On Real Estate & More – March 2017
Being a real estate broker is not easy. I will be the first to admit, before I became a broker, I didn’t have a real grasp of how much behind-the-scenes work good brokers really do. And considering how brokers are depicted on some reality TV shows, it’s understandable. While shows are entertaining, they also create misconceptions that I hope to clear-up now.
Consider a few of an agent’s daily challenges: marketing “not-so-marketable” properties, managing a huge client database and supervising heated negotiations. Add in the stress of a commission-based income and an unstable market, and you can understand why few agents say their jobs are easy.
In a previous article, I wrote about the major steps in purchasing a home, so for this article I have outlined the major steps in listing a property.
Preparing for a Listing Appointment:
- Visit the neighborhood and prepare a current market analysis (CMA) for the sellers to review.
- Determine a price range for the property.
- Have all listing forms ready for the seller to complete. A separate appointment is typically needed to complete these forms, but have them ready if the seller wants to review them first.
At the Listing Appointment:
- Ask for a tour of the property and take notes.
- Present the CMA and Marketing Plan, and let the sellers know what services you provide.
- Consider property amenities, condition, inclusions/exclusions, and seller’s motivation, agree on an initial listing price.
Upon Taking and Marketing a Listing:
- Assist with completing listing paperwork.
- Discuss any repairs that need to be made.
- Help get the home ready for pictures and showings and arrange for a professional photographer to take photos/video of the property.
- Create and print professional flyers.
- Create a list of amenities to describe the properties features to include in the Multiple Listing Service (MLS).
- Check with appropriate agencies to verify zoning, permits, zoning overlays, floodzone, and other items such as special tax assessments.
- Put the listing in the MLS and install sign and flyers.
- Import the listing to Facebook page.
- Arrange for other advertising.
- Prepare and email virtual flyers to all agents in the Southern Oregon MLS.
- Schedule any open houses, as well as broker tour.
During the Listing Process:
- Make sure the flyer box stays full.
- Request feedback on showings and forward the information to your sellers.
- Attend showings as appropriate.
- Answer any questions that come up from other agents.
- Continue to market the property on a regular basis, as appropriate.
- Touch base with your sellers on a regular basis.
- Keep a pulse on price and meet with clients to lower the price if there is a lack of showings or negative feedback.
Upon Receiving an Offer:
- Review the offer for price and terms.
- Contact your sellers with the basic terms of the offer, and meet with them to review it.
- Have a counter-proposal ready in case your sellers decide to counter the offer.
Upon Accepting an Offer:
- Make sure the buyers have received and signed all disclosures.
- Deliver earnest money check to the title company or trust account.
- Get a list of all parties involved and their contact information.
- Calendar all dates and deadlines.
- Change the listing status in the MLS.
During the Under-Contract Phase:
- Schedule closing.
- Get sellers loan payoff information.
- Review any documentation such as preliminary title report, HOA documents, and inspections and be prepared to answer questions.
- Attend any necessary inspections and confirm that any inspection items the seller agreed to are completed.
- Get receipts for any work done to satisfy inspection items.
- Confirm that the seller has arranged to have the home cleaned and carpets cleaned.
- Remind seller to order final reading on utilities and cancel/move phone and trash service.
- Remind seller that smoke and carbon monoxide alarms need to be up to code.
- Confirm closing date with all parties.
- Review Estimated Settlement Statement then review with your sellers.
- Arrange for and meet the sellers at the title company for the signing appointment.
- Upon close of escrow, make sure keys and other items are transferred to buyer’s agent.
- Help your clients celebrate!
As a real estate broker, you have an obligation to your clients to take care of all the details of selling their home. You are their advocate, the professional they are turning to for help. You are there to be an agent they can not only trust but to help them get the most for their home with the fewest headaches along the way.