101 Reasons to use a Real Estate Agent

24 Replies

Typical Pre-Listing Activities

1. Research Current Properties
2. Research Sales Activity from MLS and public records databases
3. Provide Average Days on Market Assessment
4. Review Property Tax Roll
5. Prepare a Comparable Market Analysis (CMA)
6. Verify Ownership and Deed Type
7. Verify County Public Property Records
8. Perform Curb Appeal Assessment
9. Provide Public School Value
10. Provide a Listing Presentation
11. Analyze Current Market Conditions
12. Present Credentials
13. Deliver CMA Results
14. Discuss Planning and Strategy
15. Explain Listing Contract, Disclosures & Addendum
16. Screen Calls from Buyers or Agents
17. Explain Homeowner Warranty

Selling the Property Activities

18. Review Title Details
19. Order Plat Map
20. Create Showing Instructions
21. Obtain Mortgage Loan Information
22. Review Homeowner Association Fees and Bylaws
23. Submit Homeowner Warranty Application
24. Add Homeowner Warranty in MLS
25. Review Electricity Details
26. Arrange Inspections for City Sewer/Septic Tank Systems
27. Collect Natural Gas Information
28. Provide Security System Status
29. Determine Termite Bond Status
30. Analyze Lead-based Paint Status
31. Distribute Disclosure Packages
32. Prepare Property Amenities
33. Detail Inclusions & Conveyances with Sale
34. Compile Repairs Needed List
35. Send Seller Vacancy Checklist
36. Install Lockbox
37. Make Copies of Leases for Rental Units (if applicable)
38. Verify Rents, Utilities, Water, and Deposits for Rentals
39. Inform Tenants of Listing for Rentals
40. Install Yard Sign
41. Perform Interior Assessment
42. Perform Exterior Assessment

Advertising and Marketing a Listing

43. Enter a Profile Sheet into the MLS Listing Database
44. Provide Copies of MLS Agreement
45. Take Additional Photos for MLS and Marketing
46. Create and Advertise Property Listing
47. Coordinate Showing Times
48. Create and Mail Flyers
49. Compare MLS Listings
50. Develop Marketing Brochure
51. Notify the Network Referral Program
52. Create Special Feature Cards
53. Analyze Feedback Emails and Faxes

Handling Offers and Contracts

54. Receive Offer(s) to Purchase
55. Evaluate Net Sheet
56. Counsel and Mediate Offer(s)
57. Deliver Seller’s Disclosure
58. Obtain Pre-qualification Letter
59. Negotiate Offers on the Seller’s Behalf
60. Mediate Counteroffers or Amendments
61. Fax Contract Copies
62. Deliver ‘Offer to Purchase’ Copies
63. Assist with Escrow Account
64. Distribute Under-Contract Showing Restrictions
65. Update MLS to "Sale Pending"
66. Review Credit Report
67. Deliver Unrecorded Property Information
68. Order Well Flow Test Reports (if applicable)
69. Order Termite Inspection (if applicable)
70. Order Mold Inspection (if applicable)
71. Confirm Deposit and Buyer’s Employment
72. Follow Up with Loan Processing
73. Communicate with Lender
74. Confirm Approval of Loan
75. Remove Loan Contingency

Home Inspection and Home Appraisal Activities

76. Coordinate Buyer’s Home Inspection
77. Review Home Inspector’s Report
78. Interpret Loan Limits
79. Verify Home Inspection Clauses
80. Contractor Preparation
81. Confirm Repair Completion
82. Attend Appraiser Appointment
83. Provide Appraiser Information and Remove Contingency

Closing Preparations and Actions

84. Ensure Contract is Sealed
85. Coordinate Closing Process
86. Coordinate Closing Formal Procedure
87. Assist with Title Issues
88. Perform Final Walk-through
89. Verify Tax and Utility Preparations
90. Review and Distribute Final Closing Figures
91. Request Closing Document Copies
92. Confirm Receipt of Title Insurance Commitment
93. Make Homeowners Warranty Available
94. Review Closing Documents
95. Confirm and Assist with Final Deposit
96. Coordinate with Next Purchase
97. Ensure “No Surprises” Closing
98. Final MLS Update
99. Follow Up and Resolve Repairs
100. Documentation Follow Up
101. Hand the keys to the new owners

@Sean Brooks  Thanks for posting this informative list. 

 Regarding 48. Create and Mail Flyers.  Do you use flyer boxes on all of your listings?  It is one of my pet peeves when a Realtor does not stock one of those boxes but there is a box on the sign in the yard.  Or they have one with very little info on it.  There are still some home buyers that drive neighborhoods to find houses for sale and a decent flyer can really make a difference.   

It would be nice if most Real Estate Agents would do 80% of the things on your list.

