Need To Sell Your Home Quick? Don’t Pass Up These 4 Steps To Selling Success

Don’t get caught this winter out in the cold with a home you need to sell.  Take these four steps in order to sell your property for the highest possible price in the shortest amount of time.  We recommend at least a month of prep-time to get your home ready for the market.  Get to it!  Fall will be here before you know it.

Need To Sell Your Home Quick

Curb Appeal

So curb appeal is more critical than you might give it credit for.  Know that first impressions are absolutely essential for drawing in homebuyer interest.  Everything from the landscaping, to the condition of your driveway, to the front door and everything in between will paint a picture for potential buyers of what your home is like.  The appeal or lack thereof will tell buyers if it’s even worth walking through the front door to see the interior of the listing.

When time’s a pressing issue, what are some quick fixes to your home’s curb appeal that will go a long way?

Paint Your Front Door – The front door says: “Hello, look at me!” or “Get the heck off my property.”  Which one does your front door presently convey?  The front door is your home’s smile, make it pop, but make sure it complements the rest of your home’s façade.

Attend To The Chaos – Are your shrubs overgrown?  Do your weeds need to be tamed?  Are you cutting your grass on a regular schedule?  These are things if not kept in check can spell disaster for any hopes of hooking a buyer.  Step back from the front of your home, as see what needs attention.

Driveway Devotion – Resealing a driveway can be a great way to boost your home’s curb appeal.  It’s an affordable upgrade that can go a long way.  People who drive onto your property will notice a driveway that’s in poor shape.  Homeowners need not worry about ones which are in decent shape, but if potential buyers believe they’re off-roading instead of previewing a home, there’s a big problem.

Professional Photography

You’ve nailed your home’s curb appeal, but have you pay attention to its digital appeal?  We understand that 89% of all buyers and 93% of those thirty-five years of age and younger search for homes online.*  It’s important to know a vast majority of homebuyers will seek out their future home via their smartphone, tablet or computer prior to experiencing it in person.  Have you taken the proper steps to at least minimally stage your home and perhaps more importantly, utilize professional photography to showcase it online?

Keep in mind that the first showing of your home is online nowadays.  It’s important as a homeowner that you gauge how consumers will view your property.  Do your rooms appear smaller than they actually are?  Are you making good use of angles and vantage points when taking photos?  Do you have that money shot?  Have you determined the time of the day that’s best to photograph rooms in your home?

Some real estate professionals do a great job at undertaking this task.  Others will outsource a third party who specializes in producing professional photography specifically for homes entering the market.  As a homeowner, it’s important to see a portfolio of options the real estate agent has for you at their disposal.


Your real estate agent can assist you in effectively pricing your home.  This will allow you to expose your home to the largest pool of buyers in the right price range.  Perhaps one of the worst things you can do is to price your home inconsistent with its fair market value!

Even if you’re in a hurry to move, pricing is probably the most important element of the game.  Therefore, keeping your emotions at bay and delving into a market analysis, can put you on the best path for pricing perfection in today’s market.  Have your real estate professional provide a detailed, customized comparable market analysis (CMA) for your property.  This will help you and he/she arrive at a number that makes the most sense.  Both time and money can play a factor here.  It’s important to look at the big picture and weigh all the scenarios with your agent.

Pay Attention To The Details

So you’ve focused on the first three, great!  Now what?  If time permits, take a step back and begin to see the smaller glaring details that might stick out as eye sores to prospective purchasers.  Are there light bulbs out around the house?  Maybe a fixed leak in the ceiling still shows signs of an issue that doesn’t exist anymore?  Maybe an appliance is in obvious need of repair/replacement?  Whatever the issue, the seller should now turn their attention to these things, especially if time allows.

Don’t underestimate the small home repairs.  Buyers tend to notice these, especially if they’re obvious.  As a homeowner, pay attention to clutter, depersonalization, lighting, scent, cleanliness and staging.  These are details that can make or break the potential for an offer!


