Need to sell before you buy? 101 reasons to call a Realtor today

2013-05-19T00:00:00Z Need to sell before you buy? 101 reasons to call a Realtor todayMichelle Krueger Times Correspondent
May 19, 2013 12:00 am  • 

Far from just driving buyers around or simply placing for sale signs in yards, the daily routine of a real estate agent involves a great many interactions with current and prospective clients, other agents and brokers, appraisers, attorneys, home inspectors, lenders, title companies and more. Experienced, professional Realtors stay on top of what’s happening in the local market as well as the industry at large, monitor online activity, constantly market their listings and manage endless amounts of paperwork.

Helping clients with contracts, negotiations, inspection and the closing process is a large part of their job. Plus, most successful Realtors go far beyond the basic requirements, continuing their professional development and becoming well versed in the unique attributes of their local area.

As members of the National Association of Realtors, the Indiana Association of Realtors and the Greater Northwest Indiana Association of Realtors, they subscribe to a strict code of ethics when it comes to helping make the dream of homeownership a reality for their clients. You’ll also find them involved with a great variety of community programs and projects. Realtors help make our communities a better place to call home.

Because there is often a great deal of money involved, the complexity of a typical real estate transaction is a concern for most homebuyers and sellers. That’s the real value of professional Realtor - knowledge of the process.

While anyone can put a listing on the Internet and wait for the phone to ring, here are a 101 ways your Realtor will get your home SOLD:

Pre-listing activities

1. Research all comparable currently listed properties.

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

3. Research “average days on market” for properties similar in type, price and location.

4. Prepare “comparable market analysis” (CMA) to establish market value.

5. Research property’s public records and review property tax information

6. Confirm current public schools and note their impact on market value.

7. Perform exterior “curb appeal assessment” of subject property.

Listing appointment presentation

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

9. Review Realtor credentials.

10. Present company profile and position or “niche” in the marketplace.

11. Present CMA results, including comparables, solds, current listings and expireds.

12. Offer pricing strategy based on professional judgment and interpretation of current market conditions.

13. Discuss goals to market effectively.

14. Explain the work Realtors do “behind the scenes,” including the importance of screening qualified buyers.

15. Present and discuss strategic marketing plan.

16. Review all clauses in listing contract.

After listing agreement is signed

17. Review results of Curb Appeal Assessment with seller and provide suggestions to improve salability.

18. Review results of Interior Assessment and suggest changes to shorten time on market.

19. Obtain and review house plans/plat map and retain in property’s listing file.

20. Review current appraisal if available.

21. Review current title information.

22. Measure overall and heated square footage plus interior room sizes.

23. Prepare showing instructions for buyers’ agents.

24. Discuss possible buyer financing alternatives and options with seller.

25. Verify current loan information with lender(s), check assumability of loan(s) and any special requirements.

26. Compile a list of utility suppliers and calculate average utility usage from the last 12 months of bills.

27. Research other suppliers and fees - city sewer/septic tank system or well status, depth and output from Well Report.

28. If applicable, verify all Home Owner Association fees with manager

29. Verify if seller has transferable Termite Bond and ascertain need for lead-based paint disclosure.

30. Prepare detailed list of property amenities and assess market impact.

31. Prepare detailed list of property’s “Inclusions & Conveyances with Sale.”

32. Compile list of completed repairs and maintenance items.

33. Explain benefits of Home Owner Warranty to seller

34. Assist seller with completion of Seller’s Disclosure form.

35. Take photos to upload into MLS and use in flyers.

36. Have an extra key made for lockbox programmed with agreed-upon showing window if authorized by owner.

37. Arrange for yard sign installation.

Entering property in MLS database

38. Prepare and enter MLS information

39. Realtor is responsible for “quality control” and accuracy of listing data.

40. Add property to company’s Active Listings list.

Marketing the listing

41. Create online and print advertising with seller’s input.

42. Coordinate showings with owners and other Realtors. Return all calls - weekends included.

43. Prepare flyers and feedback forms.

44. Distribute marketing flyers by mail and to other agents and brokers.

45. Review comparable MLS listings regularly to ensure property remains competitive in price, terms, conditions and availability.

