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  • Writer's pictureWanda Vazquez

184 Things REALTORs® Do To Earn Their Commission

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

Make appointment with seller for listing presentation

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

Review pre-appointment questions

Research all comparable currently listed properties

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

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

Download and review property tax roll information

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

Obtain copy of subdivision plat/complex lay-out

Research property’s ownership & deed type

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

Research and verify legal description

Research property’s land use coding and deed restrictions

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

Perform exterior “Curb Appeal Assessment” of subject property

Compile and assemble formal file on property

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

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

Listing Appointment Presentation

Give seller an overview of current market conditions and projections

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

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

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

Offer pricing strategy based on professional judgment & interpretation of current market conditions

Discuss Goals With Seller To Market Effectively

Explain market power and benefits of Multiple Listing Service

Explain market power of web marketing, IDX and

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

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

Present and discuss strategic master marketing plan

Explain different agency relationships and determine seller’s preference

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

Review current title information

Measure overall and heated square footage

Measure interior room sizes

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

Note any and all unrecorded property lines, agreements, easements

Obtain house plans, if applicable and available

Review house plans and make copy

Order plat map for retention in property’s listing file

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

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

Verify current loan information with lender(s)

Check assumability of loan(s) and any special requirements

Discuss possible buyer financing alternatives and options with seller

Review current appraisal if available

Identify Home Owner Association manager if applicable

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

Order copy of Homeowner Association bylaws, if applicable

Research electricity availability and supplier’s name and phone number

Calculate average utility usage from last 12 months of bills

Research and verify city sewer/septic tank system

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

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

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

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

Verify if seller has transferable Termite Bond

Ascertain need for lead-based paint disclosure

Prepare detailed list of property amenities and assess market impact

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

Compile list of completed repairs and maintenance items

Send “Vacancy Checklist” to seller if property is vacant

Explain benefits of Home Owner Warranty to seller

Assist sellers with completion and submission of Home Owner Warranty Application

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

Have extra key made for lockbox

Verify if property has rental units involved.

And if so:* Make copies of all leases for retention in listing file* Verify all rents & deposits* Inform tenants of listing and discuss how showings will be handled

Arrange for installation of yard sign

Assist seller with completion of Seller’s Disclosure form“New Listing Checklist” Completed

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

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

Load listing into transaction management software program

Entering Property in Multiple Listing Service Database

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

Enter property data from Profile Sheet into MLS Listing Database

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

Add property to company’s Active Listings list

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

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

Marketing The Listing

Create print and Internet ads with seller’s input

Coordinate showings with owners, tenants, and other Realtors®.

Return all calls – weekends included

Install electronic lock box if authorized by owner.

Program with agreed-upon showing time windows

Prepare mailing and contact list

Generate mail-merge letters to contact list

Order “Just Listed” labels & reports

Prepare flyers & feedback faxes

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

Prepare property marketing brochure for seller’s review

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

Place marketing brochures in all company agent mail boxes

Upload listing to company and agent Internet site, if applicable

Mail Out “Just Listed” notice to all neighborhood residents

Advise Network Referral Program of listing

Provide marketing data to buyers coming through international relocation networks

Provide marketing data to buyers coming from referral network

Provide “Special Feature” cards for marketing, if applicable

Submit ads to company’s participating Internet real estate sites

Price changes conveyed promptly to all Internet groups

Reprint/supply brochures promptly as needed

Loan information reviewed and updated in MLS as required

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

Review weekly Market Study

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

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

Promptly enter price changes in MLS listing database

The Offer and Contract

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

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

Counsel seller on offers.

Explain merits and weakness of each component of each offer

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

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

Confirm buyer is pre-qualified by calling Loan Officer

Obtain pre-qualification letter on buyer from Loan Officer

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

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

Email copies of contract and all addendums to closing attorney or title company

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

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

Disseminate “Under-Contract Showing Restrictions” as seller requests

Deliver copies of fully signed Offer to Purchase contract to seller

Email/deliver copies of Offer to Purchase contract to Selling Agent

Email copies of Offer to Purchase contract to lender

Provide copies of signed Offer to Purchase contract for office file

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

Change status in MLS to “Sale Pending”

Update transaction management program show “Sale Pending”

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

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

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

Coordinate with lender on Discount Points being locked in with dates

Deliver unrecorded property information to buyer

Order septic system inspection, if applicable

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

Deliver copy of septic system inspection report lender & buyer

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

Verify termite inspection ordered

Verify mold inspection ordered, if required

Tracking the Loan Process

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

Follow Loan Processing Through To The Underwriter

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

Contact lender weekly to ensure processing is on track

Relay final approval of buyer’s loan application to seller

Home Inspection

Coordinate buyer’s professional home inspection with seller

Review home inspector’s report

Enter completion into transaction management tracking software program

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

Ensure seller’s compliance with Home Inspection Clause requirements

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

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

The Appraisal

Schedule Appraisal

Provide comparable sales used in market pricing to Appraiser

Follow-Up On Appraisal

Enter completion into transaction management program

Assist seller in questioning appraisal report if it seems too low

Closing Preparations and Duties

Contract Is Signed By All Parties

Coordinate closing process with buyer’s agent and lender

Update closing forms & files

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

Select location where closing will be held

Confirm closing date and time and notify all parties

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

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

Research all tax, HOA, utility and other applicable prorations

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

Receive & carefully review closing figures to ensure accuracy of preparation

Forward verified closing figures to buyer’s agent

Request copy of closing documents from closing agent

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

Provide “Home Owners Warranty” for availability at closing

Reviews all closing documents carefully for errors

Forward closing documents to absentee seller as requested

Review documents with closing agent (attorney)

Provide earnest money deposit check from escrow account to closing agent

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

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

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

Change MLS status to Sold.

Enter sale date, price, selling broker and agent’s ID numbers, etc.

Close out listing in your management program

Follow Up After Closing

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

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

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.

Based on a list prepared by Belton Jennings, CEO of the Orlando Regional REALTORS® Association. The document is provided online as part of the NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS® Surround Sound Campaign.

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