* The National Association of REALTORS® 2016 Home Buyer & Seller General Trends

3 Indicators You Picked The Right Real Estate Agent

The stupendous world of real estate can sometimes be a tough nut to crack.  It’s full of all sorts of highs and lows and in-betweens.  There’s talk of interest rates and low inventory and pre-approvals.  As a consumer, where do you even start?

Some from time-to-time have navigated these waters of uncertainty with prosperity, but for the vast majority of home buyers and sellers, a successful real estate professional is needed to guide and follow-through with the transaction.  If you’ve recently entered the market or if you’re thinking about doing so and have little to no experience with either buying or selling, you might be confused as to how one would go about selecting a top-notch real estate agent.  There are many great qualities you’ll want to keep your eyes opened for in discovering a good match: An agent’s tenacity, work ethic, organization, knowledge of the market, use of technology, use of social media, attention to detail and the like.  However, we got even more specific and narrowed down the list.

We’ve laid out three indicators that you picked the right real estate agent:

He/She is always honest with you and it shows

In any relationship, honesty is a foundational virtue allowing the relationship to prosper and grow.  So too in real estate, if your agent lacks the ability to be honest with you about the current market conditions, their schedule of availability, about what the other parties have said, etc. then he/she is not a good fit for you.  Honesty can save you from unnecessary worry throughout the real estate process.  Honesty is the backbone of any great REALTOR® – it will drive his/her decision-making process and it affects how he/she responds under pressure.  And at times the truth hurts, but you may need to hear it.  If an agent can be honest with you even when it may costs he/she some money in the process, you’ve found a superb trait for your agent to possess.

He/She is someone you love to work with

In life, we often don’t get a choice as to who we must interact with on a daily basis – a few of my old high school teachers I got stuck with immediately come to mind.  There’s absolutely no reason why you shouldn’t enjoy working with your real estate agent.  This is an adventure of grand proportions, where you’ll be making one of the largest investments of your life.  Don’t take the selection process lightly and don’t sign a buyer’s agency agreement (or at least not for a long period of time) until you have found an agent who you jive well with and have a great rapport.  Communication is essential in any business, especially a real estate one.  You need a professional that will pick up the phone to answer your call, follow-up on things right away and one who is a relationship-builder.  When you enjoy being around a particular agent and you’re about to pursue buying or selling real estate, lock them up and sign a buyer’s agency agreement.

He/She doesn’t sit on the sidelines waiting for things to happen

The better real estate professionals understand they are not drones; they don’t just sit on the sidelines and take orders from their customers and clients.  Successful agents are proactive.  Successful agents will anticipate problems and possible solutions for those issues.  They’ll be aggressive and look out for their client’s best interests.  As a seller, if you’ve found a good agent, you’ll know it by how much of a priority you and your home is to him/her.  As a buyer, you’ll know if you’ve connected with one if they treat you and your property search with the utmost importance.

Find A Home In Pennsylvania

Find A Home In Pennsylvania

Find A Home In Pennsylvania

Come find a home in Pennsylvania.  Better yet, Northeastern PA (NEPA) is a wonderful place to live.  I live in Dunmore, on the outskirts of Scranton City.  It’s a great area to live, work and vacation.

Pennsylvania is full of blue collar workers, built on steel in the west and coal in the east.  Many throughout the Commonwealth work in various trades.  There’s opportunity for nurses, educators, contractors, just to name a few.  There’s work and then there’s play too: Come see all that our beautiful state has to offer!  Have you ever been to the Pennsylvania Grand Canyon at Pine Creek Gorge?  How about a trip to Dutch Wonderland?  PNC Park?  Independence Hall?  Everhart Museum?  Crayola Factory?  What are you waiting for?  These are a few of the interesting spots you can enjoy in our state today.

I know I sound like a PSA right about now, but an adventure does await you, especially if you’re a nature lover!

Biking, fishing, hiking, swimming, hunting, skiing – you name it, PA’s got it.  If you’re not into the great outdoors, no worries either, there’s plenty of “non-nature” activities to tackle throughout the year as well.

