Many Buyers and Sellers of real estate properties are not aware of the true value that a professional Realtor provides during the process of a real estate transaction. Many people, in fact, are not aware of the expertise, professional knowledge, and just plain hard work that goes into making a successful real estate transaction a reality.
There are numerous essential steps in a real estate transaction that are provided by the Realtor and the support staff in the Realtors office. Traditionally these have been viewed simply as part of a Realtor’s responsibilities to the client. But, understand one important fact, without the assistance, knowledge and experience that a professional Realtor brings to the table, the transaction could easily be placed in jeopardy.
Listed below are 112 various activities that are typically found in the process of buying or selling a real estate property. These actions are some of the necessary steps towards a successful real estate transaction and are normally provided by a full-service real estate brokerage in exchange for their sales commission. Do you want to know more about real estate sales commissions? Read our blog about commissions and other fees. Depending on the transaction, some of these steps may take minutes, hours, or even days to complete, while some may not be required.
The list is by no means an attempt to be a complete list of services, as these can vary with each transaction. Some transactions may not require every step listed. However, given the unexpected complications that can arise, it’s far better to know about some of these steps and then be able to make an intelligent and informed decision on which ones may impact your real estate transaction or not.
The Realtor Commitment
The professional commitment of a Realtor is to ensure that a seller and a buyer are brought together in an agreement that provides each with a transaction that is fair and equitable. After all, to have a good deal it must be good for both sides, otherwise you do not have a good deal, the motivation is easy to understand.
Variety of Choices
There are a variety of real estate brokerage business models available in today’s real estate industry – full service, limited service, fee for service or other service models. This affords consumers with a greater range of options than ever before. No matter which option they choose, homeowners should understand exactly what services will, or will not be provided by their choice of a Realtor/brokerage firm before signing a Listing Agreement or otherwise engaging the services of a Realtor.
Why Use A Realtor
Realtors serve their customers with the level of skill, knowledge and attention to detail required in today’s real estate transaction. The continual training provided to Realtors underscores the importance of having help and guidance from someone who fully understands the process of buying and or selling a property in todays market. Realtor associations offer a wealth of training courses to their member Realtors to help them deal with a market that is constantly changing because of economic and political influences of today’s world. For peace of mind, ensure that the individual seeking to represent you in your real estate transaction is not just a real estate licensee, but also a Realtor who is genuinely committed to their profession.
- 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 comparable properties in the past year.
- Obtain copy of subdivision plat/complex lay-out.
- Research property’s public record information for lot size and 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.
- Compile and assemble formal file on property.
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.
- Offer pricing strategy based on professional judgment and interpretation of current market conditions.
- Discuss goals with seller to market effectively.
- Explain market power and benefits of Exclusive Listing.
- Explain the work the brokerage and agent do behind the scenes and agent’s availability onweekends.
- Explain agent’s role in taking calls to screen for qualified buyers and protect seller from curiosity
- Present and discuss strategic master marketing plan.
- Review and explain all clauses in Listing Contract and Addendum and obtain seller’s signature.
Once Property Is Under Listing Agreement
- Review current title information.
- Measure overall and “under roof” 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.
- Identify Homeowner Association manager if applicable.
- Verify Homeowner Association Fees with manager – mandatory or optional and current annual fee.
- Order copy of Homeowner Association bylaws, if applicable.
- Calculate average utility usage from last 12 months of bills.
- Research and verify 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.
- Verify security system, if there is one.
- Prepare detailed list of property amenities and assess market impact.
- Prepare detailed list of property’s “Inclusions & Conveyances withSale.”
- Compile list of completed repairs and maintenance items.
- Verify if property has rental involved. 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.
- Arrange for installation of yard sign(s).
- Assist seller with completion of Seller’s Disclosure form.
- Load listing into transaction management software program.
- Take additional photos for upload into MLS and use in flyers.
- Discuss efficacy of panoramic/virtual tour 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.
- Generate e-mail to Master Realtor list
- Post listing on various Facebook, Point 2, Instagram, etc.
- Review pricing regularly to ensure property remains competitive in price,conditions and availability.
- Upload listing to company and agent Internet site, if applicable.
- Advise Network Referral Program of listing.
- Submit ads to company’s participating Internet real estate sites.
- Price changes conveyed promptly to all Internet groups.
- Place regular update calls / emails to seller to discuss marketing and 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’
- 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.
- Deliver Seller’s Disclosure to buyer’s agent or buyer upon request and prior to offer if possible.
- Confirm buyer is qualified
- Negotiate all offers on seller’s behalf, setting time limit for loan approval and closing date.
- Prepare and convey any counter offers, acceptance or amendments to buyer’s agent.
- Send 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.
- Fax/deliver copies of Offer to Purchase contract to Selling Agent.
- 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 to “Sale Pending / Under contract.”
- Update MLS and transaction management program to show “Sale Pending.”.
- 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 and buyer.
- Deliver Well Flow Test Report copies to lender and buyer and property listing file.
- Verify termite inspection ordered.
- Verify mold inspection ordered, if required.
- Coordinate buyer’s professional home inspection with seller.
- Review home inspector’s report.
- Recommend or assist seller with identifying trustworthy contractors to perform any required repairs.
- Negotiate payment and oversee completion of all required repairs on seller’s behalf, if needed.
Closing Preparations and Duties
- Contract is signed by all parties.
- Coordinate closing process with buyer’s agent and lender.
- Update closing forms and 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-through prior to closing.
- Research all tax, Homeowner Association, utility and other applicable prorations.
- Request final closing figures from closing agent (attorney or title company)
- Receive and 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.
- Review 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 their net proceeds check at closing.
- Change status to Sold. Enter sale date, price, selling broker and agent’s ID numbers, etc.
Follow Up After Closing
– Attempt to clarify and resolve any conflicts about repairs if buyer is not satisfied.
– Respond to any follow-up calls and provide any additional information required from office files.