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SO, WHAT EXACTLY DOES A REALTOR DO FOR YOU?

 

Pat Vredevoogd-Combs, past president of the National Association of REALTORS, testified before the House Financial Services Committee on Housing to blunt government complaints about industry pricing. As part of her testimony, she submitted a list of 184 things that listing agents do in every real estate transaction. “By all accounts,” she said, “the general public is not aware of all the services that agents provide to sellers and buyers during the course of the transaction, probably because most of the important services are performed behind the scenes.”
 
Pre-Listing Activities 1. Make appointment with seller for listing presentation. 2. Send a written or e-mail confirmation of appointment and call to confirm. 3. Review appointment questions. 4. Research all comparable currently listed properties. 5. Research sales activity for past 18 months from MLS and public databases. 6. Research “average days on market” for properties similar in type, price and location. 7. Download and review property tax roll information. 8. Prepare “comparable market analysis” (CMA) to establish market value. 9. Obtain copy of subdivision plat/complex layout. 10. Research property’s ownership and deed type. 11. Research property’s public record information for lot size and dimensions. 12. 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 their impact on market value. 20. Review listing appointment checklist to ensure completion of all tasks.
 
Listing Appointment Presentation 21. Give seller an overview of current market conditions and projections. 22. Review agent and company credentials and accomplishments. 23. Present company’s profile and position or “niche” in the marketplace. 24. Present CMA results, including comparables, solds, current listings and expireds. 25. Offer professional pricing strategy based and interpretation of current market conditions. 26. Discuss goals to market effectively. 27. Explain market power and benefits of multiple listing service. 28. Explain market power of Web marketing, IDX and REALTOR.com. 29. Explain the work the broker and agent do “behind the scenes” and agent’s availability on weekends. 30. Explain agent’s role in screening qualified buyers to protect against curiosity seekers. 31. Present and discuss strategic master marketing plan. 32. Explain different agency relationships and determine seller’s preference. 33. Review all clauses in listing contract and obtain seller’s signature.
 
After Listing Agreement is Signed 34. Review current title information. 35. Measure overall and heated square footage. 36. Measure interior room sizes. 37. Confirm lot size via owner’s copy of certified survey, if available. 38. Note any and all unrecorded property lines, agreements, easements. 39. Obtain house plans, if applicable and available. 40. Review house plans, make copy. 41. Order plat map for retention in property’s listing file. 42. Prepare showing instructions for buyers’ agents and agree on showing time with seller. 43. Obtain current mortgage loan(s) information: companies and account numbers. 44. Verify current loan information with lender(s). 45. Check assumability of loan(s) and any special requirements. 46. Discuss possible buyer financing alternatives and options with seller. 47. Review current appraisal if available. 48. Identify Home Owner Association manager is applicable. 49. Verify Home Owner Association fees with manager–mandatory or optional and current annual fee. 50. Order copy of Home Owner Association bylaws, if applicable. 51. Research electricity availability and supplier’s name and phone number. 52. Calculate average utility usage from last 12 months of bills. 53. Research and verify city sewer/septic tank system. 54. Calculate average water system fees or rates from last 12 months of bills. 55. Or confirm well status, depth and output from Well Report. 56. Research/verify natural gas availability, supplier’s name and phone number. 57. Verify security system, term of service and whether owned or leased. 58. Verify if seller has transferable Termite Bond. 59. Ascertain need for lead-based paint disclosure. 60. Prepare detailed list of property amenities and assess market impact. 61. Prepare detailed list of property’s “Inclusions & Conveyances with Sale.” 62. Complete list of completed repairs and maintenance items. 63. Send “Vacancy Checklist” to seller if property is vacant. 64. Explain benefits of Home Owner Warranty to seller. 65. Assist sellers with completion and submission of Home Owner Warranty application. 66. When received, place Home Owner Warranty in property file for conveyance at time of sale. 67. Have extra key made for lockbox. 68. Verify if property has rental units involved. And if so: 69. Make copies of all leases for retention in listing file. 70. Verify all rents and deposits. 71. Inform tenants of listing and discuss how showings will be handled. 72. Arrange for yard sign installation. 73. Assist seller with completion of Seller’s Disclosure form. 74. Complete “new listing checklist.” 75. Review results of Curb Appeal Assessment with seller and suggest improvements for salability. 76. Review results of Interior Decor Assessment and suggest changes to shorten time on market. 77. Load listing time into transaction management software.
 
