Oh, You're a REALTOR? What Do You REALLY Do? 

This is a question that many in the real estate industry face on a daily basis. Having thought about this, here's a list we've compiled of over 150 items that we, The Russo Team, do every time we sell a home. Check out the list below, and let us know how we can help you, your family, your co-workers and friends with any real estate needs!

Pre-listing Activities

  • Contact property owner(s) and make appointment with seller(s) for listing presentation.
  • Send seller(s) confirmation of listing appointment and call to confirm.
  • Review pre-appointment questions.
  • Research appropriate sampling of currently listed comparable properties (i.e., appropriate by property type, price range, and location).
  • Research trends and sales activity for an appropriate period (past three to six months is recommended) from MLS and public records databases.
  • Research "average days on market” for the property type, price range, and location.
  • Download and review property tax roll information.
  • Research property’s public record information for ownership and deed type.
  • Research property’s public record information for lot size and dimensions.
  • Research legal description.
  • Ascertain need for lead-based paint disclosure.
  • Prepare market analysis to establish opinion of value.
  • Prepare listing-presentation package with above materials.
  • Perform exterior "curb-appeal assessment” of subject property.
  • Verify public-school zoning and discuss with the seller(s) the impact of school districts on market value determination.
  • Review listing-appointment checklist to verify that all steps and actions have been completed.

Listing-appointment Presentation Activities

  • Review broker’s and company’s credentials and accomplishments in the market with seller(s).
  • Present company’s profile and position of "niche” in the marketplace.
  • Give seller(s) an overview and projections of current market conditions.
  • 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 goals with seller(s) to market effectively.
  • Explain marketing power and benefits of the MLS.
  • Explain the different marketing options and their effectiveness.
  • 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.
  • Present and discuss strategic master marketing plan.
  • 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 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.
  • Discuss home-warranty program with homeowner.
  • Verify if property has rental units involved.
  • Make copies of all leases for retention in listing file.
  • Verify all rents and all deposits.
  • Assess interior décor and suggest changes.
  • Prepare net sheet for seller(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.
  • Confirm lot size via owner’s copy of certified survey, if available.
  • Note any and all unrecorded property lines, agreements, and easements that are known to the seller if they are not otherwise noted.
  • Obtain house plans, if applicable and available.
  • Review house plans and make a copy.

Post-listing Activities

  • Compile and assemble formal file on property.
  • Obtain copy of subdivision plat/complex layout.
  • 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.
  • Provide seller(s) with a copy of a blank sales contract to review in preparation of their receipt of an offer.
  • Inform tenants of listing and discuss how showings will be handled.
  • Arrange for installation of yard sign.
  • Have seller(s) complete the seller(s)’ disclosure form.

Listing Activities

  • Order plat map for retention in property’s listing file.
  • Prepare showing instructions for buyer(s)’ broker and agree on showing-time window with seller(s).
  • Install electronic lock box and program the lock box with agreed-upon showing-time windows.
  • Obtain current mortgage loan(s) information: companies and loan account numbers.
  • Verify current loan information with lender(s).
  • Identify homeowner association manager, if applicable.
  • Verify homeowner association fees and pending or unpaid assessments with homeowner association manager.
  • Research electricity availability and supplier’s name and phone number.
  • Prepare detailed list of property amenities and assess market impact.
  • Prepare detailed list of property’s "inclusions and conveyances with sale.”
  • Compile list of completed repairs and maintenance items.
  • Explain benefits of homeowner warranty to seller(s).
  • Assist sellers with completion and submission of homeowner-warranty application.
  • Place homeowner warranty in property file for conveyance at time of sale.
  • Make extra key for lockbox.
  • Place a copy of the seller(s)’ completed disclosure form in the property file.
  • Arrange for interior and exterior photos to be taken for MLS listing.
  • Arrange for creation of a virtual tour if one will be used in marketing the property.
  • Complete a new-listing checklist.
  • Enter listing into office records and/or create listing file. 

