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184 Ways Realtors Are Worth Every Penny of their Commission

Mary Ellen Vanaken

Mary Ellen was born and raised in Long Island, New York. After graduating from college, she worked on Wall Street for JP Morgan in New York City...

Mary Ellen was born and raised in Long Island, New York. After graduating from college, she worked on Wall Street for JP Morgan in New York City...

Sep 2 14 minutes read

Here's a look at all the things — big and small — that a Realtor does to help clients when buying and selling a home. 

You know you earn every penny you get when you sell a home. This list can help you show your customers exactly what you do to help them buy or sell their home. 

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 comparable currently listed properties 

5. Research sales activity for past 18 months from MLS and public records databases 

6. Research Average Days on Marketfor property of this type, price range, and location 

7. Download and review property tax roll information 

8. Prepare Comparable Market Analysis (CMA) to establish fair market value  

9. Obtain copy of subdivision plat/complex lay-out 

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 Assessmentof subject property 

18. Compile a 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 are completed 

Listing Appointment Presentation 

21. Give seller an overview of current market conditions and projections 

22. Review agent's and company's credentials and accomplishments in the market 

23. Present company's profile and position or niche in the marketplace 

24. Present CMA to seller, including comparable properties, sold properties, current listings, and expired listings 

25. Offer pricing strategy based on professional judgment and current market conditions 

26. Discuss goals with seller to market effectively 

27. Explain market power and benefits of Multiple Listing Service 

28. Explain market power of web marketing, IDX and 

29. Explain the work you do behind the scenes and your availability on weekends 

30. Explain role in screening for qualified buyers and protect seller from curiosity seekers 

31. Present and discuss strategic master marketing plan 

32. Explain transaction brokerage relationship 

33. Review and explain all clauses in listing contract and addendum, then 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 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 showing times with seller 

43. Obtain current mortgage loan(s) information: companies & loan 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, plus fees 

50. Order copy of Homeowner Association bylaws, if applicable 

51. Research electricity availability, 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. Natural Gas: Research/verify availability, supplier's name, and phone number 

57. Verify security system, current terms of service and whether 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 with sale 

62. Compile list of completed repairs and maintenance items 

63. Send vacancy checklist 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. 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. 

