Do your homework before choosing real estate company, agent

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When listing your home for sale, are all real estate companies and agents created equal?

No, they are not! They offer numerous services and marketing, all of which can differ from company to company and from agent to agent.

For example, some agents utilize professional photography while others take their own photos (to make the best impression when potential buyers first see your home online).

Additionally, a home warranty may be included in the listing (adds value to your home and gives the potential buyer peace of mind).

Most real estate companies and agents offer the following services and marketing:

• Evaluate property, competition, market conditions

• Prepare a market analysis to determine pricing strategies

• Utilize an effective marketing plan to attract buyers

• Prepare a listing contract and include review options

• Take photos of property for MLS and online marketing

• Enter listing in MLS, include brief descriptions

• Syndicate to Zillow, Trulia, other major real estate sites

• Prepare attractive property brochures for buyers at showings

• Include house flyer in MLS as an optional document

• Email blast to all area real estate agents

• Schedule property for broker and agent tours

• Hold open houses if appropriate to attract buyers

• Utilize additional print advertising and marketing

Some companies and agents add the following enhanced services and marketing:

• Online marketing to find buyers instead or waiting for buyers to find your home

• Include magazines, associations, clubs, blogs, etc. in marketing for unique homes

• Use email lists from professional data gathering companies for the above

• Utilize effective post card campaigns as well as online marketing

• Offer exclusive property websites that promote properties 24/7

• Use single property website that syndicates to 200-plus real estate directories

• Ensure that all photos for MLS and online marketing are taken by professional real estate photographers

• Include a home warranty that covers the home during listing period and then transfers to seller (big plus!)

• Prepare virtual open houses so that prospective buyers can visit your home online to see and appreciate all the special value-added features

When choosing a real estate agent and company to sell your home, remember that not all real estate companies and agents are created equal. It is a good idea to review and compare the services and marketing that they offer and choose the agent - and company - who will work best for you.

Larry Stoller is the broker-owner and Realtor with Real Estate Five of the Lowcountry. Larry @RealEstateFive.com or RealEstateFive.com

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