RE/MAX Advantage Realty 

The Critical Role of a Realtor

Listed here are nearly 200 typical duties, research steps, procedures, processes, and review stages in a successful residential real estate transaction that are normally provided by full-service real estate agents in return for their sales commission. Depending on the transaction, some may take a few minutes, hours, or even days to complete, while some may not be needed at all.

Most 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.

Never forget that Realtors are pledged to uphold the stringent, enforceable laws 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 email 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 the past 3,6,9,12 months (depending on market) from MLS sales
  6. Research “average days on market” for this property of this type, price range, and location
  7. Download and review property tax information
  8. Prepare Comparable Market Analysis (CMA) to establish fair market value
  9. Obtain subdivision plat layout to sales records
  10. Research property’s ownership and deed type (attorney)
  11. Research property’s public record information for lot size and dimensions
  12. Research and verify legal description (attorney)
  13. Research property’s land use and deed restrictions
  14. Research property’s current use and zoning
  15. Verify legal names of owners in county public property records
  16. Prepare listing presentation package with above materials
  17. Perform exterior “Curb Appeal Assessment” of property
  18. Compile and assemble file on property
  19. Confirm current public schools
  20. Review listing appointment checklist to ensure all steps and actions have been completed

Listing Appointment Presentation

  1. Tour home with the seller, make notes and bring up items of concern
  2. Give seller an overview of current market conditions and projections
  3. Review team’s credentials in the market
  4. Review ReMax's credentials in the market
  5. Present company’s profile and position in the marketplace
  6. Present CMA results to seller, including comparables, solds, current listings, and expireds
  7. Offer pricing strategy based on professional judgment and interpretation of current market conditions
  8. Discuss goals with seller to market effectively
  9. Explain market power and benefits of the Multiple Listing Service
  10. Explain market power of web marketing, IDX, and
  11. Explain the work the brokerage and agents do “behind the scenes” and team’s availability on weekends
  12. Explain team’s role in taking calls to screen for qualified buyers and protect seller from curiosity seekers
  13. Present and discuss strategic master marketing plan
  14. Explain “agency” relationship to the seller
  15. Review and explain all clauses in Listing Contract and obtain seller’s signature
  16. Explain commission split with seller- 50/50 split with selling agent
  17. Refer seller to reputable attorney to cover transaction
  18. Ascertain need for lead-based paint disclosure
  19. Give seller property disclosures to fill out (condition and mold)

Once Property is Under Listing Agreement

  1. Review current title information (attorney)
  2. Measure overall and heated square footage
  3. Measure interior room sizes
  4. Confirm lot sizes via owner’s copy of survey (if available)
  5. Note any and all unrecorded property lines, agreements, easements (attorney)
  6. Obtain house plans, if available
  7. Review house plans and make copies (new construction also)
  8. Acquire plat map for retention in property’s file from homeowner
  9. Prepare showing instructions for buyers’ agents and agree on showing time window with seller 
  10. Verify current loan information via MLS
  11. Discuss possible buyer financing alternatives and options with seller
  12. Review current appraisal if available
  13. Identify Home Owner Association (HOA) manager if applicable
  14. Verify HOA fees with management company (find out if fees are optional or mandatory and current annual fee
  15. Obtain copy of HOA bylaws, covenants and conditions
  16. Obtain estimates of current utility bills for prospective buyer inquiries
  17. Verify city sewer/water/well systems
  18. Prepare detailed list of property amenities
  19. Prepare detailed list of property’s inclusions for sale
  20. Compile list of completed repairs and maintenance items
  21. Explain benefits of Homeowner Warranty (HOW) to seller (assist with application if applicable)
  22. When received, place (HOW) in property file to be conveyed at time of sale
  23. Have extra key made for lockbox
  24. Verify if property has rental units involved. And if so: Make copies of all leases for retention in listing file, verify all rents and deposits, inform tenants of listing and discuss how showings will be handled
  25. Arrange for yard sign installation
  26. Review results of Curb Appeal Assessment with seller and provide suggestions to improve salability
  27. Review results of Interior Décor Assessment and suggest changes to shorten time on market
  28. Load listing into transaction management software program

Entering Property in Multiple Listing Service Database

  1. Prepare MLS Profile Sheet—Agent is responsible for “quality control” and accuracy of listing data
  2. Enter property data from Profile Sheet into MLS database
  3. Proofread MLS data for accuracy—including proper placement in mapping function
  4. Enter listing into Team’s website and 35 other online listing sites
  5. Add property to company’s Active Listings list
  6. Provide seller with signed copies of Listing Agreement and MLS Data Sheet within 48 hours (or as soon as possible)
  7. Take additional photos for upload to MLS and use in flyers and 35 online sites
  8. Discuss feasibility of virtual tour depending on size of home

