we are asked as real estate salespeople is how the price...
Read full post
April 27, 2023
What does a real estate agent do?
In our years working in real estate, we’re often asked what the role of an agent is....
Read full post