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Whenever we think about real estate, whether it be buying a property or selling one, the next thing we think about is realtors - either deciding to find one to assist you, or wondering whether or not you need the help of one.

Real estate transactions involve a lot of work and require a huge amount of your time. The role of a realtor is to help you with the entire process, making the transaction run smoothly from start to finish.

To have a better idea of the tasks realtors have to work on, we’ve listed down the things they have to do for each stage of the buying and selling process.

Please note that each transaction can vary, thus, some action or step in the list may not be mandatory.

 The Tasks of a Listing Agent

Pre-Listing Stage:

  • Prepare the listing presentation for seller(s)
  • Research comparable sold properties for seller(s) (i.e., appropriate by property type, price range, and location)
  • Research for trends and sales activities from MLS and public record databases
  • Research “average days on market” for the property type, price range, and location. 
  • Research seller(s) property tax information
  • Research property’s public record information for ownership and deed type
  • 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
  • Meet with seller(s) at their home and gather information about their home
  • Verify public-school zoning and discuss with the seller(s) the impact of school districts on market value determination. 
  • Present the listing presentation
  • Provide advice about repairs and/or upgrades
  • Provide the seller(s) a to-do checklist
  • Explain the current market condition
  • Present market analysis results to seller(s), including sold comparables, current listings, and expired. 
  • Offer pricing strategy based on professional judgment and interpretation of current market conditions. 
  • Discuss with the seller about their goals
  • Review broker’s and company’s credentials and accomplishments in the market with seller(s)
  • Present marketing options
  • Explain the buyer and seller agency relationships
  • Describe the pre-screening process
  • Create an internal file for the transaction
  • Get the listing agreement and disclosures signed
  • Review listing appointment checklist to verify that all steps and actions have been completed. 

 Listing:

  • Explain work the brokerage does “behind the scenes” and the broker’s availability on weekends
  • Explain brokerages role in taking calls to screen for qualified buyers and to protect seller(s) from curiosity seekers
  • Create showing instructions for the buyer(s)
  • Agree on showing times with seller(s)
  • Obtain current mortgage loan info
  • Confirm lot size from the county tax records
  • Review results of curb-appeal assessment with seller(s) and provide suggestions to improve sale-ability
  • Research and verify city sewer/septic tank systems. Verify when the property’s septic system was last pumped or inspected 
  • Well water: Confirm well status, depth, and output from third-party well report
  • Natural gas: Research/verify the availability of natural gas and supplier’s name and phone number
  • Verify security system, current term of service, and determine if it’s owned or leased
  • Verify if seller(s) has transferable termite bond – obtain a copy of the terms and conditions of bond that may be available to buyer(s)
  • Review accuracy of current title information with sellers. (If possible, obtain copies of seller(s)’ deed, owner’s title insurance policy, and most-recent survey) 
  • Verify names of owner(s) as they appear in county’s public property records
  • Verify with seller(s) if there are any outstanding or expired construction permits or if any changes have been made to the property since the seller(s) purchased the property
  • Obtain copy of current Title Insurance Policy
  • Complete listing contract and addenda (using names of seller(s) as they appear on deed or title policy). Obtain seller(s)’ signature(s) on the listing agreement and return a signed copy of the listing contract to the seller(s). (If property is jointly owned, all owners should sign listing agreement.)  
  • Review with seller(s) the standard closing costs and pro-rations typical to the HUD statements 
  • Obtain seller(s)’ permission to use a lock box
  • Measure interior sizes
  • Confirm lot size via owner’s copy of certified survey, if available
  • Investigate if there are any unrecorded property easements
  • Obtain house plans, if applicable and available
  • Review house plans and make a copy
  • Discuss the different types of buyer financing
  • Explain the appraisal process and pitfalls
  • Verify HOA fees
  • Obtain a copy of the HOA bylaws
  • Gather transferable warranties
  • Verify security system ownership
  • Agree on repairs to be made before listing
  • Schedule staging consultation and house cleaners
  • Discuss the type of marketing to be used - whether there’s a need for professional photographer and videographer - then schedule the shoot if needed
  • Get the seller’s approval of all marketing materials
  • Input the property listing to MLS
  • Create print and Internet ads with seller(s)’ input and approval
  • Reprint/supply brochures promptly as needed
  • Prepare mailing and contact list
  • Generate mail-merge letters to contact list
  • Prepare flyers
  • Prepare property marketing brochure for seller(s)’ review
  • Order an appropriate quantity of marketing brochures or flyers
  • Email marketing material to brokers and agents with marketing material
  • Upload listing to company and broker’s Internet site, if applicable
  • Mail out “just listed” notice to all neighborhood residents
  • Inform Network Referral Program of listing
  • Review comparable MLS listings and new trends regularly to verify property remains competitive in price, terms, conditions, and availability
  • Create a virtual tour
  • Set up showing services
  • Provide marketing data to buyers coming through international relocation networks. 
  • Provide marketing data to buyers coming from referral network
  • Convey price changes promptly to all Internet groups
  • Request feedback from buyers’ brokers after showings
  • Discuss feedback from showing sales associates with seller(s) to determine if changes will accelerate the sale
  • Review weekly market study reports
  • Schedule weekly update calls with the seller(s)
  • Update the MLS listing as needed
  • Receive and review all offer to purchase contracts submitted by buyers or buyers’ brokers
  • Prepare a “net sheet” for all offers
  • Present all offers to the seller(s)
  • Verify proper licensure of buyer(s)’ broker and salesperson. 
  • Examine and verify buyer(s)’ qualifications
  • Provide seller(s)’ disclosure to buyer(s)’ broker or buyer upon request (prior to offer if possible)
  • Confirm buyer(s) is pre-approved by contacting lender
  • Obtain a copy of the buyer(s)’ pre-approval letter from lender
  • Prepare and convey any counteroffers, acceptance, or amendments to buyer(s)’ broker
  • When offer to purchase is accepted and signed by seller(s) (“contract”), deliver contract to selling/buyer(s)’ broker or if none, to buyer(s)
  • Obtain a signed and dated verification that escrow deposit was delivered to escrow agency
  • Verify contract is signed by all parties

