Your Realtor’s Critical Role

Your Realtor’s Critical Role

 In Your Real Estate Transaction


What’s with the List?

Many surveys show that neither home owners nor home buyers realize the true value they obtain from their Realtor® during their real estate transaction (their Realtor’s Critical Role). As Realtor®s, we often assume that our hard work and expertise is seen, understood and appreciated by our clients.  This  disconnect happens because so much of what happens during a real estate transaction is “undercover” and never seen by our clients as we work to make the transaction as seamless as possible. With this magazine, we seek to bridge the gap that frequently occurs here. So, on the following pages, we have listed more than 200 of the usual tasks that a Realtor® completes and/or oversees during your real estate transaction.

Though this list is not complete, as different transaction require different services and tasks, the list will give you an idea of the undercover items in addition to the ones that most clients would typically see. Some of these items may take only a few minutes to  complete while others may take days to do properly.

Pre-Listing Activities

  • Make appointment with seller to give listing presentation
  • Send seller a written or e-mail confirmation of listing appointment and call to confirm
  • Review pre-appointment questions
  • Provide Pre-Sale Kit to seller
  • Research all comparables currently listed properties
  • Research sales activity for the past 6 months from Multiple Listing Service (MLS) and public records
  • Research “Average Days on Market” for similar  properties
  • Download and review property tax roll information
  • Prepare Competitive Market Analysis (CMA) to establish fair market value.
  • Research property’s ownership and deed type
  • Research property’s public record information for lot size
  • Research property’s current use and zoning.
  • Verify legal names of owner(s) in county’s public property records
  • Prepare listing presentation package with above materials and MLS information
  • Perform exterior “Curb Appeal Assessment” of subject property
  • Compile and assemble formal file on property
  • Review listing appointment checklist to ensure all steps and actions have been completed
  • Listing Appointment Presentation
  • Tour subject property with seller, reviewing interior and exterior conditions; obtain information about best features of property, past repairs and defects if any
  • Give seller an overview of current market conditions
  • Present company’s profile and position or “niche” in the marketplace
  • Present Comptetive Marketing Analysis (CMA) results to seller, including comparables—solds, current listings, in escrow
  • Offer pricing strategy based upon professional judgment and interpretation of current market conditions
  • Discuss goals with seller to help market effectively
  • Explain benefits of MLS
  • Explain market exposure resulting from and other websites
  • Explain the works that brokerage and agents do “behind the scenes” and agent’s availability evenings and weekends
  • Explain agent’s role in pre-screening buyers and protecting seller from wasted time due to “looky-loos”
  • Present and discuss strategic master marketing plan
  • Explain different agency relationships
  • Review and explain all clauses in Residential Listing Agreement and answer any questions.
  • Obtain seller’s signature and provide a signed copy to seller
  • Discuss commission structure and answer any additional questions

Once Listing Agreement is Signed

  • Review current title information
  • Determine square footage
  • Obtain house plans if available
  • Review house plans and make copy
  • Prepare showing instructions for buyers’ agents and discuss with seller showing times and any other requirements seller may have for showings
  • Obtain current mortgage loan statements for payoff purposes
  • Verify current loan amounts
  • Discuss possible financing alternatives such as seller carryback with seller
  • Review most recent appraisal
  • Obtain homeowner association (HOA) management contact information if applicable
  • Verify HOA fees
  • Request copy of HOA bylaws if applicable
  • Verify security system (if any) as well as current term of service and whether equipment was leased or purchased
  • Ascertain need for lead-paint disclosures (1978)
  • Prepare detailed list for property’s amenities and assess market impact
  • Prepare detailed list of property’s exclusions and inclusions for attachments to property
  • Compile list of completed repairs and maintenance items
  • Explain benefits of homeowner warranty to seller
  • Have extra keys made for lockbox
  • Verify if property has rental units included
  • Determine leasing periods if applicable
  • Obtain copies of leases, if any
  • Verify all rents and deposits held by seller
  • Inform tenants of listing and discuss showing instructions.
  • Arrange for installation of yard sign
  • Install lockbox
  • Assist seller with completion of disclosure forms
  • “New Listing Checklist” completed
  • Review results of “Curb Appeal Assessment” with seller and provide suggestions to improve appeal
  • Review result of “Interior Décor Assessment” and make suggestions to shorten market time
  • Develop marketing plan with seller and provide copy once property is listed
  • Discuss how offers are to be handled, particularly multiple offers
  • Discuss possibility of dual agency
  • Take multiple photos for MLS listings, websites and virtual tours
  • Take videos of home and community

Entering Property in to Multiple Listing Service

  • Prepare MLS Property Profile Sheet  taking care for accuracy
  • Enter data from Property Profile Sheet in to MLS
  • Proofread MLS listing for accuracy
  • Add property to company website
  • Provide seller with signed copy of Listing Agreement and a printout of MLS listing within 48 hours; revise MLS listing as needed based upon seller’s feedback

