Selling your house? Don't be bamboozled by a listing presentation

A good rule of thumb when you're selling your house is to interview three real estate agents before picking.

But how do you decide who to pick? Any real estate agent worth his salt will have a slick presentation ready, complete with a marketing plan, a comparative market analysis, and pages and pages of Xeroxed content designed to convince you that he or she is the agent for the job.

The problem is that a lot of the stuff that they'll hand you is just utter garbage -- and it's all the same. That comparative market analysis is generated by a computer and is accurate about as often as it isn't. And the "technology savvy marketing plan?" Also likely to be complete barf.

One agent I spoke with recently bragged that all of his listings were featured on HGTV.com, Realtor.com, AOL Real Estate, Trulia, Zillow, and a slew of other sites. The problem? All of those sites are aggregators of MLS listings, so any property that is listed with any Realtor will appear on those sites.