Surveys show that many homeowners and homebuyers are not aware of the true value a REALTOR® provides during the processes necessary to complete a real estate transaction. Yet full-service real estate brokerages and agents play a critical role in providing a wide variety of services, including helping buyers and sellers navigate the unexpected complications that can arise in a real estate transaction. I have often said in my 35+ year career as a REALTOR® that we do not speak to our value, but instead work tirelessly through a transaction providing our expertise, oftentimes behind the scenes, because helping you, the consumer, realize the American Dream of Homeownership is not just our job, but more importantly our passion, so instead of talking about it, we just do it.
As I thought about this, I realized how are you to know our true value if we do not share with you the extent of what we do. I hope after reading this the next time you work with a REALTOR® you will have a better understanding and appreciation of the significant role we play.
Listed here is an abbreviated overview of the 181 actions, research steps, procedures, processes, and review stages REALTORS® manage and deliver in a successful residential real estate transaction. Depending on the transaction, some may take minutes, hours, or even days to complete, while some may not be needed. These 181 Steps of Value are divided into the following categories:
Pre-Listing Activities – Steps 1 through 19
Includes setting the initial appointment; research; create file and market analysis; review checklist to ensure all steps and actions have been completed.
Listing Appointment Presentation – Steps 20 through 32
Includes an overview of the market, agent & company credentials; agents’ role as your trusted advisor; discuss Competitive Market Analysis and pricing strategies; marketing plan, seller goals review and explain listing documents
Once Property is Under Listing Agreement – Steps 33 through 76
Includes confirmation and verification of all pertinent property information; gathering HOA documents (if needed); verify utilities; have property pictures taken; place lockbox with key on home; order signage; if tenant occupied verify showing times; provide seller with signed copies of all listing documents.
Enter Property in Multiple Listing Service Database – Steps 77 through 82
Includes entering property data into MLS, proofread MLS for database, upload photos and virtual tours, provide seller with copy of MLS profile listing sheets
Marketing The Listing – Steps 83 through 108
Includes coordinate showings with owners, tenants, and other Realtors; review comparable listings and sales often; prepare flyers and marketing pieces; promote on social media and internet; provide showing feedback to Seller; contact Seller at least weekly to discuss market activity and pricing; respond in a timely manner to all property inquiries.
The Offer and Contract – Steps 109 – 139
Includes reviewing the offer and prepare net sheet for the seller; confirm buyer is pre-qualified; explain offer and components of the offer to the seller; negotiate the offer with selling agent if needed; deliver executed contract to all parties, including lender, title company or attorney; manage all dates in contract including delivery of escrow deposit, update MLS, assist buyer with obtaining financing.
Tracking the Loan Process – Steps 140 through 143
Includes contacting lender weekly to ensure processing is on track; follow Loan Processing through to Underwriting; relay final loan approval to all parties.
Home Inspection – Steps 144 through 149
Includes coordination of buyer’s professional home inspection with the seller; review inspection report; assist seller with trustworthy contractors to perform any required repairs.
The Appraisal – Steps 151 through 155
Includes scheduling the Appraisal; provide comparable sales used in market pricing to appraiser; review appraisal report with buyer and seller if it seems low.
Closing Preparations and Duties – Steps 156 through 178
Includes coordinating the closing date and times with title company or attorney and Buyers agent and lender; make sure buyer has homeowners insurance in place, assist in solving any title problems, work with the Buyers agent to coordinate final walkthrough; review closing figures received from the closing agent; coordinate closing with seller’s next purchase and resolve any timing problems; complete MLS sold data and all back-office paperwork to close the file.
Follow Up After Closing – Steps 179 through 181
Includes checking in with Buyer and/or Seller to answer any questions, verify, if provided, that Home Warranty is in effect; provide local vendor information to buyers.
In the end, creating long-lasting relationships with our customers is especially important to every REALTOR®, for together we are a community, and as your REALTOR® we can be a valuable resource for you, our friends, and neighbors.