When you think about the many hats a real estate agent must wear to get from “For Sale” to “Just Sold,” you might appreciate the phrase “peace of mind before, during, and after the real estate transaction.”

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.

You should expect the following from successful agents who are good at their job:

• Correctly pricing your home. Good agents will understand the local market and prerpare a Comparative Market Anakysis (CMA) to determine an optimal price range for your home.

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

• Educating the buyer. Savvy agents will provide an attractive flyer, property and community information to prospective buyers as soon as they enter the home.

• Marketing the house to buyers. Using internet advertising, email marketing, direct mail advertising, newspaper ads and more, smart agents will effectively promote the property.

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

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

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

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

Here’s what good agents do for their buyers: Help them understand the home-buying process, assist with mortgage lending issues, find available properties that meet buyer’s criteria, set up appointments to view homes, 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 and ensure a problem-free closing.

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