Visit NEPA

Northeastern PA highlights so much of what works throughout the Commonwealth – the Baby Yanks (Scranton/Wilkes-Barre Yankees), the arts, high school football, great restaurants, universities and shopping/outlets.  NEPA also has unique attributes which can be harder to find when you leave our region such as a superb variety of fantastic pizza, the Nicholson Bridge, Steamtown, Saint Ubaldo’s Festival, Saint Patrick’s Day Parade, Lackawanna Coal Mine Tour and more!

Scranton is arguably the main hub of our area.  I believe it’s a city making a slow-and-steady comeback.  You know Scranton!  Would it help if I said Dunder Mifflin?

I recently came across the following video by NBC News reporter/videographer, Matt Danzico, a Scranton native who produced an interesting piece on our region (as well as my hometown of Pittsburgh).  He addressed a study’s claim, which was released roughly two years ago, where Scranton was found to be America’s unhappiest region.  A little harsh?  Perhaps, but I loved Danzico’s treatment of the survey and this Gawker’s article.

As someone who’s lived in Northeastern PA my entire life, I can tell you that I see a wonderful place to live, raise a family and get involved in community.  Visit Pennsylvania.  Visit NEPA… you’ll love it!

Real Estate Awards 2017

Real Estate Awards 2017

And The Winner Is…

Recently, we held our May gathering/awards reception at The Country Club of Scranton.  On May 10, we announced the real estate awards 2017 winners for Top Producer, Quantum Leap, Social Butterfly, Rookie Of The Year and Community Service.  Please help us in congratulating our 2017 winners:

Top Producer

Runner-Up To Top Producer

Social Butterfly & Runner-Up

Community Service

Quantum Leap

Rookie Of The Year

Featured Home – Countryside Victorian In The Abingtons

104 Fairway Drive

Clarks Summit, PA 18411


Outdoor Space That Leaves A Lasting Impression

Situated in the Abingtons’ countryside, this featured listing is located between and within close proximity of two golf courses – The Country Club Of Scranton and Summit Hills Golf Course.  This Victorian home is located in Newton Township with great access to the Morgan Highway, West Grove Street, Layton Road, schools, shopping, library, Scranton and more.  Huge front and side yard are a real plus.  This corner lot gives you the impression that you own half the street!  Check out the large, multi-level deck, in-ground pool and patio area, which is perfect for hosting a party or gathering.  The outdoor space is spectacular and enhances your views.

You can enjoy Northeastern Pennsylvania’s seasonal views from this listing’s wrap-around porch.  The inviting foyer will surely welcome you home, but you can also enter from its two-car garage through the laundry/mud room into the kitchen as well.  The kitchen features ample counter space, granite counter tops, Sub-Zero fridge with the bonus of a breakfast area.  The formal dining room and living room, perhaps the focal point of this home, “sound” Victorian to the eyes and ears.  The living room features French doors.  The family room has a spacious quality to it, featuring a fireplace, French doors which lead into the kitchen and access to the deck/outside.  The lower-level is finished and showcases an entertainment area in addition to a den.  The master bedroom highlights bay window seating – just wait until you see the master bath!  The other full bath on the second floor accentuates a marble-top vanity.

Countryside Victorian

This new listing has four bedrooms and three baths, not to mention spacious rooms, windows aplenty, new remodeling, hardwood throughout and an artistic touch in every corner meant to inspire you.  This is arguably the most prestigious area of the Abington Heights School District.  This home is priced to sell and won’t be on the market long. Schedule your showing today!

Discover this featured home by taking the Morgan Highway to Country Club Road. Turn on Country Club Road and make a right on Fairway Drive.  104 Fairway Drive is the corner property immediately on your right.

For more information on this listing, contact Gladys Linda Porchetta at 570-766-3719 or

Thinking About Selling? Cash In With These 4 Real Estate Tips

Many things can add to the stress of placing your home on the market.  There’s a timetable of when you hope to or worst yet, need to be out of your house.  There are costs associated with the move from your prior home to your new one.  You may even lack wiggle-room between your mortgage pay-off with closing costs and what you can get for your home on the current market.  And yet, at the top of virtually every homeowner’s list is the dreaded preparation involved prior to putting your home on the market.

