184 Things REALTORS ® Do To Earn Their Commission

Dated: 02/11/2018

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184 Things REALTORs® Do To Earn Their Commission

lighterside-staff-authorBy Lighter Side Staff  |  Read More

Listed here are 184 typical actions, research steps, procedures, processes and review stages in a successful residential real estate transaction that are normally provided by full service real estate brokerages in return for their sales commission. Depending on the transaction, some may take minutes, hours, or even days to complete, while some may not be needed.

More importantly, they reflect the level of skill, knowledge and attention to detail required in today’s real estate transaction, underscoring the importance of having help and guidance from someone who fully understands the process – a REALTOR®.

    Pre-Listing Activities

  1. Make appointment with seller for listing presentation

  2. Send seller a written or e-mail confirmation of listing appointment and call to confirm

  3. Review pre-appointment questions

  4. Research all comparable currently listed properties

  5. Research sales activity for past 18 months from MLS and public records databases

  6. Research “Average Days on Market” for this property of this type, price range and location

  7. Download and review property tax roll information

  8. Prepare “Comparable Market Analysis” (CMA) to establish fair market value

  9. Obtain copy of subdivision plat/complex lay-out

  10. Research property’s ownership & deed type

  11. Research property’s public record information for lot size & dimensions

  12. Research and verify legal description

  13. Research property’s land use coding and deed restrictions

  14. Research property’s current use and zoning

  15. Verify legal names of owner(s) in county’s public property records

  16. Prepare listing presentation package with above materials

  17. Perform exterior “Curb Appeal Assessment” of subject property

  18. Compile and assemble formal file on property

  19. Confirm current public schools and explain impact of schools on market value

  20. Review listing appointment checklist to ensure all steps and actions have been completed

  21. Listing Appointment Presentation

  22. Give seller an overview of current market conditions and projections

  23. Review agent’s and company’s credentials and accomplishments in the market

  24. Present company’s profile and position or “niche” in the marketplace

  25. Present CMA Results To Seller, including Comparables, Solds, Current Listings & Expireds

  26. Offer pricing strategy based on professional judgment and interpretation of current market conditions

  27. Discuss Goals With Seller To Market Effectively

  28. Explain market power and benefits of Multiple Listing Service

  29. Explain market power of web marketing, IDX and REALTOR.com

  30. Explain the work the brokerage and agent do “behind the scenes” and agent’s availability on weekends

  31. Explain agent’s role in taking calls to screen for qualified buyers and protect seller from curiosity seekers

  32. Present and discuss strategic master marketing plan

  33. Explain different agency relationships and determine seller’s preference

  34. Review and explain all clauses in Listing Contract & Addendum and obtain seller’s signature Once Property is Under Listing Agreement

