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What Does A REALTOR Do For You?

    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. At the same time, regrettably, REALTORS® have generally assumed that the expertise, knowledge and just plain hard work that go into bringing about a successful transition were understood and appreciated.

    Many of the most important services and steps are performed behind the scenes by either the REALTOR® or the brokerage staff and traditionally have been viewed simply as simply a part of their professional responsibilities to the client. But, without them, the transaction could be placed in jeopardy.


Listed on the following pages are 150 typical actions, research steps, processes and review stages

necessary for a successful residential real estate transaction and normally provided by a full service real estate brokerage and for which they are entitled to fair compensation.

    This is by no means and attempt to set forth a comprehensive list of services as these 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 not to know the possibility even existed.

    The REALTORS® Commitment

    Through it all, the personal and professional commitment of the REALTOR® is to ensure that a seller and buyer are brought together in an agreement that provides each with a “win” that is fair and equitable. The motivation is easy to understand. The REALTOR® receives no compensation unless and until the sale closes.

    The critical role of the REALTOR®

Listed here are nearly 200 typical actions, research steps, procedures, processes and review stages in a successful residential real estate transaction.

    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 6 to 12 months from MLS and public records databases

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


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 and deed type

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

12. Research and verify property’s legal description is correct

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. Compile and assemble formal file on property

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

19. Review listed appointment checklist to ensure all steps and actions have been completed

    Listing Appointment Presentation

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

21. Review agent’s credentials and accomplishments in the market

22. Present CMA results to seller, including comparable, solds, currents and expired properties

Offer pricing strategy based on professional judgement and interpretation of current market


24. Discuss goals with seller to market effectively

25. Explain market power and benefits of Multiple Listing Service (MLS) and

Explain agent’s commitment and availability, i.e.; on weekends and evenings - to show property or answer questions

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


28. Present and discuss strategic master marketing plan

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

30. Review and explain all clauses in Listing Contracts and Addendum and obtain seller’s signature

    After Property is Under Listing agreement

31. Review current title information

32. Measure overall and heated and cooled square footage measure interior room sizes

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

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

35. Obtain house plans, if applicable and available

36. Review house plans and make copy for listing file

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

38. Prepare showing instructions for buyer’s agents and agree on showing time window with seller

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

40. Verify current loan information with lender(s)

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

42. Discuss possible buyer financing alternatives and options with seller

43. Review current appraisal, if available

44. Identify Home Owner Association (HOA) manager, if applicable

45. Verify HOA fees with manager - mandatory or optional and annual fee

46. Order copy of HOA Bylaws, if applicable

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

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

49. Research and verify city sewer/septic tank system

50. Calculate average water usage and fees or rates from last 12 months of bills

51. Confirm well status, if applicable - depth and output from Well Report

52. Research/verify Natural Gas availability ad supplier’s name and phone number

Verify security system, current terms of service and whether owned or leased. Verify if seller has transferable Termite Bond

54. Ascertain need for lead-based paint disclosure

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

56. Send a Vacancy Checklist to the seller if property is vacant

57. Explain benefits of Home Owner Warranty to seller

58. Assist seller with completion and submission of Home Owner Warranty application

59. When received, place a copy of the Home Owner Warranty in property file for time of sale

Have extra keys made for lockbox

Verify if property has rental units involved. And, if so: Make copies of lease for file; Verify all rents and deposits; Inform tenants of listing and inform them of how showings will be handled

62. Arrange for installation of yard sign

63. Assist seller with completion of Seller’s Disclosure Form

64. New Listing Checklist Completed

65. Review results of Curb Appeal Assessment with seller and suggest ways to improve salability

66. Review results of Interior Décor Assessment with seller and suggest ways to improve salability

67. Load listing into transaction management software program

    Enter Property in Multiple Listing Service Database

68. Prepare MLS Profile Sheet - Enter into MLS Listing Database

69. Proofread MLS listing for accuracy

70. Add property to agents Active Listing roster

71. Provide seller with copies of Listing Agreement and MLS Profile Sheet. Have seller verify accuracy

72. Take additional photos for MLS Listing and flyers - Discuss Virtual Tour, if applicable

    Marketing the Listing

73. Create internet and print ads

74. Coordinate showings with sellers, tenants (if applicable) and other Realtors. Return all calls promptly - even on weekends