46. Send feedback forms to buyers’ agents after showings.

47. Discuss feedback from showing agents with seller to determine if changes will accelerate the sale.

48. Schedule regular weekly update calls to seller to discuss marketing and pricing.

49. Convey any and all changes promptly to MLS listings database and all Internet groups.

The offer and contract

50. Receive and review all Offer to Purchase contracts submitted by buyers or buyers’ agents.

51. Evaluate offer(s) and prepare “net sheet” on each for owner to compare.

52. Counsel seller on offers. Explain merits and weakness of each component of each offer.

53. Contact buyers’ agents to review buyer’s qualifications and discuss offer.

54. Deliver Seller’s Disclosure to buyer’s agent or buyer upon request and prior to offer if possible.

55. Confirm buyer is pre-qualified.

56. Negotiate all offers on seller’s behalf, setting time limit for loan approval and closing date.

57. Prepare and convey any counteroffers, acceptance or amendments to buyer’s agent.

58. When Offer-to-Purchase contract is accepted and signed by seller, deliver to buyer’s agent.

59. Provide copies of fully signed Offer to Purchase contract and all addendums to seller, buyer’s agent, lender and title company.

60. Record and promptly deposit buyer’s earnest money into escrow account.

61. Disseminate “Under-Contract Showing Restrictions” as seller requests.

62. Advise seller in handling additional offers to purchase submitted between contract and closing.

63. Update MLS status and all online advertising to “Sale Pending.”

64. Be available to assist buyer and follow up as necessary.

Tracking the loan process

65. Confirm return of verifications of deposit and buyer’s employment.

66. Follow loan processing through to the underwriter.

67. Contact lender weekly to ensure processing is on track.

68. Relay final approval of buyer’s loan application to seller.

69. Coordinate with lender on lock-in dates.

Home inspection

70. Coordinate buyer’s professional home inspection with seller.

71. Review home inspector’s report.

72. Explain seller’s responsibilities with respect to loan limits and interpret any clauses in the contract.

73. Ensure seller’s compliance with home inspection clause requirements.

74. Recommend/assist seller with identifying and negotiating with trustworthy contractors for required repairs.

75. Negotiate payment and oversee completion of all required repairs on seller’s behalf, if necessary.

76. Update all parties at all stages.

The appraisal

77. Schedule appraisal.

78. Provide comparable sales used in market pricing to appraiser.

79. Follow up on appraisal.

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

81. Update all parties at all stages

Closing preparations and duties

82. Make sure contract and addendums are signed by all parties.

83. Coordinate closing process with buyer’s agent and lender.

84. Continually update closing forms and files.

85. Ensure all parties have all forms and information needed to close the sale.

86. Select location for closing.

87. Confirm closing date and time and notify all parties.

88. Assist in solving any title problems (boundary disputes, easements, etc.) or in obtaining death certificates.

89. Research all tax, HOA, utility and other applicable prorations.

90. Work with buyer’s agent in scheduling and conducting buyer’s final walk-through prior to closing.

91. Request final closing figures from closing agent (attorney or title company).

92. Receive and carefully review closing figures to ensure accuracy.

93. Forward verified closing figures to buyer’s agent.

94. Request copy of closing documents from closing agent.

95. Review all closing documents carefully for errors.

96. Provide earnest money deposit from escrow account to closing agent.

97. Coordinate closing with seller’s next purchase, resolving timing issues.

98. Have a “no surprises” closing so that seller receives a net proceeds check at closing.

Follow up after closing

99. Change MLS status to Sold. Enter sale date, price, selling broker and agent’s ID numbers, etc.

100. Close out all other online links.

101. Respond to any follow-on calls and provide any additional information required from office files.

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