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What Does a Realtor Do Anyway?

There are so many myths going around about what the job of being a Realtor really entails! Some of them are funny; some are scary and some are just, well, myths. Realtors always try to make the transaction smooth, so sometimes Homebuyers or Sellers can fail to recognize everything involved in the process of a purchase or a sale. Some may ask the question, “Do we even need a Realtor? It seems so easy, can’t I do it myself?” In response, I decided to make a list of things that I, a full-time Realtor, do during my day when working with a Buyer or a Seller, or often with both at the same time.

171 Things I Do For My Clients

  1. Research appropriate listed comparable properties (by type, price range and location)
  2. Research trends and sales activity for an appropriate period (past three to six months)
  3. Research “average days on market” for the property type, price range and location
  4. Download and review property tax information
  5. Research property public record information for ownership and deed type
  6. Research property public record information for lot size and dimensions
  7. Research and verify legal description
  8. Research property land use coding and deed restrictions
  9. Research property current use and zoning
  10. Ascertain need for lead-based paint Disclosure
  11. Perform exterior “curb-appeal assessment” of property
  12. Verify public school zoning and discuss with the Seller the impact of school districts on market value determination
  13. Give Seller an overview and projections of current market conditions
  14. Present market analysis results to Seller, including Sold comparable, current listings and expired.
  15. Offer pricing strategy based on professional judgment and interpretation of current market conditions.
  16. Discuss goals with Seller to market effectively
  17. Explain marketing power and benefit of the MLS
  18. Explain the different marketing options and their effectiveness
  19. Present and discuss strategic master marketing plan
  20. Review results for curb-appeal assessment with Seller and provide suggestions to improve sale-ability
  21. Research and verify city sewer/septic tank systems. Verify when property septic system was last pumped or inspected
  22. Verify security system, current term of service, and determine if it’s owned or leased
  23. Verify if Seller has transferable termite bond (obtain a copy for a future Buyer)
  24. Verify if property has rental units involed
  25. Make copies of leases
  26. Verify all rents and all deposits
  27. Assess interior décor and suggest changes
  28. Review accuracy of current title information with Seller
  29. Verify names of owners as they appear on public records
  30. Verify with Seller if there are any outstanding or expired construction permits or if any changes have been made to the property since the Seller purchased the property
  31. Obtain copy of current Title Insurance policy
  32. Complete Listing Contract and Addenda, obtain Seller’s signature on listing agreement and give one copy to Seller
  33. Review with Seller the standard closing costs and pro-rations typical to the HUD statements
  34. Obtain Seller’s permission to use a lock box
  35. Confirm lot size via owner’s copy of certified survey, if available
  36. Note any and all unrecorded property lines, agreements, and easements that are known to the Seller if they are not otherwise noted
  37. Obtain house plans, if available
  38. Provide Seller with a copy of a blank sales contract to review in preparation of their receipt of an offer
  39. Inform tenants of listing and discuss how showings will be handled
  40. Arrange for installation of yard sign
  41. Have Seller complete the Seller’s Disclosure form
  42. Prepare showing instructions for Buyer’s broker and agree on showing-time schedule with Seller
  43. Install a lock box
  44. Verify current loan information with lender, if applicable
  45. Verify HOA fees and pending or unpaid assessments with HOA manager
  46. Verify if Open Houses are allowed by HOA
  47. Verify all rules and regulations of holding an Open House with HOA
  48. Research Electrical company supplier contact information
  49. Prepare detailed list of property amenities and assess market impact
  50. Prepare detailed list of property’s “inclusions” with sale
  51. Compile list of completed repairs and maintenance items
  52. Obtain/Make extra key for lockbox
  53. Arrange for interior/exterior photos to be taken for MLS listing
  54. Arrange for creation of a virtual tour if one will be used in marketing of the property
  55. Complete new-listing checklist
  56. Enter listing into office records and/or create listing file
  57. Prepare “MLS profile sheet”
  58. Enter property data from profile sheet into MLS listing database
  59. Take additional photos of the property to upload into MLS and for use in flyers
  60. Provide Seller with a copy of the MLS profile sheet data form
  61. Add property to company’s active listing list
  62. Create print and internet listing ads
  63. Approve with Seller all print and Internet listing ads
  64. Submit ads to company’s participating Internet Real Estate sites
  65. Reprint/supply/update brochures promptly as needed
  66. Prepare mailing list and contact list for direct mail marketing
  67. Create “Just Listed” mail cards
  68. Order “Just Listed” mail cards
  69. Prepare flyer for Open Houses and review with Seller
  70. Email marketing material to brokers and agents
  71. Mail out “Just Listed” cards to all neighborhood residents
  72. Inform Network Referral Program of listing
  73. Coordinate showings with owners, tenants and other Realtors. Return all calls/emails/texts promptly (weekends included)
  74. Provide showing time comments and feedbacks to Seller and recommend changes according to potential Buyer comments
  75. Review comparable MLS listings and trends regularly to verify that property remains competitive in price, terms, conditions and availability.
  76. Provide marketing date to Buyers coming through International relocation network
  77. Convey price change promptly to all Internet groups
  78. Request feedback from Buyer’s brokers after showings
  79. Review weekly market reports
  80. Discuss feedback from showing appointments with Seller to determine if changes will accelerate the sale
  81. Call Seller weekly to discuss marketing and pricing
  82. Promptly enter price changes in MLS listing database
  83. Receive and review all offers submitted by Buyer’s agents
  84. Review all offers with Seller and review merits and weaknesses of each offer
  85. Negotiate all offers and counter-offers on Seller’s behalf
  86. Prepare and convey any counter-offers on Seller’s behalf
  1. Contact Buyer’s agents to review Buyer’s qualifications and discuss offer
  2. Verify proper licensure of Buyer’s broker
  3. Verify contract is signed by all parties
  4. Open Escrow
  5. Provide copies of the Purchase Contract and all Addenda to Escrow
  6. Obtain a signed and dated verification that escrow deposit was delivered to escrow company
  7. Provide Buyer’s broker with Seller Disclosure
  8. Confirm Buyer’s pre-approved with a Lender
  9. Obtain Buyer’s pre-approval letter from a Lender
  10. Change status on MLS to “ES”- in escrow showing
  11. Contact Buyer’s lender weekly to verify processing is on track
  12. Provide to Seller final approval of Buyer’s loan application
  13. Coordinate Buyer’s home inspection and termite’s inspection
  14. Review inspection reports with a Seller and discuss issues and options, if needed
  15. Recommend or assist Seller with identifying trustworthy contractors to perform any required repairs
  16. Obtain copies of repair bills showing that Seller has made required repairs
  17. Make arrangements for appraiser to enter property
  18. Follow up on appraisal
  19. Discuss appraisal report with Seller and suggest options, if necessary
  20. Coordinate closing process with Buyer’s agent and lender.
  21. Confirm location, date, and time where closing will be held and notify all parties
  22. Confirm that Seller has the proper Power of Attorney or trust documents, if required
  23. Work with Buyer’s agent in scheduling and conducting a final walk-through prior to closing
  24. Confirm with Escrow that all tax, HOA, utility and other pro-rations have been resolved
  25. Request final closing figures from Escrow
  26. Review closing figures with Seller to verify accuracy
  27. Review all closing documents with Seller
  28. Coordinate this closing with Seller’s next purchase and resolve any timing problems, if applicable
  29. Confirm Seller’s net proceeds check/deposit at closing
  30. Change MLS status to “Sold”
  31. Follow up with Seller