  35. Review current title information

  36. Measure overall and heated square footage

  37. Measure interior room sizes

  38. Confirm lot size via owner’s copy of certified survey, if available

  39. Note any and all unrecorded property lines, agreements, easements

  40. Obtain house plans, if applicable and available

  41. Review house plans and make copy

  42. Order plat map for retention in property’s listing file

  43. Prepare showing instructions for buyers’ agents and agree on showing time window with seller

  44. Obtain current mortgage loan(s) information: companies and & loan account numbers

  45. Verify current loan information with lender(s)

  46. Check assumability of loan(s) and any special requirements

  47. Discuss possible buyer financing alternatives and options with seller

  48. Review current appraisal if available

  49. Identify Home Owner Association manager if applicable

  50. Verify Home Owner Association Fees with manager – mandatory or optional and current annual fee

  51. Order copy of Homeowner Association bylaws, if applicable

  52. Research electricity availability and supplier’s name and phone number

  53. Calculate average utility usage from last 12 months of bills

  54. Research and verify city sewer/septic tank system

  55. Water System: Calculate average water fees or rates from last 12 months of bills )

  56. Well Water: Confirm well status, depth and output from Well Report

  57. Natural Gas: Research/verify availability and supplier’s name and phone number

  58. Verify security system, current term of service and whether owned or leased

  59. Verify if seller has transferable Termite Bond

  60. Ascertain need for lead-based paint disclosure

  61. Prepare detailed list of property amenities and assess market impact

  62. Prepare detailed list of property’s “Inclusions & Conveyances with Sale”

  63. Compile list of completed repairs and maintenance items

  64. Send “Vacancy Checklist” to seller if property is vacant

  65. Explain benefits of Home Owner Warranty to seller

  66. Assist sellers with completion and submission of Home Owner Warranty Application

  67. When received, place Home Owner Warranty in property file for conveyance at time of sale

  68. Have extra key made for lockbox

  69. Verify if property has rental units involved. And if so:

  70. * Make copies of all leases for retention in listing file

  71. * Verify all rents & deposits

  72. * Inform tenants of listing and discuss how showings will be handled

  73. Arrange for installation of yard sign

  74. Assist seller with completion of Seller’s Disclosure form

  75. “New Listing Checklist” Completed

  76. Review results of Curb Appeal Assessment with seller and provide suggestions to improve salability

  77. Review results of Interior Décor Assessment and suggest changes to shorten time on market

  78. Load listing into transaction management software program

  79. Entering Property in Multiple Listing Service Database

  80. Prepare MLS Profile Sheet — Agents is responsible for “quality control” and accuracy of listing data

  81. Enter property data from Profile Sheet into MLS Listing Database

  82. Proofread MLS database listing for accuracy – including proper placement in mapping function

  83. Add property to company’s Active Listings list

  84. Provide seller with signed copies of Listing Agreement and MLS Profile Sheet Data Form within 48 hours

  85. Take additional photos for upload into MLS and use in flyers. Discuss efficacy of panoramic photography

  86. Marketing The Listing

  87. Create print and Internet ads with seller’s input

  88. Coordinate showings with owners, tenants, and other Realtors®. Return all calls – weekends included

  89. Install electronic lock box if authorized by owner. Program with agreed-upon showing time windows

  90. Prepare mailing and contact list

  91. Generate mail-merge letters to contact list

  92. Order “Just Listed” labels & reports

  93. Prepare flyers & feedback faxes

  94. Review comparable MLS listings regularly to ensure property remains competitive in price, terms, conditions and availability

