oooMarketing your property must be approached in a way that each transaction is unique, and a customized marketing plan that reflects your individual needs and objectives will be created. Initially you will have questions such as What do I need to do to sell my home? How do I sell with the least amount of stress? What is my home worth? And, How long will it take to sell my home? Go over an agent's detailed marketing plan thoroughly before you sign a listing contract. I will give you some things to look out for when meeting with a Real Estate Professional, If you are to be employing an agents services for a period of two to five months, I would suggest finding someone with a good personality match, someone who is always available, and who is prompt and truthful with any communications you may have. I would also inquire about the following topics.

1. Two hours of their time - An Agent should be willing to give you at least two hours of their time to go over in detail their marketing plan, and give you a pre-listing package with information about their company, themselves, and what sets them apart in the field.
2. A Competitive Marketing Analysis - After doing extensive background research, an agent should present you with a detailed and free CMA. The CMA compares your house to similar homes in your area that have recently sold based on size, features and market data, including current economic conditions and school information. Using this information, the agent suggests a listing price.
3. Communication Flow - When there's a showing scheduled, you will need to know about it. When there's an offer, the agent needs to tell you immediately. Commitment to you with regular updates and consistent communication ensures you'll never wonder how your sale is progressing. You need someone who will answer your calls. You should have a feel for this in the beginning of the relationship.
4. Willingness to hold Open Houses - The fact is that a lot of agents don’t like to hold open houses. Many agents will simply enter your property into the Multiple Listing Service and pray that it sells. If your home is not exposed to every potential buyer, you are missing a huge component of a successful and professional marketing plan. Make sure that this option is available to you and your home.
5. Salability Checklist - The listing agent tours your home and suggests improvements that will increase its appeal to potential buyers. Buyers are attracted to houses that don't require much work and your agent may recommend you do some minor repairs, install new carpet, redecorate or paint. A great agent will be very protective of their client’s money, they will be thinking in terms of the comparison of potential improvements to the return on investment. If it doesn’t add value in excess of the cost of improvement, or it won’t eliminate an obstacle to the sale of your home, then don’t do it!
6. Multiple Listing Service (MLS) - This is a database of all the homes in a given area that are listed by registered users (which includes the vast majority of agents). Your listing agent will write up a listing that details your home's qualities and attach a photo. Other agents will see it when searching the database for properties that match their clients' criteria. They pay special attention to homes that have been recently placed on the market, and you expand your sales force by the number of local MLS members. Instead of having just one agent working for you, now you may have hundreds or more, depending on the size of your community.
7. Personal Website - 93 percent of homebuyers used the Internet to search for homes last year. Without a web presence you are moved to the back of the line, yet surprisingly 40 percent of agents nationwide are without their own personal website. In today’s market this facet of your marketing is absolutely essential.
8. Custom Brochures - The listing agent must create sales brochures featuring your property. Full color brochures that are distributed to the neighbors, mailed to the community, and personally put into the hands of potential buyers at Open Houses is key to effective marketing. It gets your house sold for the most money, with the shortest market time, and with the least inconvenience to you.

To see an example Click here (pdf download)

9. Personal Service - This should probably be number one. If you don’t feel that your agent is working personally with you, as opposed to being “another one of their clients.” You are not getting the service that you deserve. An agent should not be looking only to “close this one deal” This should be seen as a long-term relationship. Your Real Estate Professional should be someone you can call at any time with Real Estate related matters, including before retaining their services, and well after the close of escrow.


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