Rob

That's a VERY comprehensive list for sure! I'd like to put one together for 101 reasons to use a Real Estate Attorney as your Title Company! Thanks again.

I use for all properties because each person receives information differently. For open houses it's a flyer in the home and on the lawn/side walk area. I may get a person that wants to visit but doesn't have the time at the moment so I figure they may want to grab one outside. I also figure that a week before a person may grab one and see its a open house and comeback.

I try to remember what it was like to be the consumer at all times. The mailing may go to  the neighbors and others. Sometime I deliver personally.

What about returning phone calls, it is amazing how many realtors are in the business to make money, but don't return phone calls.

Originally posted by @Kendall T.:

What about returning phone calls, it is amazing how many realtors are in the business to make money, but don't return phone calls.

It really is amazing.  We'll call agents and tell them we have an offer and we don't hear from them for days.

Really good list.

@Kendall T. 

I return all calls. If you're working with an agent and they don't return your call. You can inform the agent that you would like a return call or you can discontinue the agreement based on not return your calls in a timely fashion. During the interview process its important to ask that question.


@David Hunter 

Are you submitting an offer or calling and saying you have an offer.  An offer is submitted and only considered if it's in writing. By law, we have to submit the offer in writing to our clients. Whether they except or reject is up to the client.

-1 pay an additional 2.5 percent if youre selling

That is quite a list.  Our experience has been 90% of realtors with whom we have had dealings do not do more than 40% of that list, many far less than that.

... and we have never had one even offer to do items 76 - 83.

1(506) 471-4126
Originally posted by @Sean Brooks:

@David Hunter 

Are you submitting an offer or calling and saying you have an offer.  An offer is submitted and only considered if it's in writing. By law, we have to submit the offer in writing to our clients. Whether they except or reject is up to the client.

 We have the offer written up ready to be sent over, but we always call first.  It doesn't happen often, but we do get those agents who rarely return calls.  If we don't reach them we send it by email, but we always like to talk with the agent so they know an offer is coming.

In Ohio we have to submit verbal offers too.  So if a buyer verbal says they'll pay $465,000 for a house, we have to call up the agent and give them the verbal offer.  And you're right, it's up to the client to accept or reject the offer.  We never EVER make that call.

Also, we'll get people who ask us if a certain house will rent.  When we first list a house we ask clients if they are willing to rent and most say "no."  Even though they told us no before, we always ask whenever the questions comes up.  Better be safe than sorry, and you never know what's going on in your client's head.

@David Hunter  

That's some good information to know about Ohio. Not all agents are created equal. I have a few agents that won't call me back and I do not understand. I normally call first to indicate that the offer is coming over and to review it. I've return calls that was made to me at 9:00pm.

At a times it's good to have a third party negotiate on our behalf. This can be an addition to the list.

Originally posted by @Atchut Neelam:

At a times it's good to have a third party negotiate on our behalf. This can be an addition to the list.

 I will complement that statement and add that a good realtor needs to know when to put the buyer and vendor together at a table and become a mouse in the corner.   Too many residential realtors seem to be afraid of loosing control of the sale and will insist on inserting themselves in the middle of negotiations.  

When the vendor is Dick & Jane Homeowner, I can sort of buy the protecting the interest of the Vendor argument (to a point), but when we are purchasing from another investor, I prefer to sit face to face and negotiate (over the phone would be a second choice).  Options are explored and pruned expediently and a deal is reached in far less time. 

1(506) 471-4126

@Roy N.  

I listed the duties not all agents do all.

I understand your point. But in that case, the homeowner would then be a FSBO because a Real Estate Agent is hired to handle the process for the homeowner. I don't think it's loosing control it's more of doing the job they were hired to do.

Here are a few reason why agents don't bring the two together.

I've had a person walk into a home, love the home and then turn and ask.

Do an Asian own this home? I can't answer that question.

You avoid a lot of situations by separating the two parties.

You avoid an argument breaking out at the table.

You can avoid an owner from discriminating towards a potential buyer.

Real Estate Agents go back and forth - ----or in your case Real Estate Agent to investor.

As an investor you can hire an agent to present offers, negotiate for you. It doesn't cost you money.

Originally posted by @Sean Brooks:

@Roy N. 

...

Real Estate Agents go back and forth - ----or in your case Real Estate Agent to investor.

As an investor you can hire an agent to present offers, negotiate for you. It doesn't cost you money.

 Sean:

I would disagree, there have been several instances where it has cost us time and money because the agent insists on negotiating for us and will not step aside.

