Did you know…

There are over 184 typical actions, research steps, procedures, processes, and review stages in a successful residential real estate transaction and even more in a commercial 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®.

And never forget that REALTORS® are pledged to uphold the stringent, enforceable tenets of the REALTOR® Code of Ethics in their professional dealings with the public. Not every real estate licensee holds REALTOR® membership. Make sure yours does!

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 currently listed comparable properties.
5. Research sales activity for past 18 months from MLS and public records databases.
6. Research “Average Days on Market” for property type, price range, and location.
7. Download and review property tax roll information.
8. Prepare “Comparable Market Analysis” to establish fair 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. 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 has been completed.

Listing Appointment Presentation

21. Give seller an overview of current market conditions and projections.
22. Review agents and company’s credentials and accomplishments in the market.
23. Present company’s profile and market position and niche in the marketplace.
24. Present CMA results to seller, including comparables, solds, current listings, and expireds.
25. Offer pricing strategy based on professional judgment and interpretation of current market conditions.
26. Discuss goals with seller to market effectively.
27. Explain market power and benefits of the MLS.
28. Explain market power of Internet marketing tools such as IDX and REALTOR.com.
29. Explain the behind-the-scenes work the brokerage and agent each do and discuss agent’s availability on weekends.
30. Explain agent’s role in taking calls to screen qualified buyers and to protect seller from curiosity seekers.
31. Present and discuss strategic master marketing plan.
32. Explain different agency relationships and determine seller’s preference.
33. Review and explain all clauses in listing contract and addendum. Obtain seller’s signature once property is under listing agreement.
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 and 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 window with seller.
43. Obtain current mortgage loan(s) information, such as company contacts 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 homeowner association manager, if applicable.
49. Verify homeowner association fees with manager (mandatory or optional and current annual fee).
50. Order a copy of the homeowner 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 fees or rates from last 12 months of bills.
55. Confirm well status, depth, and output from well report,
56. Research and verify the availability of natural and supplier’s name and phone number,
57. Verify security system, current term of service, and whether it’s 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 and conveyances.
62. Compile list of completed repairs and maintenance items.
63. Send “Vacancy Checklist” form to seller if property is vacant.
64. Explain benefits of homeowner warranty to seller.
65. Assist sellers with completion and submission of homeowner warranty application.
66. When received, place homeowner 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. If so:
69. Make copies of all leases for retention in listing file.
70. Verify all rents all deposits.
71. Inform tenants of property’s listing and discuss how showings will be handled.
72. Arrange for installation of yard sign.
73. Assist seller with completion of seller’s disclosure form.
74. Complete the “New Listing Checklist” form.
75. Review results of curb appeal assessment with seller and provide suggestions to improve salability.
76. Review results of interior décor assessment and suggest changes to shorten time on market.
77. Load listing into transaction management software program.

Entering Property in Multiple Listing Service (MLS) and other Databases

78. Prepare “MLS Profile Sheet” form. (Agent is responsible for accuracy of listing data.)
79. Enter property data from “MLS Profile Sheet” form into MLS listing database.
80. Proofread MLS database listing for accuracy, including proper placement in mapping function.
81. Add property to brokerage’s active listings list.
82. Provide seller with signed copies of “MLS Listing Agreement” form and “MLS Profile Sheet” form within 48 hours.
83. Take additional photos and videos for uploading into MLS and for use in marketing materials.

Marketing the Listing

84. Create print and Internet ads with seller’s input.
85. Coordinate showings with owners, tenants, and other REALTORS®. Return all calls, weekends included.
86. Install electronic lockbox if authorized by owner. Program lockbox with agreed-upon showing time windows.
87. Prepare marketing mailings and distribution lists.
88. Generate printed and online marketing pieces.
89. Order “Just Listed” labels and reports.
90. Prepare feedback materials.
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 brokerage agent mailboxes.
95. Upload listing to company and agent Internet site, if applicable.
96. Mail out “Just Listed” notices to all neighborhood residents.
97. Advise referral networks of listing.
98. Provide marketing data to buyers coming through international relocation networks.
99. Provide marketing data to interested buyers from referral network.
100. Provide “Special Feature” cards for marketing, if applicable.
101. Submit ads to company’s participating Internet real estate sites.
102. Promptly convey price changes 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 or faxes to buyers’ agents after showings.
106. Review weekly market activity studies.
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 listing database.

The Offer and Contract

110. Receive and review all “Offer to Purchase” contracts submitted by buyers or buyers’ agents.
111. Evaluate offer(s) and prepare a “net sheet” on each for the owner for comparison purposes.
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, e-mail, or hand deliver “Seller’s Disclosure” forms to buyer’s agent or buyer upon request (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, e-mail, or hand deliver copies of contract and all addendums to closing attorney or title company.
120. Deliver accepted and signed “Offer to Purchase” contract to buyer’s agent.
121. Record and promptly deposit buyer’s earnest money in escrow account.
122. Disseminate “Under-Contract Showing Restrictions” form as seller requests.
123. Deliver copies of fully signed “Offer to Purchase” contract to seller.
124. Fax, e-mail, or hand deliver copies of “Offer to Purchase” contract to lender.
125. Provide copies of signed “Offer to Purchase” contract for office file.
126. Advise seller in handling additional offers to purchase submitted between contract and closing.
127. Change listing status in MLS to “Sale Pending.”
128. Update transaction management program to show “Sale Pending.”
129. Review buyer’s credit report results and advise seller of worst and best case scenarios.
130. Provide credit report information to seller if property will be seller-financed.
131. Assist buyer with obtaining financing, if applicable, and follow-up as necessary.
132. Coordinate with lender on discount points being locked in with dates.
133. Deliver unrecorded property information to buyer.
134. Order septic system inspection, if applicable.
135. Receive and review septic system report and assess any possible impact on sale.
136. Deliver copy of septic system inspection report lender and buyer.
137. Deliver “Well Flow Test” report copies to lender and buyer and place a copy in the property’s listing file.
138. Verify termite inspection ordered.
139. Verify mold inspection ordered, if required.

Tracking the Loan Process

141. Confirm verifications of deposit and buyer’s employment have been returned.
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 with respect to loan limits and interpret any clauses in the contract.
150. Ensure seller’s compliance with home inspection clause requirements.
151. Recommend or assist seller with identifying and negotiating with trustworthy contractors to perform any 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. Ensure 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 where closing will be held.
163. Confirm closing date and time and notify all parties.
164. Assist in solving 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 walk-thru prior to closing.
166. Research all tax, HOA, utility, and other applicable proration.
167. Request final closing figures from closing agent (attorney or Title Company).
168. Receive and carefully review closing figures to ensure accuracy of preparation.
169. Forward verified closing figures to buyer’s agent.
170. Request copy of closing documents from closing agent.
171. Confirm buyer and buyer’s agent has received title insurance commitment.
172. Provide homeowners warrant 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 check from escrow account to closing agent.
177. Coordinate this closing with seller’s next purchase and resolve any timing problems.
178. Ensure 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 property’s MLS status to “Sold.” Enter sale date, price, and selling broker’s 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 homeowners Warranty Company, if requested.
183. Attempt to clarify and resolve any conflicts about repairs if buyer is not satisfied.
184. Respond to any follow-up calls and provide any additional information required from office files.