75. Install electronic lockbox, if authorized by seller

76. Prepare Flyers and install holders on Yard Signs

Review comparable MLS listings regularly to ensure property remains competitive in price and


78. Review and update loan information in MLS listing as required

79. Discuss feedback from showing agents with seller to determine changes that will accelerate the sale

80. Make weekly update all to seller to discuss remaining competitive in the market

81. List any selling price changes in MLS database

    The Offer and Contracts

Receive and review all offers of purchase contracts submitted by prospective buyers’ or their


83. Evaluate offer(s) and prepare net sheet on each for the seller for comparison purposes

84. Counsel seller on offer(s). Explain merits and weaknesses of each

85. Contact prospective buyers’ agent to review buyer’s qualifications and to discuss offer

86. Present buyer’s agent with Seller’s Disclosure

87. Confirm buyer is pre-qualified by calling loan officer

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

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

90. Present copies of contract and all addendums to title company

91. Deliver Purchase Contract to buyer’s agent, when signed by seller

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

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

95. Deliver copies of fully signed Offer of Purchase contract to buyer’s agent

96. Deliver copies of fully signed Offer of Purchase contract to lender

97. Place copies of fully signed Offer of Purchase contract in property file

98. Change status in MLS database to “Sale Pending”

99. Review buyer’s credit report results and advise seller of possible scenarios

100. Assist buyer with financing, if applicable and follow up as necessary

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

102. Deliver unrecorded property information to buyer

103. Deliver Well Flow Report to lender and buyer, if applicable

104. Verify termite inspection ordered

105. Verify mold inspection ordered, if required

    Tracking the Loan Process

106. Confirm verification of deposit and buyer’s employment, have been returned

107. Follow loan processing through to the underwriter

108. Contact lender weekly to ensure process is on track

Relay final approval of buyer’s loan application to seller

    Home Inspection

110. Coordinate buyer’s professional home inspection with seller

111. Review home inspector’s report

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

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

114. Recommend or assist seller with selection of contractors to perform and required repairs

115. Negotiate payment and oversee completion of all required repairs on sellers behalf, if needed

    The Appraisal

116. Schedule appraisal

117. Provide comparable sales used in market pricing to appraiser

118. Follow-up on appraisal

119. Assist seller in questioning appraisal report if it seems out of line

    Closing Preparations and Duties

120. Contract is signed by all parties

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

122. Update closing form and files

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

124. Select location where closing will be held

125. Confirm closing date and time. Notify all parties

126. Assist in solving any title problems

127. Work with buyer’s agent in scheduling and conducting buyer’s final walk-through prior to closing

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

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

130. Review final closing figures for accuracy

131. Give verified closing figures to buyer’s agent

132. Request copy of closing documents from closing agent

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

134. Provide Home Owners Warranty for availability at closing

135. Review all closing documents for errors

136. Forward closing documents to absentee seller, if applicable

137. Review documents with closing agent

138. Provide earnest money deposit check for escrow account to closing agent

139. Coordinate this closing with seller’s next purchase

140. Insure a “no surprises” closing so that seller receives a net proceeds check at closing

141. Refer sellers to a top agent at their destination, or start looking for their new home with them

142. Change MLS status to “SOLD” Enter sale date, price, selling broker and agent’s ID numbers, etc.

143. Close property folder and file

    Follow Up after Closing

144. Answer questions about filing claims with Home Owner Warranty company, if needed

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

Respond to any follow-up calls and provide additional information requested from property folder files