We do not buy SFHs, actually we pursue nothing smaller than 4-6 units and rarely less than eight, these days.  In these smaller multi-units, it is not uncommon to encounter residential real estate agents on the Vender side.   In this context the agent is frequently out of their element  and we do not want them negotiating for us - as an example, rare is it to find a residential agent who can accurately valuate a commercial multi, let alone understand the various nuances of a vendor carry well enough to present it as a viable solution to the Vendor.

As previously stated, in cases where the Vendor is a homeowner or when the property is a straight-up SFH or duplex/triplex and the owner might not really be an investor, I understand the agent inserting themselves.

1(506) 471-4126
Originally posted by @Sean Brooks:

@David Hunter 

That's some good information to know about Ohio. Not all agents are created equal. I have a few agents that won't call me back and I do not understand. I normally call first to indicate that the offer is coming over and to review it. I've return calls that was made to me at 9:00pm.

Exactly!!!  I can't stand it when agents just send over an offer via email and never call to tell us.  I really, really hate when it's an agent we've never heard of, with an email like [email protected], and they send over the offer... they don't call, they don't have a subject line, nothing in the body of the message and it's just an attachment.  Always makes me wonder if it's a virus. 

@Roy N.  

  in a commercial sale context putting buyer and seller together could make sense. however not practical as many times buyer and sellers do not live in the same area.

I have a closing in South Carolina next month.. I get an e mail from the closing attorney wanting to know if I would attend.. I had to tell them well I am in Oregon so I don't think so. That is the major difference between west coast and east coast  buyers and sellers are NEVER at the title co at the same time.. Title co. will schedule one then the other at a different time. Checks are not handed out at closings.. Funds are dispersed AFTER proof of recording we record everyday ... BAnks won't fund loan docs unless they have recording Numbers..

with SFH home owners and owner occ buyers its NEVER a good idea to put the two together for many reasons... Disclosures talking past the close.. saying inappropriate things etc quick way to kill a deal. I agree though that some agents like to take the roll of attorney protecting their clients and go overboard.. When I sold RE I protected my client but I also know I was there to put a deal together not kill it.

And Yes being a broker for 40 years now and my wife 25  I agree ANSWER the FRIGGIN phone.. I hate that... I answer mine when ever possible and always get back same day unless its late at night..

@Jay Hinrichs  

I get that, and we try to let the agent do their job.  

The really experienced you do not worry about as they know what they are doing.  The good ones without the experience innately know when they should offer/attempt to bring the parties together (if even just by phone).   It's the others who spend 90% of their time selling for/to homeowners, but find themselves representing a multi (I'm sure the commission looks good) when they really shouldn't be.

Maybe it's just a phenomenon in our area 

1(506) 471-4126

@Roy N.  

 Not really a phenom in your area in our area most commercial deals are double ended.

What is customary for a Commecial brokerage in our are is to :

1. take listing

2. It never goes on MLS,,

3. send it to their buyers lists and clients ( 80% of the time its sold to one they already know)

4. Put it on loopnet or coastar

5. If its not a great property and not a lot of interest then let it go out to the RE community and other investors.

But our Multi market is one of the strongest in the US... Now if its duplex and four plex those will go on MLS as a matter of course.

@Jay Hinrichs  

Yes, when a commercial broker in involved, it is a whole different game.   I was referring to when a residential agent finds her/himself representing a small (6-16) multi-unit residential, which seems to happen here a fair amount.

1(506) 471-4126

@Roy N.

I learned a long time ago that it's no true right answer in any situation. It's on the person perspective that causes an answer to be right. I don't get offended over a person disagreeing with me. I would say anything can be learned so if you find a good agent that's whiling to learn more about these deals - they would take the time out to learn.

I also know the reason why a person (not an investor) hires an agent to handle their real estate affairs and that is they do not want to be confronted or offend anyone regarding price. So the agent rejects, counter, accepts, negotiates various issues, etc. People don't want to argue over selling a property and it can happen.

I'm not going to bring an investor in the room with my client (s) unless I know how an investor negotiates. I'm not in the business of having anyone being insulted directly. If it's going to happen, it's going to happen without my client hearing face to face. This is my professional standard that I give my clients.

I even heard of some people that say they do not want to sell to an investor. That could have been because of a past experience.

Also a residential agent can learn about these deals and become great in both areas.

At one time, you did not know but you learned.

Now situations for investor to investor I say if you guys want to sit face to face and potentially get into an argument and your comfortable then by all means sit down. But I know when this happens you could be dealing with two people with possible huge ego's.  You have one person trying to get the property for cheap and the other is trying to get the max amount of money.

Great list, a lot of well organized info and generated awesome conversation. Thanks!!  @Sean Brooks 

Tyler Hunter, Real Estate Agent in MN (#40403046) and ND (#9002)
(701) 799-5409

Great list, thank for sharing.  

J

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