Entering Property in MLS Database 78. Prepare MLS Profile Sheet–agent is responsible for “quality control” and accuracy of listing data. 79. Enter property data from Profile Sheet into MLS listing database. 80. Proofread MLS database listing for accuracy, including property placement in mapping function. 81. Add property to company’s Active Listings. 82. Provide seller with signed copies of Listing Agreement and MLS Profile Data Form within 48 hours. 83. Take more photos for upload into MLS and use in flyers. Discuss efficacy of panoramic photography.
 
Marketing the Listing 84. Create print and Internet ads with seller’s input. 85. Coordinate showings with owners, tenants and other agents. Return all calls–weekends included. 86. Install electronic lockbox. Program with agreed-upon showing time windows. 87. Prepare mailing and contact list. 88. Generate mail-merge letters to contact list. 89. Order “Just Listed” labels and reports. 90. Prepare flyers and feedback forms. 91. Review comparable MLS listings regularly to ensure property remains competitive in price, terms, conditions and availability. 92. Prepare property marketing brochure for seller’s review. 93. Arrange for printing or copying of supply of marketing brochures or flyers. 94. Place marketing brochures in all company agent mailboxes. 95. Upload listing to company and agent Internet sites, if applicable. 96. Mail “Just Listed” notice to all neighborhood residents. 97. Advise Network Referral Program of listing. 98. Provide marketing data to buyers from international relocation networks. 99. Provide marketing data to buyers coming from referral network. 100. Provide “Special Feature” cards form marketing, if applicable/ 101. Submit ads to company’s participating Internet real estate sites. 102. Convey price changes promptly to all Internet groups. 103. Reprint/supply brochures promptly as needed. 104. Review and update loan information in MLS as required. 105. Send feedback e-mails/faxes to buyers’ agents after showings. 106. Review weekly Market Study. 107. Discuss feedback from showing agents with seller to determine if changes will accelerate the sale. 108. Place regular weekly update calls to seller to discuss marketing and pricing. 109. Promptly enter price changes in MLS listings database.
 
The Offer and the Contract 110. Receive and review all Offer to Purchase contracts submitted by buyers or buyers’ agents. 111. Evaluate offer(s) and prepare “net sheet” on each for owner to compare. 112. Counsel seller on offers. Explain merits and weakness of each component of each offer. 113. Contact buyers’ agents to review buyer’s qualifications and discuss offer. 114. Fax/deliver Seller’s Disclosure to buyer’s agent or buyer upon request and prior to offer if possible. 115. Confirm buyer is pre-qualified by calling loan officer. 116. Obtain pre-qualification letter on buyer from loan officer. 117. Negotiate all offers on seller’s behalf, setting time limit for loan approval and closing date. 118. Prepare and convey any counteroffers, acceptance or amendments to buyer’s agent. 119. Fax copies of contract and all addendums to closing attorney or title company. 120. When Offer-to-Purchase contract is accepted and signed by seller, deliver to buyer’s agent. 121. Record and promptly deposit buyer’s money into escrow account. 122. Disseminate “Under-Contract Showing Restrictions” as seller requests. 123. Deliver copies of fully signed Offer to Purchase contract to sellers. 124. Fax/deliver copies of Offer to Purchase contract to selling agent. 125. Fax copies of Offer to Purchase contract to lender. 126. Provide copies of signed Offer to Purchase contract for office file. 127. Advise seller in handling additional offers to purchase submitted between contract and closing. 128. Change MLS status to “Sale Pending.” 129. Update transaction management program to show “Sale Pending.” 130. Review buyer’s credit report results–Advise seller of worst and best case scenarios. 131. Provide credit report information to seller if property is to be seller-financed. 132. Assist buyer with obtaining financing and follow up as necessary. 133. Coordinate with lender on discount points being locked in with dates. 134. Deliver unrecorded property information to buyer. 135. Order septic inspection, if applicable. 136. Receive and review septic system report and access any impact on sale. 137. Deliver copy of septic system inspection report to lender and buyer. 138. Deliver well flow test report copies to lender, buyer and listing file. 139. Verify termite inspection ordered. 140. Verify mold inspection ordered, if required.
 
Tracking the Loan Process 141. Confirm return of verifications of deposit and buyer’s employment. 142. Follow loan processing through to the underwriter. 143. Add lender and other vendors to transaction management program so agents, buyer and seller can track progress of sale. 144. Contact lender weekly to ensure processing is on track. 145. Relay final approval of buyer’s loan application to seller.
 
