Times are tough in case you have not heard. The dollar has been in a free fall for some time, real estate prices have plummeted, people are not buying goods and services, companies are laying people off and as a result 3 million more Americans have lost their jobs in the past year alone! With all of this bad news, how are you as a seller to trust with selling one of your biggest assets…your home? It is clear that unless your real estate agent is changing with the market, they will be left behind. Sure, there are still real estate agents that put a few photos on the Multiple Listing Service (MLS) and go home and prop their feet up but most have been weeded out. Those that are still around are working, but they cannot afford to do the mandatory things like provide professional photos and virtual tours, Realtor.com showcase listings, Interactive Voice Response (IVR), expensive signage, home books and flyers. The reasons they do not do this vary but one thing is for sure, they have made it a priority to spend their money on something else…like surviving the market. So, when you are looking for a realtor, what should you be looking for? Realtor.org listed 12 Questions to Ask When Choosing Your Realtor® that can be found by clicking on the following link: http://www.realtor.org/rmosales_and_marketing/handoutsforcustomers/handouts/seller13 Here is a direct quote of what it reads about the question, “What types of specific marketing systems and approaches will you use to sell my home? You don’t want someone who’s going to put a For Sale sign in the yard and hope for the best. Look for someone who has aggressive and innovative approaches, and knows how to market your property competitively on the Internet. Buyers today want information fast, so it’s important that your REALTOR® is responsive” (Realtor.org, 2009). Here are my 12 ways to market a home that are “must have’s” for every successful realtor: 1. Professional Photos 2. Virtual Tours 3. Showcase Listings on www.Realtor.com 4. Drive-by Lead Capture System (IVR) 5. Flyer's For Drive-by's 6. In-Home Books 7. Table Tents to Highlight Important Home Features 8. Automatic Showing Feedback 9. Great Web Presence 10. Weekly Email Blasts 11. CD/DVD Buyer’s Packets 12. CD Business Cards The bottom line is that if the seller interviews 10 agents only one will have already implemented the aforementioned marketing system. This is the realtor I would choose if I wanted a real estate agent to help me sell my home. It pays to know what to look for in a real estate agent because they are not all created equal.