What does a Listing Agent Do to Sell a Home?

Here at Giraffe Realty, we work really hard to exceed your expectations.  Many times, I am asked, “So, what exactly is it that you do when you list my home?”  You’d be surprised at just how much work is involved with marketing your home effectively, negotiating offers, and finally getting you to the closing table effortlessly and with as much money in your pocket as possible.

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 12 months from MLS and public records databases
  6. Research “Average Days on Market” for similar property type
  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 & 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 record
  16. Prepare listing presentation package with above materials
  17. Perform exterior “Curb Appeal Assessment” of subject property
  18. Compile and assemble 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 have been 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 CMA Results To Seller, including Comparable’s, Sold’s, Current Listings & Expired Listings

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

25.   Discuss Goals With Seller To Market Effectively

26.   Explain market power and benefits of Multiple Listing Service

27.   Explain market power of IDX and REALTOR.com

28.   Explain the work the brokerage and agent do “behind the scenes” and agent’s availability on weekends

29.   Explain agent’s role in taking all calls to screen for qualified buyers and protect seller from curiosity seekers

30.   Present and discuss unique and strategic master marketing plan

31.   Explain different agency relationships and determine seller’s preference

32.  Help seller choose a title company, if they have no preference

33.   Review and explain all clauses in Listing Contract & Addendum and 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 any and all unrecorded property lines, agreements, easements

39.   Obtain house plans, if applicable and available

40.   Review house plans and make copy

41.   Prepare showing instructions for buyers’ agents and agree on showing time window with seller

42.   Obtain current mortgage loan(s) information: companies and & loan account numbers

43.   Verify current loan information with lender(s)

44.   Check assumability of loan(s) and any special requirements

45.   Discuss possible buyer financing alternatives and options with seller

46.   Review current appraisal, if available

47.   Identify Home Owner Association manager, if applicable

48.   Verify Home Owner Association Fees: mandatory or optional and current annual fee

49.   Order copy of Homeowner Association bylaws, if applicable

50.   Research electricity availability and supplier’s name and phone number

51.   Calculate average utility usage from last 12 months of bills

52.   Research and verify city sewer/septic tank system

53.   Water System: Calculate average water fees or rates from last 12 months of bills

54.   Well Water: Confirm well status, depth and output from Well Report

55.   Natural Gas: Research/verify availability and supplier’s name and phone number

56.   Verify security system, current term of service and whether owned or leased

57.   Verify if seller has transferable Termite Bond

58.   Ascertain need for lead-based paint disclosure

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

60.   Prepare detailed list of property’s “Exclusions” from sale

61.   Compile list of completed repairs and maintenance items

62.   Explain benefits of Home Owner Warranty to seller

63.   Assist sellers with completion and submission of Home Owner Warranty Application

64.   When received, place Home Owner Warranty in property file for conveyance at time of sale

65.   Have extra key made for lockbox

66.   Verify if property has rental units involved. And if so:
* Make copies of all leases for retention in listing file
* Verify all rents & deposits
* Inform tenants of listing and discuss how showings will be handled

67.   Arrange for installation of yard sign

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

69.   “New Listing Checklist” Completed

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

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

72.   Assign Centralized ShowingsTM login and password for sellers to check Showings and explain how they will be notified to allow or not allow showing

73.   Entering Property in Multiple Listing Service Database and onto countless other websites

74.   Proofread MLS database listing for accuracy – including proper placement in mapping function

75.   Add property to company’s Active Listings list

76.   Provide seller with signed copies of Listing Agreement and MLS Profile Sheet Data Entry Form within 48 hours

77.   Schedule a professional photographer/ Videographer to take pictures, create an actual video of home, and create high quality brochures for distribution at showings.  Post Viedo on countless websites