Home Inspection 146. Coordinate buyer’s professional home inspection with seller. 147. Review home inspector’s report. 148. Enter completion into transaction management tracking software program. 149. Explain seller’s responsibilities of loan limits and interpret any clauses in the contract. 150. Ensure seller’s compliance with home inspection clause requirements. 151. Assist seller with identifying and negotiating with trustworthy contractors for required repairs. 152. Negotiate payment and oversee completion of all required repairs on seller’s behalf, if needed.
 
The Appraisal 153. Schedule appraisal. 154. Provide comparable sales used in market pricing to appraiser. 155. Follow up on appraisal. 156. Enter completion into transaction management program. 157. Assist seller in questioning appraisal report if it seems too low.
 
Closing Preparations and Duties 158. Make sure contract is signed by all parties. 159. Coordinate closing process with buyer’s agent and lender. 160. Update closing forms and files. 161. Ensure all parties have all forms and information needed to close the sale. 162. Select location for closing. 163. Confirm closing date and time and notify all parties. 164. Solve any title problems (boundary disputes, easements, etc.) or in obtaining death certificates. 165. Work with buyer’s agent in scheduling and conducting buyer’s final walkthrough prior to closing. 166. Research all tax, HOA, utility and other applicable prorations. 167. Request final closing figures from closing agent (attorney or title company). 168. Receive and carefully review closing figures to ensure accuracy. 169. Forward verified closing figures to buyer’s agent. 170. Request copy of closing documents from closing agent. 171. Confirm the buyer and buyer’s agent received title insurance commitment. 172. Provide “Home Owners Warranty” for availability at closing. 173. Review all closing documents carefully for errors. 174. Forward closing documents to absentee seller as requested. 175. Review documents with closing agent (attorney). 176. Provide earnest money deposit from escrow account to closing agent. 177. Coordinate closing with seller’s next purchase, resolving timing issues. 178. Have a “no surprises” closing so that seller receives a net proceeds check at closing. 179. Refer sellers to one of the best agents at their destination, if applicable. 180. Change MLS status to Sold. Enter sale date, price, selling broker and agent’s ID numbers, etc. 181. Close out listing in transaction management program.
 
Follow Up After Closing 182. Answer questions about filing claims with Home Owner Warranty company, if requested. 183. Attempt to clarify and resolve any repair conflicts if buyer is dissatisfied. 184. Respond to any follow-up calls and provide any additional information required from office files.

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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

Listing Appointment Presentation

    1. Give seller an overview of current market conditions and projections
    2. Review agent’s and company’s credentials and accomplishments in the market
    3. Present company’s profile and position or “niche” in the marketplace
    4. Present CMA Results To Seller, including Comparables, Solds, Current Listings & Expireds
    5. Offer pricing strategy based on professional judgment and interpretation of current market conditions
    6. Discuss Goals With Seller To Market Effectively
    7. Explain market power and benefits of Multiple Listing Service
    8. Explain market power of web marketing, IDX and REALTOR.com
    9. Explain the work the brokerage and agent do “behind the scenes” and agent’s availability on weekends
    10. Explain agent’s role in taking calls to screen for qualified buyers and protect seller from curiosity seekers
    11. Present and discuss strategic master marketing plan
    12. Explain different agency relationships and determine seller’s preference
    13. Review and explain all clauses in Listing Contract & Addendum and obtain seller’s signature Once Property is Under Listing Agreement
    14. Review current title information
    15. Measure overall and heated square footage
    16. Measure interior room sizes
    17. Confirm lot size via owner’s copy of certified survey, if available
    18. Note any and all unrecorded property lines, agreements, easements
    19. Obtain house plans, if applicable and available
    20. Review house plans and make copy
    21. Order plat map for retention in property’s listing file
    22. Prepare showing instructions for buyers’ agents and agree on showing time window with seller
    23. Obtain current mortgage loan(s) information: companies and & loan account numbers
    24. Verify current loan information with lender(s)
    25. Check assumability of loan(s) and any special requirements
    26. Discuss possible buyer financing alternatives and options with seller
    27. Review current appraisal if available
    28. Identify Home Owner Association manager if applicable
    29. Verify Home Owner Association Fees with manager – mandatory or optional and current annual fee
    30. Order copy of Homeowner Association bylaws, if applicable
    31. Research electricity availability and supplier’s name and phone number
    32. Calculate average utility usage from last 12 months of bills
    33. Research and verify city sewer/septic tank system
    34. Water System: Calculate average water fees or rates from last 12 months of bills )
    35. Well Water: Confirm well status, depth and output from Well Report
    36. Natural Gas: Research/verify availability and supplier’s name and phone number
    37. Verify security system, current term of service and whether owned or leased
    38. Verify if seller has transferable Termite Bond
    39. Ascertain need for lead-based paint disclosure
    40. Prepare detailed list of property amenities and assess market impact
    41. Prepare detailed list of property’s “Inclusions & Conveyances with Sale”
    42. Compile list of completed repairs and maintenance items
    43. Send “Vacancy Checklist” to seller if property is vacant
    44. Explain benefits of Home Owner Warranty to seller
    45. Assist sellers with completion and submission of Home Owner Warranty Application
    46. When received, place Home Owner Warranty in property file for conveyance at time of sale
    47. Have extra key made for lockbox
    48. Verify if property has rental units involved. And if so:
    49. * Make copies of all leases for retention in listing file
    50. * Verify all rents & deposits
    51. * Inform tenants of listing and discuss how showings will be handled
    52. Arrange for installation of yard sign
    53. Assist seller with completion of Seller’s Disclosure form
    54. “New Listing Checklist” Completed
    55. Review results of Curb Appeal Assessment with seller and provide suggestions to improve salability
    56. Review results of Interior Décor Assessment and suggest changes to shorten time on market
    57. Load listing into transaction management software program