Here are four do-it-yourself (DIY) real estate tips for prepping your home to sell:

Appeal To First Impressions


Missing the mark on a first impression in the business world or in a job interview, can be detrimental to the relationship moving forward.  The same absolutely applies to marketing a home in the wonderful world of real estate.  In most cases, depending upon its presentation, the home can leave a potential buyer with a feeling of consideration, disregard, indifference or disgust.  As a seller, your number one goal is getting buyers into your property.  Curb appeal, professional photography, landscaping, smell, etc. attract or deter buyers.  Do you best to appeal to first impressions with homebuyers, so you don’t miss opportunities to sell to the right ones.

Don’t forget: A home’s first impression begins online, the place where you’ll actually get the most “impressions”.  For more on appealing to first impressions, click here.

Depersonalize Your Space

Homeowners would do well to step back from their home prior to listing it for sale.  What I mean by this is having the ability to place yourself in a buyer’s shoes.  You want to be able to see your property from the most objective point of view possible.  Does your home “reek” of you?  Are your photos and your personal artifacts obstructing a buyer’s imagination (see the photo above)?

Don’t forget: Get the advice of a friend who will tell it like it is. This is the advice you need while prepping your home for the market – the cold, hard truth!

More On Space


This leads us to our next important tip, which can be lost in all this appeal and “it’s not about you” talk… you want your home to be spacious and well-balanced.  You might have a smaller home, but it can still give the perception of being spacious through proper staging deployment.  Light, clutter, paint colors and the like all play a significant role in creating space, if you will.  Do your rooms seem dark or confined?  If they do, you would be wise to investigate sources of natural light, look at your window treatments, perhaps change the colors of the rooms and/or add artificial sources of light.  Decluttering a room can really open it up as well.

Don’t forget: Empty/vacant rooms can make a home feel sterile and might actually feel uninviting to potential buyers.  Strike a healthy balance between these two extremes: being constricting or empty.  It would be best to consult a home-stager and/or real estate professional for further advice.

The Most Important Space

Thinking About Selling
Staging/Remodeling your kitchen might be the single most important decision you can make while ramping up to sell your home.  Clean, open and neutral are generally good guidelines to adhere to here, but this varies from market to market.  Granite countertops and stainless steel appliances presently appeal to many buyers as well.  The impact of a kitchen can really resonate with today’s consumers.  Don’t sleep on this one!

Don’t forget: This is the one room that can make or break a deal for you, so strongly consider upgrading yours before putting it on the market.


If you’re thinking about selling your home this year (and now’s a perfect time to do that), focus on these four selling tips first prior to listing it.  Don’t stress about prepping your property.  Call a REALTOR® today in order to create a schedule for getting it market ready in a manageable and reasonable amount of time.

4 Reasons You Should Be Talking About Spring Real Estate

4 Reasons Talking Spring Real Estate

Homebuyers are starting to get nervous, at least that’s what I’ve been hearing.  Inventory’s down and rates are steadily increasing, no?  Most probably won’t remember, last year there was an uncharacteristically large drop in February’s home sales, but we rebounded very nicely in March.  Regardless, there have been other things preoccupying our time recently such as Stella, Russia, the World Baseball Classic, March Madness right down to the Sweet Sixteen and everything in between, and real estate has taken somewhat of a back-seat thus far in 2017.  That will change.

Here are 4 reasons you should be talking about spring real estate this year:

Interest Rates

Last Wednesday, we received the news that the Federal Reserve has raised its benchmark rate and this in turn, has sent some into a panic.  If you’re looking to purchase a home in 2017, maybe even thinking 2018, don’t fret, a Fed rate hike doesn’t automatically correspond to mortgage rate increases.  Yes, we could see mortgage rates climb to 4.5%-4.75% by year’s end, but those are “abyss-mal” from a historical perspective and believe it or not, below the rates a decade ago.