 Post Contract:

  • Provide copies of the contract and all addenda to the closing attorney and the title company
  • Record and promptly deposit buyer(s)’ earnest money with the escrow agent
  • Disseminate “under-contract showing restrictions” as seller(s) requests
  • Deliver copies of the signed contract to the seller(s) and make sure that buyer(s)’ agent has copies
  • Provide copies of the contract to lender
  • Inform seller(s) how to handle additional offers to purchase submitted between effective date of contract and closing
  • Update listing file to show “sale pending”
  • Contact buyer(s)’ lender weekly to verify processing is on track
  • Follow buyer(s)’ loan processing through to the underwriter
  • Relay final approval of buyer(s)’ loan application to the seller(s)
  • Keep track of all the copies for the office file
  • Coordinate buyer(s)’ professional home and termite (WDO) inspections with seller(s)
  • If the property is vacant, arrange for power and water to be turned on
  • Review home inspector’s report and WDO report with seller(s) and discuss issues and options, if needed
  • Enter home inspection WDO inspection completion into listing file
  • Verify seller(s)’ compliance with home inspection report and WDO report repair requirements
  • Explain buyer(s) inspection objection to seller(s)
  • Determine seller(s) inspection resolution
  • Recommend or assist seller(s) with identifying trustworthy contractors to perform any required repairs
  • Obtain copies of repair bills showing seller(s) has made required repairs
  • Coordinate entry into the property and buyer’s review of completed repairs, if needed
  • Make arrangements for the appraiser to enter the property
  • Negotiate any unsatisfactory appraisals
  • Follow-up on appraisal
  • Enter appraisal completion into listing file
  • Discuss appraisal report with seller(s) and suggest options, if necessary
  • Confirm clear-to-close
  • Coordinate closing times and location
  • Verify title company has all docs
  • Remind seller(s) to transfer utilities
  • Confirm location, date, and time where closing will be held and notify all parties
  • Confirm with the closing agent that all title problems have been resolved
  • Confirm that the seller has the proper Power of Attorney or trust documents, as required
  • Work with buyer(s)’ broker in scheduling and conducting buyer(s)’ final walk-through prior to closing
  • Confirm with the closing agent that all tax, HOA, utility, and other applicable pro-rations have been resolved
  • Request final closing figures from closing agent
  • Review closing figures on HUD statement with seller(s) to verify accuracy of preparation
  • Forward verified closing figures to buyer(s)’ broker and confirm buyer(s)’ broker has received and reviewed closing figures
  • Confirm buyer(s) and buyer(s)’ broker has received title insurance commitment
  • Provide homeowners warranty for availability at closing
  • Recommend courtesy closing agent for the absentee seller(s), as needed
  • Review closing documents with seller(s) and their counsel
  • Provide earnest money deposit check from escrow account to closing agent. If the closing agent is holding escrow funds make sure it appears on the final HUD
  • Coordinate this closing with seller(s)’ next purchase and resolve any timing problems, if applicable
  • Confirm seller(s)’ net proceeds check at closing
  • Pick up the sign and lockbox
  • Change status in MLS to “Sold”
  • Close out listing in company files
  • Follow-up with seller(s)