Entering Property in Multiple Listing Service Database

    1. Prepare MLS Profile Sheet — Agents is responsible for “quality control” and accuracy of listing data
    2. Enter property data from Profile Sheet into MLS Listing Database
    3. Proofread MLS database listing for accuracy – including proper placement in mapping function
    4. Add property to company’s Active Listings list
    5. Provide seller with signed copies of Listing Agreement and MLS Profile Sheet Data Form within 48 hours
    6. Take additional photos for upload into MLS and use in flyers. Discuss efficacy of panoramic photography

Marketing The Listing

    1. Create print and Internet ads with seller’s input
    2. Coordinate showings with owners, tenants, and other Realtors®. Return all calls – weekends included
    3. Install electronic lock box if authorized by owner. Program with agreed-upon showing time windows
    4. Prepare mailing and contact list
    5. Generate mail-merge letters to contact list
    6. Order “Just Listed” labels & reports
    7. Prepare flyers & feedback faxes
    8. Review comparable MLS listings regularly to ensure property remains competitive in price, terms, conditions and availability
    9. Prepare property marketing brochure for seller’s review
    10. Arrange for printing or copying of supply of marketing brochures or fliers
    11. Place marketing brochures in all company agent mail boxes
    12. Upload listing to company and agent Internet site, if applicable
    13. Mail Out “Just Listed” notice to all neighborhood residents
    14. Advise Network Referral Program of listing
    15. Provide marketing data to buyers coming through international relocation networks
    16. Provide marketing data to buyers coming from referral network
    17. Provide “Special Feature” cards for marketing, if applicable
    18. Submit ads to company’s participating Internet real estate sites
    19. Price changes conveyed promptly to all Internet groups
    20. Reprint/supply brochures promptly as needed
    21. Loan information reviewed and updated in MLS as required
    22. Feedback e-mails/faxes sent to buyers’ agents after showings
    23. Review weekly Market Study
    24. Discuss feedback from showing agents with seller to determine if changes will accelerate the sale
    25. Place regular weekly update calls to seller to discuss marketing & pricing
    26. Promptly enter price changes in MLS listing database

