We’ve all seen mistakes listings agents make, and many of us have committed them. But if all we do is giggle and gossip, no one learns how to avoid them. 

So, we here at The Close put together some of the most glaring, cringe-worthy mistakes we’ve seen listing agents make, along with a checklist to help you avoid them. Sure, you can giggle. But let’s all agree to help each other to be better agents at the end of the day.

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1. Listing Above Market Price

Most Cringeworthy Mistakes Listing Agents Make

We’ve all met those sellers who think they know more about real estate than we do. They want their home listed at an astronomical price that’s way off the mark. Don’t let bullies dictate to you what the market will support. You are the expert. 

If you come across a seller who doesn’t respect your professional opinion based on facts, walk away. The headache isn’t worth it, no matter what the commission might be.

2. Not Doing a Thorough CMA

Most Cringeworthy Mistakes Listing Agents Make

Before you take any listing, you have to understand your market. Moreover, you need to understand the neighborhood you’re listing in. Do a thorough comparative market analysis (CMA) to determine the price range for the listing. And stick to your guns. 

Your seller needs guidance from someone who knows how to read market stats, price correctly, market the home proficiently, and can get them to their goals—not a “yes” agent who only tells the sellers what they want to hear. 

Create Accurate CMAs With Our Guide

3. Cell Phone Pictures

Most Cringeworthy Mistakes Listing Agents Make

How many funny memes have you seen with horrible listing photos across the internet? There are a ton! One of the biggest mistakes agents make is not marketing their listing professionally. Always pitch in for pro photography for your listings. 

If you need some help making your listing look amazing, check out Apply Design. We love how they can create virtual staging that will give your empty rooms that extra punch. Staging can make the difference between “sold” and “old.” 

Even when you have a listing that’s at a lower price point in your market, you still should invest in photography. Think of that listing as an advertisement for your marketing savvy. Tomorrow’s sellers are looking at today’s listings to see who can pass muster.

4. Not Using Drones

Most Cringeworthy Mistakes Listing Agents Make

Statistics show homes that incorporate drone photography in their marketing sell 68% faster than homes that don’t. That’s a huge stat! Get some professional drone footage and add it to your listing. Many drone companies specialize in real estate video. 

Check with your photographer to see if they’re certified drone pilots. It may be included in some photography packages. Then you can use some of the footage to create stunning aerial videos for your social media marketing. These make great Instagram Reels and TikTok videos.

5. Fudging on the Listing Description

Most Cringeworthy Mistakes Listing Agents Make

This is the kind of mistake that can get you into legal hot water. Don’t mislead people in the listing description. Don’t try to cover up defects with misleading language. Buyers need to be able to make informed decisions based on facts.

You can use descriptive words to talk about the neighborhood, the lawn, and the features of the house in a positive way. But don’t try to attract buyers by being dishonest. At best, you’ll piss off potential buyers. At worst, you could find yourself in a lawsuit for misrepresenting the property.

Download 723 Descriptive Words for Listing Descriptions

6. Not Including a Strong Call-to-Action

Most Cringeworthy Mistakes Listing Agents Make

Everything you put out to market the listing, including the listing description, should have a call to action (CTA) attached to it. You are telling potential buyers how amazing the property is. Give them specific instructions on what to do next.

Let the selling agent know how to get in touch with you. Tell the buyers how to find more information. It doesn’t really matter what CTA you use, as long as you give your audience something specific they can do to move the action forward.

7. Not Communicating With Your Clients

Most Cringeworthy Mistakes Listing Agents Make

One of the biggest complaints of sellers is that their agents don’t communicate enough. In today’s uncertain climate, it’s even more important than ever to stay in constant contact with your clients.

Even when there’s nothing new to report, you should reach out to them simply to check in. Your clients want to know that you’re on the case. Give them five minutes of your time to alleviate their anxiety.

The easiest way to make sure your clients don’t slip through the cracks is by using a customer relationship management (CRM) software like Top Producer. A great CRM will make managing your people simple and automatic. And Top Producer also helps you look like the pro you are with market updates that you can share with your sphere. Work smarter, not harder.

8. Not Having a Transaction Coordinator

Most Cringeworthy Mistakes Listing Agents Make

Hiring a transaction coordinator changed my life and saved my marriage. I went out of town one summer while I had two transactions in the works. I had just accepted offers on both of my listings, so I figured I was set. You know what happened next—both of those transactions developed complications, and I spent a large part of my trip on the phone. My husband was not happy.

If you’re trying to manage multiple clients—all the appointment scheduling, the complicated paperwork, negotiating contracts, and constantly communicating with your clients—that’s a lot of juggling. Something’s going to fall apart. Having a transaction coordinator or a personal assistant to help you stay organized is a game changer.

If you think you aren’t doing enough business to justify the added investment, you’re probably holding yourself back by trying to manage everything yourself. Free up your time to focus on the things that only you can do. Hire out everything else.

9. Not Investing in Digital Marketing

Most Cringeworthy Mistakes Listing Agents Make

If you’re not marketing your listing on the internet, you’re missing all the eyeballs. According to the latest research from the National Association of Realtors (NAR), 97% of all homebuyers use online tools in their home search

Digital marketing is no longer an option. It’s a must for any effective marketing strategy. You’ll be doing your seller clients an injustice if you don’t incorporate digital marketing in your overall strategy. 

Use Facebook ads and Google ads, and make sure your listing is fed to major search engines like Zillow and Realtor.com. Having your own IDX website can really add to your perceived authority as well. 

If you’re not an expert at digital marketing, that’s totally fine. You don’t have to be. Check out all the amazing things inside Coffee & Contracts. They can do the heavy lifting for you, freeing up your time to do the things you’re best at—working with your clients.

10. Slapping Up a SOLD Sign

Most Cringeworthy Mistakes Listing Agents Make

I made this mistake many times until it was pointed out to me that when you put a SOLD on your yard sign, you’re missing out on new client opportunities. It was a light bulb moment, for sure. 

When buyers are driving through a neighborhood and see your sign, you want them to contact you. If your sign has a big, fat SOLD stuck on it, you’re basically telling those buyers that they’ve missed out and you’re not available to help them. And they don’t call.

Instead of sticking a SOLD on your listing yard sign, order one of the many different types of SOLD signs that you can use to highlight your happy buyers. You can work those photos into your social media, have tons of pics with your clients, and honestly, it will look so much better than an ugly SOLD on your sign.

11. Not Standing Out as an Expert

Most Cringeworthy Mistakes Listing Agents Make

Along with marketing your listings professionally, you have to market yourself. It has been proven over and over through social experiments that humans have a difficult time saying “no” to people who represent authority. 

Additionally, the latest statistics show sellers look for “professional reputation” as the number one trait in an agent.

Many agents fail to put themselves out there as an expert in their market. And if you’re not seen as that go-to agent, you could lose money for your sellers. When you don’t express leadership in the transaction, you’re not in the best position to negotiate. 

In order to give your sellers the opportunity to negotiate the best terms for their home sale, you have to drive the transaction. You want to represent your client’s interests in the most authoritative way you can.


Your Take

Have you made some of these mistakes? Did you just learn one or two that you didn’t know? These are only a few examples of some of the most common missteps agents make.

Mistakes will happen. But don’t worry, mistakes make us better. If we don’t screw up from time to time, we’ll just grow complacent and never reach our fullest potential.

Share some of your biggest missteps in the comments. We all get better and learn from each other by sharing our experiences. I can’t wait to read them.

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