Let’s say you were planning on making a home purchase a year from now where rates would be hovering around 5%, and conceivably this would be a rate-increase you couldn’t afford for a particular home you desired (having certain specifications).  We’ll apply this to our present day and look ahead to March 2018 as well:

March 2017 Purchase March 2018 Purchase Low March 2018 Purchase Avg. March 2018 Purchase High
Loan Amount $130,000 $130,000 $145,000 $171,000
Interest Rate 4.25% 5.00% 5.00% 5.00%
Loan Terms 30-year fixed 30-year fixed 30-year fixed 30-year fixed
Monthly Payment (P&I) $640 $698 $778 $918
Monthly 2017 Savings $58 $65 $77
Yearly 2017 Savings $696 $780 $924

Keep in mind in our local market, the average purchase price is $130,239 (year-to-date 2017, through the Greater Scranton Board of REALTORS®).  Note that the average sales price, each quarter since Q1 2014 until the present has fluctuated between $130,239 and $171,277.  Also, note interest rates vary based upon your credit score and the type of loan program/lender one utilizes.

I think it’s important to acknowledge these range of values as well as the mean purchase price of $145,290 (average price of the last thirteen quarters – GSBR).  If a homebuyer waits a full year to purchase a $171,000 home, they will lose approximately $900+ per year.  I think homebuyers on the fence should strongly consider getting off: At the current average sales price, they will still save about $700/year, by purchasing now versus later.

Last Spring

We saw “all indicators point to [last] spring being the busiest since 2006” (in a statement released a year ago from Jonathan Smoke, Chief Economist at  Freddie Mac, the public government-sponsored enterprise and mortgage loan company, also made a very similar claim at the time.  Not only did this come to fruition, but it carried over into the summer selling season in such a fashion that July was a-typically hot.

So are some of these same factors present in 2017?  Yes, historically low interest rates are still present.  The job market is looking robust and more promising.  Millennials will persist in dominating homebuyer market share and this segment will continue to produce more families.  I’m no Mr. Smoke, but I would say many of these trends still exist.

Locally, our average and median sales prices continue to rise year-over-year:

Average Sales Price Median Sales Price
Q4 2016 $149,529 $130,380
Q4 2015 $147,151 $129,000
Q4 2014 $145,826 $125,000
Q4 2013 $145,042 $125,000

I also believe there’s still repressed housing demand from local buyers.  We’re seeing that despite lower than normal inventories (see below), buyers are still purchasing (pending home sales remain on par with last year through February, 338).  These are great signs for this spring market!

4 Reasons Talking Spring Real Estate

Homes Show Their Best

During this time of the year (as Stella’s stain fades), we’ll begin to see tulips budding and many of the winter shades of gray turn into the greens of spring.  With a quick trip to Lowes, some meaningful landscaping attention and perhaps a good old exterior power-wash, the curb appeal for prospective listings in Northeastern Pennsylvania can show their best.

Perception can be vital here.  Many homebuyers will assume your house’s outward appearance mimics its inward appeal (even if there’s no correlation).  Think about how buyers might experience it at first glance.  Put yourself “in their eyes” – depersonalize and use this season to your advantage.  If you’re looking to sell this year, spring is perhaps the optimal time to showcase your home.

Newer Marketing Channels Are Beginning To Emerge

There are various promotional channels which have existed for some time now, namely MLS, professional photography, detailed property description and open houses, among others.  In addition to these, there are also those intangibles which can really differentiate your home from the rest of the competition such as working with a knowledgeable real estate professional who knows and understands your hyper-local market, establishing the finest first impression for your property online first, then in person, and hiring an agent that drives social media marketing (trust me, they will promote your investment to a much larger pool of buyers).


This brings me to a significant crossroads in real estate in 2017: Newer channels to market clients’ homes are emerging such a Snapchat, Facebook Stories, not to mention we’ve recently witnessed how Instagram and Pinterest can be game-changers for some in real estate.  Video continues to reshape and evolve the landscape.  Geo-fencing has become a wonderful real estate farming mechanism.  These are some of the innovative tools available to today’s real estate professional, which absolutely should be used to sell homes.