The Offer and Contract

    1. Receive and review all Offer to Purchase contracts submitted by buyers or buyers’ agents.
    2. Evaluate offer(s) and prepare a “net sheet” on each for the owner for comparison purposes
    3. Counsel seller on offers. Explain merits and weakness of each component of each offer
    4. Contact buyers’ agents to review buyer’s qualifications and discuss offer
    5. Fax/deliver Seller’s Disclosure to buyer’s agent or buyer upon request and prior to offer if possible
    6. Confirm buyer is pre-qualified by calling Loan Officer
    7. Obtain pre-qualification letter on buyer from Loan Officer
    8. Negotiate all offers on seller’s behalf, setting time limit for loan approval and closing date
    9. Prepare and convey any counteroffers, acceptance or amendments to buyer’s agent
    10. Fax copies of contract and all addendums to closing attorney or title company
    11. When Offer to Purchase Contract is accepted and signed by seller, deliver to buyer’s agent
    12. Record and promptly deposit buyer’s earnest money in escrow account.
    13. Disseminate “Under-Contract Showing Restrictions” as seller requests
    14. Deliver copies of fully signed Offer to Purchase contract to seller
    15. Fax/deliver copies of Offer to Purchase contract to Selling Agent
    16. Fax copies of Offer to Purchase contract to lender
    17. Provide copies of signed Offer to Purchase contract for office file
    18. Advise seller in handling additional offers to purchase submitted between contract and closing
    19. Change status in MLS to “Sale Pending”
    20. Update transaction management program show “Sale Pending”
    21. Review buyer’s credit report results — Advise seller of worst and best case scenarios
    22. Provide credit report information to seller if property will be seller-financed
    23. Assist buyer with obtaining financing, if applicable and follow-up as necessary
    24. Coordinate with lender on Discount Points being locked in with dates
    25. Deliver unrecorded property information to buyer
    26. Order septic system inspection, if applicable
    27. Receive and review septic system report and assess any possible impact on sale
    28. Deliver copy of septic system inspection report lender & buyer
    29. Deliver Well Flow Test Report copies to lender & buyer and property listing file
    30. Verify termite inspection ordered
    31. Verify mold inspection ordered, if required

Tracking the Loan Process

    1. Confirm Verifications Of Deposit & Buyer’s Employment Have Been Returned
    2. Follow Loan Processing Through To The Underwriter
    3. Add lender and other vendors to your management program so agents, buyer and seller can track progress of sale
    4. Contact lender weekly to ensure processing is on track
    5. Relay final approval of buyer’s loan application to seller

Home Inspection

    1. Coordinate buyer’s professional home inspection with seller
    2. Review home inspector’s report
    3. Enter completion into transaction management tracking software program
    4. Explain seller’s responsibilities with respect to loan limits and interpret any clauses in the contract
    5. Ensure seller’s compliance with Home Inspection Clause requirements
    6. Recommend or assist seller with identifying and negotiating with trustworthy contractors to perform any required repairs
    7. Negotiate payment and oversee completion of all required repairs on seller’s behalf, if needed

The Appraisal

    1. Schedule Appraisal
    2. Provide comparable sales used in market pricing to Appraiser
    3. Follow-Up On Appraisal
    4. Enter completion into transaction management program
    5. Assist seller in questioning appraisal report if it seems too low

Closing Preparations and Duties

    1. Contract Is Signed By All Parties
    2. Coordinate closing process with buyer’s agent and lender
    3. Update closing forms & files
    4. Ensure all parties have all forms and information needed to close the sale
    5. Select location where closing will be held
    6. Confirm closing date and time and notify all parties
    7. Assist in solving any title problems (boundary disputes, easements, etc) or in obtaining Death Certificates
    8. Work with buyer’s agent in scheduling and conducting buyer’s Final Walk-Thru prior to closing
    9. Research all tax, HOA, utility and other applicable prorations
    10. Request final closing figures from closing agent (attorney or title company)
    11. Receive & carefully review closing figures to ensure accuracy of preparation
    12. Forward verified closing figures to buyer’s agent
    13. Request copy of closing documents from closing agent
    14. Confirm buyer and buyer’s agent have received title insurance commitment
    15. Provide “Home Owners Warranty” for availability at closing
    16. Reviews all closing documents carefully for errors
    17. Forward closing documents to absentee seller as requested
    18. Review documents with closing agent (attorney)
    19. Provide earnest money deposit check from escrow account to closing agent
    20. Coordinate this closing with seller’s next purchase and resolve any timing problems
    21. Have a “no surprises” closing so that seller receives a net proceeds check at closing
    22. Refer sellers to one of the best agents at their destination, if applicable
    23. Change MLS status to Sold. Enter sale date, price, selling broker and agent’s ID numbers, etc.
    24. Close out listing in your management program

Follow Up After Closing

  1. Answer questions about filing claims with Home Owner Warranty company if requested
  2. Attempt to clarify and resolve any conflicts about repairs if buyer is not satisfied
  3. Respond to any follow-on calls and provide any additional information required from office files.
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