MLS-related Activities

  • Prepare "MLS profile sheet.” (Listing broker is responsible for "quality control” and accuracy of listing data).
  • Enter property data from profile sheet into MLS listing database.
  • Proofread MLS database listing for accuracy, including proper placement in mapping function.
  • Take additional photos of the property to upload into MLS and for use in flyers.
  • Provide seller(s) with a copy of the MLS profile sheet data form.
  • Add property to company’s active listings list.

Marketing and Showing Activities

  • Create print and Internet ads.
  • Provide "special feature” postcards for marketing, if applicable.
  • Submit ads to company’s participating Internet real estate sites
  • Reprint/supply brochures promptly as needed.
  • Prepare mailing and contact list.
  • Generate mail-merge letters to contact list.
  • Order "just listed” labels and reports.
  • Prepare flyers.
  • Prepare property marketing brochure for seller(s)’ review.
  • Order an appropriate quantity of marketing brochures or flyers.
  • E-mail 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 our personal and professional networks of the listing.
  • Coordinate showings with owners, tenants, and other REALTORS®. Return all calls promptly (weekends included).
  • Provide showing time comments and feedback to seller(s) and recommend changes according to potential buyer comments.
  • Review comparable MLS listings and new trends regularly to verify property remains competitive in price, terms, conditions, and availability.
  • 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.
  • Review weekly market study reports.
  • Discuss feedback from showing sales associates with seller(s) to determine if changes will accelerate the sale.
  • Call seller(s) weekly to discuss marketing and pricing.
  • Promptly enter price changes in MLS listing database.

Offer and Contract Activities

  • Verify proper licensure of buyer’s broker and salesperson.
  • Obtain a signed and dated verification that escrow deposit was delivered to escrow agency.
  • Receive and review all offer to purchase contracts submitted by buyers or buyers’ brokers.
  • Evaluate offer(s) and prepare a "net sheet” on each offer, for the seller(s) to make comparisons.
  • Review offers with seller(s) and review merits and weaknesses of each component of each offer.
  • Contact buyers’ broker to review buyer(s)’ qualifications and discuss offer.
  • 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.
  • Negotiate all offers and counteroffers on seller(s)’ behalf.
  • 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).
  • Verify contract is signed by all parties.
  • Provide copies of the contract and all addenda to closing attorney and the title company.
  • Record and promptly deposit buyer(s)’ earnest money with escrow agent.
  • Disseminate "under-contract showing restrictions” as seller(s) requests.
  • Deliver copies of signed contract to seller(s).
  • Provide copies of contract to lender.
  • Inform seller(s) how to handle additional offers to purchase submitted between effective date of contract and closing.
  • Change status in MLS to "sale pending.”
  • Update listing file to show "sale pending.”

Loan-process Activities

  • 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 seller(s).

Home-inspection Activities

  • Coordinate buyer(s)’ professional home and termite (WDO) inspections with seller(s).
  • If 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.
  • 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.

Appraisal Activities

  • Make arrangements for appraiser to enter property.
  • Follow-up on appraisal.
  • Enter appraisal completion into listing file.
  • Discuss appraisal report with seller(s) and suggest options, if necessary.

Closing-preparation Activities

  • Distribute signed contracts to all involved parties (buyer, seller(s), title company, lender, seller(s)/buyer(s) broker, closing agent) and provide contact information as needed.
  • Coordinate closing process with buyer(s)’ broker and lender.
  • Update closing forms and files.
  • Confirm location, date, and time where closing will be held and notify all parties.
  • Confirm with 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 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 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 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.

After-closing Activities

  • Provide REALTOR® referral information for seller(s)’ relocation destination, if applicable.
  • Change MLS status to "sold.” Enter sale date, price, selling broker, and listing broker’s ID numbers, etc.
  • Close out listing in company files.
  • Follow up with seller(s).

As you can see there are a lot of steps involved in selling your home, 150 in fact. If you or someone you know is considering a move, give The Russo Team a call. Let our years of experience get the job done for you! 

Frank Russo
The Russo Team
RE/MAX Professionals

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