Good agents work hard and smart

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Your real estate agent must wear many hats to get your home from "For Sale" to "Just Sold."

When selling a home, you might be surprised at the amount of preparation and ongoing tasks that have to be performed. Showing your house is a small part of an agent's job. Successful, full-service agents who are good at their job will be doing the following:

Correctly pricing your home. Outstanding agents will understand the local market and prepare a Comparative Market Analysis (CMA) to determine an optimal price range for your home.

Presenting the property. From curb appeal to staging the home, knowledgeable agents know how to highlight the special features that buyers want.

Educating the buyer. Savvy agents will provide an attractive house flyer that includes lots of valuable information to all prospective buyers who visit your home.

Marketing the house to buyers. Using internet advertising, email marketing, direct mail advertising, newspaper ads and more, smart agents will use all the right tools to attract buyers.

Marketing the house to all agents. An agent's most important target market is other agents. In addition to the MLS (Multiple Listing Service), successful agents also use top internet web sites and email marketing.

Tapping into buyer referrals. Some agents have a robust buyer network and may already have a buyer for your home.

Negotiating for you. When an offer comes in, your agent becomes messenger, expediter and manager, helping you with counter offers, contingencies, inspections, and keeping track of all documentation.

Ensuring a successful closing. Effective agents stay in close touch with attorneys, loan officers, inspectors and others to make sure the closing is successful.

Here is what good agents do for their buyers: help understand the home-buying process, assist with mortgage lending issues, find available properties that meet specific criteria, set up appointments, provide transportation to the properties, prepare the offer to purchase, negotiate the purchase, effectively present the counter-offers, process all the paperwork, and prepare for the closing.

Most of the pressure is on your agent to keep the process moving forward. It's time-consuming and sometimes stressful, with twists and turns along the road. It's your agent's job to make the transaction smooth and problem-free.

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

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