What I do when I help you buy a property:

  1. Respond to prospective Buyer’s inquiries
  2. Interview the Buyer and obtain personal information
  3. Explain Homebuying process
  4. Determine if there is any conflicting brokerage relationship or any other conflict of interest with the Buyer
  5. Discuss the pre-approval financial process with the Buyer
  6. Suggest at least three mortgage lenders to assist Buyer in becoming pre-approved
  7. Explain the difference between being pre-qualified vs pre-approved
  8. Help to examine not only how much you can afford but also how much you want to spend
  9. Determine through process of discovery the Buyer’s preferences in a home: location, price, size, type of home, special needs, etc.
  10. Obtain and review pre-approval letter from a lender
  11. Search MLS for properties that meet the Buyer’s criteria
  12. Network with other agents for properties not yet in the MLS
  13. Make showing appointments with Seller’s agents to show properties selected by the Buyer
  14. Make sure appointments are coordinated in schedule
  15. Show the Buyer their selected properties
  16. Assist in analyzing the pros and cons of each property
  17. Obtain a “good faith estimate” from Buyer’s lender for the target purchase price and review with Buyer
  18. Assist in evaluating properties for suitability, affordability, and resale value
  19. Educate on Buyer’s market vs Seller’s market
  20. Show statistics on what percent of list price the sellers are currently receiving
  21. Show current average days on market and current months of inventory
  22. Prepare CMA so Buyer makes an informed decision when offering price
  23. Meet with Buyer to review offer, contract form and all addenda
  24. Complete Purchase contract and addenda
  25. Prepare a Buyer for multiple offer situations and develop negotiation strategies specific to multiple offers
  26. Submit Offer to Seller’s agent
  27. Negotiate all offers on Buyer’s behalf
  28. Prepare and convey any counteroffers, acceptance, or amendments to Seller’s agent
  29. Open Escrow upon acceptance of Buyer’s offer
  30. Provide Seller’s Disclosure form to Buyer
  31. Ensure Buyer receives and understands all state and federal required forms
  32. Promptly deposit Buyer’s earnest money in escrow account and obtain a receipt
  33. Provide earnest money receipt to Seller’s agent
  34. Provide Buyer with at least three home inspection and Termite inspections companies
  35. Coordinate Buyer’s home inspection with Seller’s agent
  36. Review and discuss inspection reports with Buyer
  37. Order any other inspections, if needed
  38. Receive and review reports and note any possible impact on sale
  39. Submit repair request to Seller’s agent, if needed
  40. Verify Seller’s compliance with all inspection repair requirements
  41. Contact lender weekly to verify processing is on track
  42. Relay final approval of Buyer’s loan application to Seller’s agent
  43. Schedule appraisal with Seller’s agent
  44. Provide comparable sales used in market pricing to appraiser
  45. Inform Buyer of options if appraisal report is different than the contract/purchase price
  46. Update closing forms and files
  47. Coordinate closing process with Seller’s agent, lender and Escrow
  48. Assist in obtaining Power of Attorney or Trust documents, if required
  49. Work with Seller’s agent in scheduling and conducting a final walk-through prior to closing
  50. Confirm location, date and time where closing will be held and notify all parties
  51. Review and verify with Buyer closing figures received from Escrow
  52. Confirm collected funds from Buyer are available for closing
  53. Explain filing for home exemption
  54. Verify transfer of all keys (house, mailbox, community, garage, storage etc.)