Market the Listing

  • Create print and internet ads with sellers’ input
  • Determine and confirm dates for public and broker open houses
  • Enter dates for broker and public open houses in to MLS and other websites
  • Coordinate showing times with seller, tenants and other agents
  • Return all calls regarding house promptly
  • Prepare mailing and contact list
  • Generate mail merge letters to contact list
  • Prepare flyers and feedback  faxes (if used)
  • Ensure copies of marketing brochures are available at the property and in the brochure box if applicable
  • Record 24-hour 800# hotline property information (if used)
  • Email all contacts in database and current buyers regarding new listing
  • Review comparable MLS listings regularly to ensure that property remains competitive in terms of price, terms, conditions and availability
  • Prepare property marketing  brochure for sellers’ review (for open houses and showings)
  • Mail out “just listed” notice to all neighborhood residents; invite neighbors to open house via “gossip” cards
  • Provide marketing data to buyers coming from referral network
  • Submit ads to internet real estate websites
  • Convey pricing changes promptly to all websites and MLS
  • Reprint brochures as needed and re-supply
  • Obtain feedback from buyers’ agents
  • Discuss feedback from showing agents to determine if changes will accelerate sale
  • Place weekly calls or emails to seller to discuss marketing, pricing, feedback and  changes in the market

The Offer and Contract

  • Receive and review all offers to purchase contracts submitted by buyer or buyers’ agents and ensure all information is included such as pre-approval letter and proof of funds
  • Present all offers to seller, preferably face-to-face
  • Counsel seller on all offers and answer all questions, including strength of offer and contingencies
  • Contact buyer’s agent and buyer’s lender to discuss buyer’s qualifications and offer
  • Request copy of pre-approval  and proof of funds if they are not provided with offer
  • Generate mail-merge letters to contact list
  • Negotiate all offers on sellers’ behalf, including price, contingencies and close of escrow
  • Prepare and send any counter offers or acceptance to buyer’s agent
  • Once an offer is signed and accepted by buyer and seller, send copy to escrow
  • Determine if property will still be shown now that it is “in escrow” and make necessary changes in MLS
  • Confirm that earnest money is deposited into escrow
  • Cancel any scheduled open houses, if necessary
  • Deliver copies of fully executed purchase agreement to seller
  • Advise seller how to handle any additional offers that come in after purchase agreement is fully signed
  • Change MLS status to pending or backup

During Loan Processing

  • Contact buyers’ lender to ensure that all necessary information has been provided.
  • Follow loan processing throughout escrow to be kept up to date and be certain that timeline is followed.
  • Contact lender weekly to see if loan is progressing.
  • Keep seller informed of loan process and if there are any issues or delays.
  • Relay final approval to seller once received.

Home Inspections

  • Coordinate buyer’s third party inspection of property
  • Coordinate pest inspection if required by contract
  • Review home inspector’s report and discuss with seller
  • Review request for repairs and discuss and advise seller
  • Negotiate request for repairs with buyer’s agent
  • Determine if buyer is moving ahead with purchase after inspection and request for repairs
  • Ensure seller’s compliance with home repair requirements
  • Recommend or assist seller in finding trustworthy contractors to complete repairs
  • Negotiate payment and oversee repairs on seller’s behalf

The Appraisal

  • Schedule appraisal with lender’s appraiser and accompany to property
  • Provide comparable sales for review for appraisal as needed
  • Follow-up on appraisal with lender
  • Notify buyer’s agent that appraisal has been completed

Closing Duties and Preparation

  • Verify contract is signed and initialed by all parties
  • Coordinate closing process with escrow, buyer’s agent and   buyers’ lender
  • Ensure all required forms are received by all parties
  • Confirm closing date and inform all parties
  • Assist in solving any title issues such as death certificates and pay offs
  • Work with buyer’s agent to schedule final walk through
  • Request final closing figures from escrow
  • Receive and carefully review preliminary closing statement for accuracy
  • Review statement with seller
  • Confirm buyer’s agent and lender have received title commitment
  • Order homeowner’s warranty if applicable
  • Coordinate closing with seller’s next purchase if applicable
  • Refer seller’s to my nationwide network of Realtor®s if purchasing new home out of the area
  • Change MLS listing to sold. Enter date of sale, price and other terms so that it can be properly used for comparable purposes
  • Close out listing in MLS and office file
  • Send thank you cards to buyer’s agent, escrow and other parties involved in transaction
  • Follow Up After Closing
  • Answer questions about anything that came up during closing
  • Attempt to clarify and resolve any repair issues with buyer if applicable
  • Respond to any follow-up calls from all involved parties
  • Provide any additional information requested





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