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Why would a Realtor® want to talk to a prospective seller 3 or 4 months before the house was to go on the market in the spring of the year?

In the spring, more than any other time of the year, prospective house buyers start looking at the housing market.  It is important that a seller be the "early bird".  The sooner the house goes on the market, the more people will see it.  An early start with a good Realtor® means that the seller gets a tailored marketing plan for the property.  A part of this plan is reviewing things that need to be done to get the property in tiptop condition for the sale.  (see our 21 ways to help your home sell faster).  Your agent's input can also avoid costly errors in doing too much!

I am an accountant.  When dealing with clients there are specific fiduciary duties (pertaining to trust) I must observe as an agent.  Do real estate agents have similar guidelines? 

The common law of agency applies equally to real estate agents, lawyers, and accountants.  If a real estate agent has earned the title of "Realtor®" that means they belong to an organization that upholds them to the highest in ethical behavior.  Some of the other areas can be summarized as:
Confidentiality:  the client's secrets, including how much he or she might offer if he is a buyer or be willing to accept if she is a seller, must be maintained.
Accountability: the agent is responsible for all funds that change hands until the transaction is closed. 
Reasonable care:  the agent must use their expertise to protect their client against foreseeable risk.
Obedience:  the agent must follow the client's instructions, even if they disagree.
Loyalty: the agent must serve the client's best interests before all others, including his own.

With these guidelines of conduct and responsibility, I help clients in the numerous areas necessary for a profitable sale of their property.  These include establishing a home value, advertising, a marketing plan, buyer screening, showing the home to buyers, and contract negotiations-to name a few.  Please contact me for further information. 

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