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 lockbox if authorized by owner
  4. Prepare mailing and contact list
  5. Generate mail-merge letters to contact list
  6. Order “Just Listed” cards to send to homes in the neighborhood
  7. Print out “Just Listed” labels and adhere to postcards or flyers
  8. Take “Just Listed” postcards to post office
  9. Prepare property flyers
  10. Review comparable MLS listings monthly to ensure property remains competitive in price terms, conditions, and availability
  11. Prepare property marketing brochure to place in seller’s home/brochure box
  12. Arrange for printing or copying of supply of marketing brochures or flyers
  13. Place marketing brochures in all company agent mailboxes
  14. Upload listing to ReMax's website and
  15. Submit ads to ReMax’s participating Internet real estate sites
  16. Price changes conveyed promptly to all Internet groups
  17. Reprint/supply brochures as needed
  18. Feedback e-mails sent to buyer’s agents after showings
  19. Update seller on marketing when necessary
  20. Discuss feedback from showing agents with seller to determine if changes will accelerate the sale
  21. Place regular update phone calls to seller to discuss pricing changes if needed
  22. Enter price changes in MLS listing database

The Offer and Contract

  1. Receive and review all Offer to Purchase contracts submitted by buyers or buyer’s 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 weaknesses of each component of each offer
  4. Contact buyers’ agents to review buyer’s qualifications and discuss offer
  5. Send Seller’s Disclosures to buyer’s agent 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. Email copies of contract and all addendums to closing attorney and/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. Advise showing desk of “under contract” showing restrictions as seller requests
  14. Deliver copies of fully signed Offer to Purchase contract to seller
  15. Deliver copy of Purchase Contract to ReMax's office manager for broker review
  16. Deliver copies of Offer to Purchase contract to Selling Agent
  17. Email copies of offer to Purchase to lender
  18. Email copy of Offer to Purchase to seller’s attorney for review
  19. Provide copy of signed Offer to Purchase contract to ReMax's office file
  20. Advise seller in handling additional offers to purchase submitted between contract and closing
  21. Change status in MLS to “Contingent”
  22. Update contact management program to show “Pending”
  23. Assist buyer in obtaining financing, if applicable and follow-up as necessary
  24. Order septic system inspection, if applicable
  25. Order Well Report, if applicable
  26. Receive and review septic system report and assess possible impact on sale
  27. Receive and review Well Report and assess possible impact on sale
  28. Deliver copy of both reports to lender and buyer’s agent
  29. Retain copy of said reports for office file
  30. Verify mold inspection ordered, if applicable

Tracking the Loan Process

  1. Follow Loan Process through to Underwriting
  2. Add lender and other vendors to data management program to agents buyer, and seller can track progress of sale
  3. Contact lender weekly to ensure processing is on track
  4. 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 of inspection into contact management 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 (lender)
  2. Provide comparable sales used in market pricing to Appraiser
  3. Follow-up on Appraisal
  4. Enter completion into data 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 and files
  4. Ensure all parties have all forms and information needed to close the sale
  5. Select where closing is to be held (attorney)
  6. Confirm closing date and time and notify all parties
  7. Work with buyer’s agent in scheduling and conducting buyer’s Final walk-thru prior to closing
  8. Research all tax, HOA, utility and other applicable prorations (attorney)
  9. Request final closing figures from closing agent (attorney or title company)
  10. Receive and carefully review closing figures to ensure accuracy of preparation (attorney)
  11. Forward verified closing figures to buyer’s agent (attorney)
  12. Request copy of closing documents from closing agent
  13. Make sure buyer/seller has “original” of Power Attorney (if applicable)
  14. Provide “Home Owner’s Warranty” for availability at closing
  15. Review all closing documents carefully for errors
  16. Forward closing documents to absentee seller as requested (if not present as closing)
  17. Review documents with closing agent (attorney)
  18. Provide earnest money deposit check from escrow account to closing agent
  19. Coordinate this closing with seller’s next purchase and resolve any timing issues
  20. Have a “no surprises” closing so that seller receives a net proceeds check at closing
  21. Refer sellers to one of the best agents at their destination (if applicable)
  22. Change MLS status to “SOLD”. Enter sale date, price, selling broker, and agent’s ID numbers, etc.

Follow Up After Closing

  1. Attempt to clarify and resolve any conflicts about repairs if buyer is not satisfied
  2. Respond to any follow-up calls and provide any additional information required from office files
  3. Send client a buyer/seller survey (to be recorded)
  4. Send out “Just Sold” cards to neighbors
  5. Order “change of address labels” for client
  6. Place client on Preferred Client Club mailing list
  7. Deliver closing gift as “Thank you” for using our services
  8. Offer to send family and friends “We Have Moved” postcards
  9. Make follow-up call one month after closing
  10. Stop by to see client after they have settled in

If we can answer any questions you have about this article’s contents, please fill out the form below or give us a call.

Ron and Kat Becker
532 Lake St
P.O. Box 861 
Antioch, IL. 60002
Ron: 847-489-1047
Kat: 847-489-0236 

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