As our economy arises from the Great Recession, we are experiencing signs of life.  If inflation is controlled, sustained growth over the years can indeed be promising for many avenues, including real estate.  Last spring was one to remember, but there’s no reason we won’t encounter a similar season in 2017.  Consumers will be talking about real estate more in the weeks to come.  And the above four reasons are why you should be talking about spring real estate too!

Five Ways To Liberate Your Cluttered Home

Clutter can weigh you down and it can get under your skin (or under your bed, many of us know this to be true). Whether you’re looking to sell your home or just plain live in it, clutter can affect your overall health.  In this post, we’re giving you five practical ways to attack your rummage head on.

Five Ways To Liberate Your Cluttered Home

Don’t Bring It In!

The reason this is our first tip for decluttering your home is because it’s the most logical starting point for placing you on the right path to serenity in your home (and maybe even your life).  Think about it, like the dirt and germs on the soles of our shoes, we need to ask this question: What are we bringing into our homes?  We need not wonder why we’re gaining weight, if we’re consuming ice cream and Doritos virtually every night.  Likewise, when we mindlessly bring all sorts of things into our house, should we really be shocked by the mountains of paper and junk that find their way to the nooks and crannies of our abode?

Don’t Overwhelm Yourself

Chances are your house didn’t go from Feng shui to Hoarding: Buried Alive overnight.  In the majority of cases, our messes take gradual possession of us.  Like a stray cat, we welcome it into our homes, into our way of living, and before we know it, the cat’s pulling the strings.  Every room is its playground!  Quite frankly, it’s habits like this that need to be broken and reset.  Twenty-one days to do that, right? – according to Psycho-Cybernetics by Maxwell Maltz (1960).   Again, in an attempt to declutter, take the baby-step approach.  Start small.  Set a schedule in your planner or icloud calendar for each day over the period of several weeks to gradually organize/clean small areas of your home (see the Penicillin Method).

Gorilla In The Room

messy room frantic kid hiding clutter

Perhaps the most troublesome areas of the house (with the exception of the attic) are those places we spend a majority of our time, such as the kitchen or family room.  Yes, it can be intimidating, but the reward of clutter removal in these spaces can really boost one’s confidence.  A successful strategy can be had by compartmentalizing troublesome areas of your home into smaller manageable chunks.

Just Pretend (Or Maybe You Don’t Need To)

Pretend you’re putting your home on the market and if you are, then get to work pronto.  Thus far we haven’t addressed purging your home of extraneous stuff prior to listing it for sale, but this is critical.  Homes with clutter, which lack a sense of openness, can restrict the imagination of the buyers who preview it.  This can make a bad first impression or worse yet, it can negatively affect the fair market value of the home.  Make sure to speak to your real estate professional about other things you can do to make sure you’re maximizing the perception of value potential purchasers have when considering your home for the first time.  If you’re not selling or thinking about selling, pretend you are.  Make a list of those things you’d accomplish over the course of a few weeks/months prior to getting your home market-ready.  Plan it out and trick yourself into thinking you can tackle this monumental task which lies ahead of you – which you can by the way!

Make The Hard Decisions Now

Clutter is a symptom of “decision delay”, plain and simple.  At the end of the day, we need to make those hard decisions and say thank you and goodbye to much of our stuff.  Marie Kondo, a Japanese organizing consultant and author, suggests we ask ourselves this question (and I’m paraphrasing): Is the object in question beautiful, useful or joy-inducing?  If it isn’t, then it’s probably time to ditch it.

Five Ways To Liberate Your Cluttered Home

One method that can help us with these hard decisions is the “four-box method”.  The concept and deployment are simple.  Take four boxes, preferably large (if you have the space hehe), and label them as follows:



Put Away



Item-by-item, ask yourself which of these four boxes does the item ultimately belong?  And in the words of Elsa…

let it go

At the end of the day’s organizational process, empty the contents of each box.  Put the items from the donate/sell box in the garage or in your car to drop off; place the storage items in their proper areas, such as the basement, attic, storage, etc.; those items you are keeping should be placed in more appropriate/functional areas; and the trash items should go into your garbage can right away.