  95. Prepare property marketing brochure for seller’s review

  96. Arrange for printing or copying of supply of marketing brochures or fliers

  97. Place marketing brochures in all company agent mail boxes

  98. Upload listing to company and agent Internet site, if applicable

  99. Mail Out “Just Listed” notice to all neighborhood residents

  100. Advise Network Referral Program of listing

  101. Provide marketing data to buyers coming through international relocation networks

  102. Provide marketing data to buyers coming from referral network

  103. Provide “Special Feature” cards for marketing, if applicable

  104. Submit ads to company’s participating Internet real estate sites

  105. Price changes conveyed promptly to all Internet groups

  106. Reprint/supply brochures promptly as needed

  107. Loan information reviewed and updated in MLS as required

  108. Feedback e-mails/faxes sent to buyers’ agents after showings

  109. Review weekly Market Study

  110. Discuss feedback from showing agents with seller to determine if changes will accelerate the sale

  111. Place regular weekly update calls to seller to discuss marketing & pricing

  112. Promptly enter price changes in MLS listing database

  113. The Offer and Contract

  114. Receive and review all Offer to Purchase contracts submitted by buyers or buyers’ agents.

  115. Evaluate offer(s) and prepare a “net sheet” on each for the owner for comparison purposes

  116. Counsel seller on offers. Explain merits and weakness of each component of each offer

  117. Contact buyers’ agents to review buyer’s qualifications and discuss offer

  118. Fax/deliver Seller’s Disclosure to buyer’s agent or buyer upon request and prior to offer if possible

  119. Confirm buyer is pre-qualified by calling Loan Officer

  120. Obtain pre-qualification letter on buyer from Loan Officer

  121. Negotiate all offers on seller’s behalf, setting time limit for loan approval and closing date

  122. Prepare and convey any counteroffers, acceptance or amendments to buyer’s agent

  123. Fax copies of contract and all addendums to closing attorney or title company

  124. When Offer to Purchase Contract is accepted and signed by seller, deliver to buyer’s agent

  125. Record and promptly deposit buyer’s earnest money in escrow account.

  126. Disseminate “Under-Contract Showing Restrictions” as seller requests

  127. Deliver copies of fully signed Offer to Purchase contract to seller

  128. Fax/deliver copies of Offer to Purchase contract to Selling Agent

  129. Fax copies of Offer to Purchase contract to lender

  130. Provide copies of signed Offer to Purchase contract for office file

  131. Advise seller in handling additional offers to purchase submitted between contract and closing

  132. Change status in MLS to “Sale Pending”

  133. Update transaction management program show “Sale Pending”

  134. Review buyer’s credit report results — Advise seller of worst and best case scenarios

  135. Provide credit report information to seller if property will be seller-financed

  136. Assist buyer with obtaining financing, if applicable and follow-up as necessary

  137. Coordinate with lender on Discount Points being locked in with dates

  138. Deliver unrecorded property information to buyer

  139. Order septic system inspection, if applicable

  140. Receive and review septic system report and assess any possible impact on sale

  141. Deliver copy of septic system inspection report lender & buyer

  142. Deliver Well Flow Test Report copies to lender & buyer and property listing file

  143. Verify termite inspection ordered

  144. Verify mold inspection ordered, if required

  145. Tracking the Loan Process

  146. Confirm Verifications Of Deposit & Buyer’s Employment Have Been Returned

  147. Follow Loan Processing Through To The Underwriter

  148. Add lender and other vendors to your management program so agents, buyer and seller can track progress of sale

  149. Contact lender weekly to ensure processing is on track

  150. Relay final approval of buyer’s loan application to seller

  151. Home Inspection

  152. Coordinate buyer’s professional home inspection with seller

  153. Review home inspector’s report

  154. Enter completion into transaction management tracking software program

  155. Explain seller’s responsibilities with respect to loan limits and interpret any clauses in the contract

  156. Ensure seller’s compliance with Home Inspection Clause requirements

  157. Recommend or assist seller with identifying and negotiating with trustworthy contractors to perform any required repairs

  158. Negotiate payment and oversee completion of all required repairs on seller’s behalf, if needed

  159. The Appraisal

  160. Schedule Appraisal

  161. Provide comparable sales used in market pricing to Appraiser

  162. Follow-Up On Appraisal

  163. Enter completion into transaction management program

  164. Assist seller in questioning appraisal report if it seems too low

  165. Closing Preparations and Duties

  166. Contract Is Signed By All Parties

  167. Coordinate closing process with buyer’s agent and lender

  168. Update closing forms & files

  169. Ensure all parties have all forms and information needed to close the sale

  170. Select location where closing will be held

  171. Confirm closing date and time and notify all parties

  172. Assist in solving any title problems (boundary disputes, easements, etc) or in obtaining Death Certificates

  173. Work with buyer’s agent in scheduling and conducting buyer’s Final Walk-Thru prior to closing

  174. Research all tax, HOA, utility and other applicable prorations

  175. Request final closing figures from closing agent (attorney or title company)

  176. Receive & carefully review closing figures to ensure accuracy of preparation

  177. Forward verified closing figures to buyer’s agent

  178. Request copy of closing documents from closing agent

  179. Confirm buyer and buyer’s agent have received title insurance commitment

  180. Provide “Home Owners Warranty” for availability at closing

  181. Reviews all closing documents carefully for errors

  182. Forward closing documents to absentee seller as requested

  183. Review documents with closing agent (attorney)

  184. Provide earnest money deposit check from escrow account to closing agent

  185. Coordinate this closing with seller’s next purchase and resolve any timing problems

  186. Have a “no surprises” closing so that seller receives a net proceeds check at closing

  187. Refer sellers to one of the best agents at their destination, if applicable

  188. Change MLS status to Sold. Enter sale date, price, selling broker and agent’s ID numbers, etc.

  189. Close out listing in your management program

  190. Follow Up After Closing

  191. Answer questions about filing claims with Home Owner Warranty company if requested

  192. Attempt to clarify and resolve any conflicts about repairs if buyer is not satisfied

  193. Respond to any follow-on calls and provide any additional information required from office files.

Whew! That’s a long list!


Did you realize REALTORS® did so many things?

Why Was This List Prepared?

Surveys show that many homeowners and homebuyers are not aware of the true value a REALTOR® provides during the course of a real estate transaction.

The list here is just a baseline since the services may vary within each brokerage and each market. Many REALTORS® routinely provide a wide variety of additional services that are as varied as the nature of each transaction.

By the same token, some transactions may not require some of these steps to be equally successful. However, most would agree that given the unexpected complications that can arise, it’s far better to know about a step and make an intelligent, informed decision to skip it, than to not know the possibility even existed.

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Jon Wise

Jon P. Wise believes customer service is a priority in building a successful business. He strives to ascertain the needs and wants of each client and then uses his knowledge and expertise to make th....

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