Marketing The Listing

78.   Coordinate showings with owners, tenants, and other Realtors®.

79.   Return calls promptly, (weekends included)

80.   Install electronic lock box if authorized by owner and program with agreed-upon showing    time windows

81.   Prepare mailing and contact list

82.   Generate mail-merge letters to contact list

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

84.   Place marketing brochures in all company agent mail boxes

85.   Upload listing to company and personal website

86.   Provide marketing data to buyers coming through international relocation networks

87.   Provide marketing data to buyers coming from referral network

88.   Submit ads to company’s participating Internet real estate sites

89.   Price changes conveyed promptly to all Internet groups

90.   Reprint/supply brochures promptly as needed

91.   Loan information reviewed and updated

92.   Share feedback  received from buyers’ agents after showings

93.   Review weekly Market Study with seller

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

95.   Promptly enter price changes in MLS listing database

96.   Engage as many internet sites and social media outlets with the listing

97.   Network with my vast number of colleagues and associates about the listing

98.   Holding Open Houses, if seller agrees


The Offer and Contract

99.  Receive and review all Offer to Purchase contracts submitted by buyers or buyer’s agents

100.  Evaluate offer(s) and prepare a “net sheet” on each for the owner for comparison purpose

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

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

103.  Fax or deliver Seller’s Disclosure form to buyer’s agent or buyer (upon request and prior to offer being made if possible)

104.  Confirm buyer is pre-qualified by calling Loan Officer

105.  Obtain pre-qualification letter on buyer from Loan Officer

106.  Negotiate all offers on seller’s behalf, setting time limit for loan approval and closing date, with seller’s confidential information intact

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

108.  Fax/email copies of contract and all addendums to closing attorney or title company

109.  When an Offer to Purchase Contract is accepted and signed by seller, deliver signed offer to buyer’s agent

110.  Record and promptly deposit buyer’s earnest money in escrow account

111.  Note in the MLS that property is under contract

112.  Deliver copies of fully signed Offer to Purchase contract to seller

113.  Fax/deliver copies of Offer to Purchase contract to Selling Agent

114.  Fax copies of Offer to Purchase contract to lender

115.  Provide copies of signed Offer to Purchase contract for office file

116.  Advise seller in handling any additional offers to purchase that may be submitted between contract and closing

117.  Review buyer’s credit report results — Advise seller of worst and best case scenarios

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

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

120.  Coordinate with lender on Discount Points being locked in with dates

121.  Deliver unrecorded property information to buyer

122.  Order septic system inspection, if applicable

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

124.  Deliver copy of septic system inspection report lender & buyer

125.  Verify termite inspection ordered

126.  Verify mold inspection ordered, if required

Tracking the Loan Process

127.  Confirm Verifications Of Deposit & Buyer’s Employment Have Been Returned

128.  Follow Loan Processing Through To The Underwriter

129.  Contact lender weekly to ensure processing is on track

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

131.  Coordinate buyer’s professional home inspection with seller

132.  Review home inspector’s report

133.  Recommend or assist seller with identifying and negotiating with trustworthy contractors to perform any required repairs

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

The Appraisal

135. Schedule Appraisal

136.  Follow-Up On Appraisal

137.  Provide comparable sales used in market pricing to Appraiser

138.  Assist seller in questioning appraisal report if it seems too low;  Verify square footage, etc.  is correct

Closing Preparations and Duties

139. Contract Is Signed By All Parties

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

141.  Update closing forms and files

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

143.  Select location where closing will be held

144.  Verify closing date and time and notify all parties

145.  Assist in solving any title problems (boundary disputes, easements, etc) or in obtaining Death Certificates

146.  Work with buyer’s agent in scheduling and conducting buyer’s Final Walk-Thru prior to closing

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

148.  Request final closing figures from closing agent (attorney or title company).  Ask for a Prelimary HUD

149.  Read & carefully review closing figures to ensure accuracy of preparation; Ask for Final HUD

150.  Forward verified closing figures (HUD) to buyer’s agent, seller, and lender

151.  Request copy of closing documents from closing agent

152.  Confirm buyer and buyer’s agent have received title insurance commitment

153.  Provide “Home Owners Warranty” for availability at closing

154.  Reviews all closing documents carefully for errors

155.  Forward closing documents to absentee seller as requested

156.  Review documents with closing agent

157.  Provide earnest money deposit check from escrow account to closing agent

158.  Coordinate this closing with seller’s next purchase and resolve any timing problems

159.  Have a “no surprises” closing and present seller a net proceeds check at closing

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

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

Follow Up After Closing

162.  Answer questions about filing claims with Home Owner Warranty company, if requested

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

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

165.  Explain the importance of the Client Experience Survey that HAR will send.  Go over my performance, and discuss any concerns they may have had

166.  Continue to keep in touch and be of assistance whenever possible.