 The Tasks of a Buyer's Agent

Pre-Home Search:

  • Schedule a meeting with the buyer(s)
  • Prepare buyer(s)’ guide and presentation
  • Meet with the buyer(s) and discuss their goals
  • Explain buyer and seller agency relationships
  • Discuss the different types of financing options to the buyer(s)
  • Help the buyer(s) find a mortgage lender
  • Obtain pre-approval letter from their lender
  • Explain what you do for the buyer(s) as their realtor
  • Provide an overview of the current market conditions
  • Explain the brokerage’s value to the buyer(s)
  • Discuss about earnest money deposits
  • Discuss foreclosures and short sales
  • Educate the buyer(s)’ about local neighborhoods
  • Explain about the home inspection process
  • Discuss with the buyer(s) their needs and wants for their next home
  • Explain school districts effect on home value
  • Create an internal file for buyer(s) records
  • Search the MLS for properties that meet the buyer(s)’ criteria
  • Make appointments with seller(s) or seller(s)’ listing broker to show the properties selected by the buyer(s)
  • Show the buyer(s) their selected properties

 Post Contract:

  • Deliver fully signed and initialed contract to buyer. 
  • Distribute signed contracts to all involved parties (buyer(s), seller(s), title company, lender, seller(s)/buyer(s) broker, and closing agent) and provide contact information as needed. 
  • Provide receipt of escrow deposit to seller(s)’ broker. 
  • Place copies of signed contract in office file. 
  • Inform buyer(s) of additional offers to purchase that are submitted between effective date of contract and closing.  
  • Update listing file to show “sale pending.”
  • Obtain a copy of HOA bylaws
  • Coordinate inspection with buyers
  • Provide buyer(s) with at least three home inspection companies and three WDO inspection companies from which to select. 
  • Coordinate buyer(s)’ professional home and WDO inspection with seller(s)’ broker. 
  • Review home and WDO inspection reports with buyer.
  • Enter completion of home and WDO inspection reports into the listing file.
  • Order septic system, well, or mold inspections, if applicable. 
  • Receive and review septic system, well, or mold reports with buyer(s) and note any possible impact on sale.
  • Provide copy of septic system, well and mold inspection reports, if any, to lender and seller(s). 
  • Verify seller(s)’ compliance with all inspection repair requirements. 
  • Get all agreed upon repair items in writing.
  • Coordinate with lender on discount points being locked in with dates. 
  • Verify any existing lease agreements
  • Coordinate with the lender on discount points being locked in with dates. 
  • Confirm verifications of deposit and buyer(s)’ employment have been returned. 
  • Contact lender weekly to verify processing is on track.  
  • Follow loan processing through to the underwriter. 
  • Relay final approval of buyer(s)’ loan application to seller(s)
  • Schedule appraisal with seller(s) or seller(s)’ broker. 
  • Inform buyer(s) of options if appraisal report is different than the contract/purchase price. 
  • Provide comparable sales used in market pricing to appraiser. 
  • Follow-up on appraisal until completed.
  • Enter completion into the listing file. 
  • Coordinate closing process with seller(s)’ broker, lender, and closing agent. 
  • Update closing forms and files. 
  • Assist in obtaining power of attorney or trust documents, as required. 
  • Work with seller(s)’ broker in scheduling and conducting buyer(s)’ final walk-through prior to closing. 
  • Confirm buyer(s) has received title insurance commitment.
  • Confirm location, date, and time where closing will be held and notify all parties.  
  • Confirm with the closing agent that all tax, HOA, utility, and other applicable pro-rations have been resolved.  
  • Request final closing figures from closing agent. 
  • Review and verify closing figures on HUD statement with buyer(s)
  • Forward verified closing figures to seller(s)’ broker and confirm seller(s)’ broker has received and reviewed closing figures. 
  • Verify that seller(s)’ broker has provided homeowners warranty, if purchased, at closing. 
  • Forward closing documents to absentee buyer(s) as requested, if applicable. 
  • Provide earnest money deposit check from escrow account to closing agent. If closing agent is holding escrow funds make sure it appears on the final HUD. 
  • Confirm collected funds from buyer(s) are available for closing.  
  • Explain filing for homestead exemption. 
  • Verify transfer of all keys (house, mailbox, and HOA/community), garage- door openers, HOA/security/gate access codes, pool equipment, and appliance manuals. 
  • Close out listing.

After Closing:

  • Assist with filing claims with the homeowner’s warranty company, if requested. 
  • Respond to any follow-up calls and provide any additional information required from office files. 
  • Follow up with buyer(s). 

 If you need help with your real estate transactions, you can reach out to us anytime and we’d be glad to help. Learn more about Spartan Group Realty and meet each of our team members HERE.