Those are the five ways to liberate your cluttered home. Sure there are other roadblocks to putting our untidiness to bed and getting our space back (and in some ways our health, depending on the severity of the situation).  There are certainly extreme scenarios as well as circumstances where sentimentality can be at the heart of the issue.  Sometimes assessing things on a case-by-case basis is best.  Now and again, help from home-staging experts or clinical psychologists may be in order.

Other Resources

Clutter Free by Kathi Lipp

The Life Changing Magic Of Tidying Up by Marie Kondo

“Psychologists reveal what your household clutter says about your state of mind” (January 23, 2017)

5 Things To Do Before You Buy Your Next Home

Watch These 5 Things Before You Buy

We came across this video from Taylor Tepper of TIME’s Money recently.  It was so good we just had to share it.  Grab some popcorn and enjoy, save this page in your favorites (if you’re not ready to buy just yet), and let us know your thoughts in the comments’ box below.

As a homebuyer, if you’re looking for other resources, please download our new first-time homebuyer’s guide.

When Your Listing Agent Is Also A Selling Agent

AgencySo real estate and agency within the industry can be somewhat complicated to navigate.  Furthermore, having a better understanding of real estate agency can boost seller or buyer confidence throughout a home purchase process.  If you’re not sure about the various types of agency, what a listing agent does or if one even needs a selling agent, read on.

A better understanding of agency can preemptively halt any chaos which can ensue.  In our opinion, it’s critical that your real estate professional take you through hills and valley of agency – listing, selling and so on.  Here’s a primer on agency, where we’ll likewise address when your listing agent is also a selling agent.

Listing Agent

In Pennsylvania, the listing agent (the agent who lists and is actively attempting to find a qualified buyer for a seller’s property) is the agent who works in the best interests of the owner/landlord.  Did you know this agent must “safeguard his principal’s confidence and secrets.  A real estate broker, therefore, must keep confidential any information that might weaken his principal’s bargaining position if it were revealed” except in the case where material defects to the property exist?

The listing agent…

  • Represents the seller
  • Must be loyal to the seller
  • Must uphold confidentially
  • Must make a good faith effort to find a purchaser/tenant
  • Must disclosure their role (as a listing agent and if they’re also acting as a designated or dual agent)


Selling Agent

There are at least two sides to each real estate transaction: Buyer and seller or tenant and landlord.  We’ve discussed the importance of a listing agent, but obviously the other side is as critical to any deal.  A selling agent (aka a buyer’s agent) similarly has fiduciary responsibilities to the purchaser/tenant much like the listing agent has to the owner/landlord.

The selling agent…

  • Represents the buyer
  • Must be loyal to the buyer
  • Must uphold confidentially
  • Must make a good faith effort to find a property for purchaser/tenant
  • Must disclosure their role (as a buyer’s agent and if they’re also acting as a designated or dual agent)

Did you know that a buyer doesn’t need a selling agent?  Is it advisable?  No, but like the migration of the monarch butterfly it does happen from time to time.  In most cases, the seller (via commission paid to the listing company) pays the both the listing agency and the buyer agency.

Dual Agency

Subsequently when your listing agent is also a selling agent this is known as dual agency.  This concept of dual agency may sound absurd to some buyers and sellers alike.  How could a listing agent, who is looking out for the best interests of his/her seller, also act in the best interests of a buyer?  It’s a very good question to think about in addition to having an in depth conversation with your real estate professional.  Dual agency can be undertaken – your listing agent can be a selling agent for your property – when consent is given in writing by both seller and buyer.  It’s done often and ethically.

As a seller or buyer, you might conclude that dual agency just isn’t for you, and that’s okay too.  It’s a conversation you need to have with your REALTOR®.  There are alternatives to dual agency, where a brokerage, if it practices designated agency for instance, can assign a seller or buyer to another real estate agent within the brokerage.

There’s so much more to the “agency story” in Pennsylvania as well as other states throughout the nation.  You can gain more information about these agency relationships by referencing Pennsylvania Association of REALTORS® Consumer Notice and by again, bouncing questions off your real estate professional.  We’re here to help!