69. If the property does have rental units, make copies of all leases for retention in listing 


70. Verify all rents and deposits 

71. Inform tenants of 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 new listing checklist 

75. Review curb appeal assessment and provide suggestions to improve salability 

76. Review interior décor assessment and suggest changes to shorten time on market 

77. Load listing into transaction management software program 

78. Prepare MLS Profile Sheet 

79. Enter property data from Profile Sheet into MLS Listing Database

80. Proofread MLS database listing for accuracy, including proper placement in map 

81. Add property to company's active listings list 

82. Provide seller copies of the listing agreement and MLS Profile Sheet within 48 hours 

83. Take additional photos for upload into MLS and use in fliers 

84. Create print and internet ads with seller's input 

85. Coordinate showings with owners, tenants, and other REALTORS®. Return all calls 

86. Install electronic lock box if authorized. Program agreed-to showing times 

87. Prepare mailing and contact list 

88. Generate mail-merge letters to contact list 

89. Order Just Listedlabels and reports 

90. Prepare fliers and feedback reports 

91. Review comparable MLS listings regularly to ensure property remains competitive 

92. Prepare property marketing brochure for seller's review 

93. Arrange for printing or copying of marketing brochures or fliers 

94. Place marketing brochures in all company agent mailboxes 

95. Upload listing to company and agent Internet site, if applicable 

96. Mail Out Just Listednotice to all neighborhood residents 

97. Advise network referral program of listing 

98. Provide marketing data to through international relocation network buyers 

99. Provide marketing data to buyers coming from referral network 

100. Provide Special Featurecards for marketing, if applicable 

101. Submit ads to company's participating internet real estate sites 

102. Price changes conveyed promptly to all internet groups 

103. Reprint/supply brochures promptly as needed 

104. Loan information reviewed and updated in MLS as required 

105. Feedback e-mails sent to buyers' agents after showings 

106. Review weekly market study 

107. Discuss with sellers any feedback from showings to determine if changes are needed 

108. Place regular weekly update calls to seller to discuss marketing and pricing 

109. Promptly enter price changes in the MLS listing database 

110. Receive and review all offer to Purchasecontracts submitted by buyers' agents. 

111. Evaluate offer(s) and prepare a net sheet for the owner for comparison purposes 

112. Explain merits and weakness of each offer to sellers 

113. Contact buyers' agents to review buyer's qualifications and discuss offer 

114. Deliver Seller's Disclosureto buyer upon request and prior to offer if possible 

115. Confirm buyer is pre-qualified by calling loan officer 

116. Obtain buyers' pre-qualification letter from loan officer 

117. Negotiate all offers on seller's behalf, set time limit for loan approval and closing 

118. Prepare and convey counteroffers, acceptance or amendments to buyer's agent 

119. Email or send copies of contract and all addendums to the closing attorney or title company 

120. When Offer to Purchasecontract is accepted, deliver to buyer's agent 

121. Record and promptly deposit buyer's earnest money in escrow account 

122. Disseminate under-contract showing restrictions as seller requests 

123. Deliver copies of fully signed Offer to Purchasecontract to seller 

124. Deliver copies of offer to Purchasecontract to selling agent 

125. Deliver copies of offer to Purchasecontract to lender 

126. Provide copies of signed offer to Purchasecontract for office file 

127. Advise seller of additional offers submitted between contract and closing 

128. Change status in MLS to Sale Pending 

129. Update transaction management program show Sale Pending 

130. Review buyer's credit report. Advise seller of worst- and best-case scenarios 

131. Provide credit report information to seller if property will be seller-financed 

132. Assist buyer with obtaining financing, if applicable, and follow-up as necessary 

133. Coordinate with lender on discount points being locked in with dates 

134. Deliver unrecorded property information to buyer 

135. Order septic system inspection, if applicable 

136. Receive and review septic system report, and assess any possible impact on sale 

137. Deliver copy of septic system inspection report lender and buyer 

138. Deliver Well Flow Test Report copies to lender and buyer, and property listing file 

139. Verify termite inspection ordered 

140. Verify mold inspection ordered, if required 

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 your 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 with seller for buyer's professional home inspection 

147. Review home inspector's report 

148. Enter completion into transaction management tracking program 

149. Explain seller's responsibilities, and recommend an attorney interpret any clauses in the contract 

150. Ensure seller's compliance with Home Inspection Clause requirements 

151. Assist seller with identifying contractors to perform any required repairs 

152. Negotiate payment, and oversee all required repairs on seller's behalf, if needed 

The Appraisal 

153. Schedule appraisal 

154. Provide to appraiser any comparable sales used in market pricing 

155. Follow-up on appraisal 

156. Enter completion into transaction management program 

157. Assist seller in questioning appraisal report if it seems too low 

158. Get contract 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 or in obtaining death certificates 

165. Work with buyer's agent in scheduling buyer's final walk-thru prior to closing 

166. Research all tax, homeowners' association dues, utility, and applicable prorations 

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 have received title insurance commitment

 172. Provide homeowners warranty for availability at closing 

173. Reviews 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 closing with seller's next purchase, and resolve any timing problems 

178. Have a no-surprisesclosing so seller receives a net-proceeds check at closing 

179. Refer sellers to one of the best agents at their destination, if applicable 

180. Change MLS status to Sold. Enter sale date, price, selling broker, etc. 

181. Close out listing in your management program 

Follow-up After Closing 

182. Provide answers about filing claims with homeowner warranty company if requested 

183. Attempt to clarify and resolve any conflicts about repairs if buyer is not satisfied 

184. Respond to any calls and provide any information required from office files 

Print this out and use it in your listing presentation to show prospective sellers all that you do to earn you commission. 

Reprinted with permission of the National Association of Realtors® 

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