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Esquire Real Estate Blog

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What are you paying for?

Bryan Zuetel

A prudent business person should ask the question, "What do I get for what I'm paying for?" The same principle applies when you want to sell your home. Here's a list of 100 tasks you should be paying for when you hire a Broker to sell your home.

 Pre-listing Activities

1.          Research appropriate sampling of currently listed comparable properties.

2.          Research trends and past sales activity for an appropriate period from MLS and public records databases.

3.          Research "average days on market” for the property type, price range, and location.

4.          Research property’s public record information for ownership, deed type, legal description, and tax information.

5.          Research property’s public record information for lot size and dimensions.

6.          Ascertain need for lead-based paint disclosure.

7.          Prepare market analysis to establish opinion of value and listing presentation package.

8.          Perform exterior "curb-appeal assessment” of subject property.

Listing Appointment Presentation Activities

9.          Provide seller an overview and projections of current market conditions.

10.       Present market analysis results to seller, including sold comparables, current listings, and expired listings.

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

12.       Discuss goals with seller to market effectively.

13.       Explain marketing power and benefits of the MLS.

14.       Present and discuss strategic master marketing plan.

15.       Explain broker’s role in screening qualified buyers and protecting seller from unqualified buyers.

16.       Review results of curb-appeal assessment with seller and provide suggestions to improve sale-ability.

17.       Verify security system, current term of service, and determine if owned or leased.

18.       Assess interior décor and suggest changes.

19.       Prepare net sheet for seller.

20.       Review accuracy of current title information with sellers.

21.       Verify names of owner as appears in county’s public property records.

22.       Obtain copy of current Title Insurance Policy.

23.       Complete listing contract and addenda.

24.       Obtain seller’s permission to use a lock box.


Listing Activities

25.       Obtain copy of subdivision plat/complex layout.

26.       Provide seller with a copy of a blank sales contract to review in preparation of their receipt of an offer.

27.       Arrange for installation of yard sign.

28.       Discuss necessary disclosures with seller.

29.       Prepare showing instructions and showing time windows for potential buyers.

30.       Program and install the lock box with agreed-upon showing-time windows.

31.       Obtain current mortgage loan(s) information.

32.       Identify homeowner association manager, if applicable, homeowner association fees, and pending or unpaid assessments.

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

34.       Prepare detailed list of property’s "inclusions and conveyances with sale.”

35.       Compile list of completed repairs and maintenance items.

36.       Make extra key for lockbox.

37.       Arrange for interior and exterior photos to be taken for MLS listing.

38.       Arrange for creation of a virtual tour if one will be used in marketing the property.

Marketing and Showing Activities

39.       Enter property and photos into MLS listing database.

40.       Provide seller with a copy of the MLS profile sheet data form.

41.       Print and supply flyers or brochures as needed.

42.       Mail out "just listed” notice to all neighborhood residents.

43.       Coordinate showings with seller and provide feedback from potential buyers.

44.       Review comparable MLS listings and new trends regularly to verify property remains competitive in price, terms, conditions, and availability.

45.       Review weekly market study reports.

46.       Call seller weekly to discuss marketing and pricing.

Offer and Contract Activities

47.       Verify proper licensure of buyer’s broker and salesperson.

48.       Receive and review all offers submitted by buyers or buyers’ brokers.

49.       Evaluate offer(s) and prepare a "net sheet” on each offer for the seller to make comparisons.

50.       Review offers with seller and review merits and weaknesses of each offer.

51.       Contact buyer’s broker to review buyer’s qualifications, including pre-approval, and discuss offer.

52.       Negotiate all offers and counteroffers on seller’s behalf.

53.       Prepare and convey any counteroffers, acceptance, or amendments to buyer’s broker.

54.       Verify contract is signed by all parties in all places.

55.       Provide copies of the contract and all addenda to escrow.

56.       Deliver copies of signed contract to seller.

57.       Strategize and inform seller how to handle additional offers to purchase submitted between effective date of contract and closing.

58.       Change MLS status.

Disclosure Activities

59.       Order homeowners association documents, if applicable.

60.       Order Natural Hazard Disclosure Report and review Natural Hazard Disclosure Statement.

61.       Provide seller with Homeowner’s Guide to Earthquake Safety and assist seller in preparing Residential Earthquake Hazards Report.

62.       Review Agency Disclosure by buyer’s broker and agent.

63.       Perform broker’s inspection of property and prepare Agent Visual Inspection Disclosure.

64.       Assist seller in preparing Seller Property Questionnaire disclosure form.

65.       Prepare Seller’s Affidavit of Nonforeign Status and/or California Withholding Exemption and advise seller regarding potential withholding for federal and state taxes.

66.       Prepare Qualified Substitute Declaration of Possession of Transferor’s Affidavit of Nonforeign Status.

67.       Prepare Lead-Based Paint and Lead-Based Paint Hazards Disclosure.

68.       Prepare Real Estate Transfer Disclosure Statement.

69.       Prepare Water Heater and Smoke Detector Statement of Compliance.

70.       Prepare Carbon Monoxide Detector Notice.

71.       Provide Statewide Buyer and Seller Advisory.

72.       Provide Notice of Supplemental Property Tax Bill.

Loan Process Activities

73.       Contact buyer’s lender weekly to verify processing is on track.

74.       Follow buyer’s loan processing through to the underwriter.

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

Home Inspection Activities

76.       Coordinate buyer’s home inspection and termite inspection with seller.

77.       Review home inspector’s report and termite report with seller and discuss issues and options, if needed.

78.       Respond to buyer’s request for repairs of issues identified in inspection report and termite report.

79.       Recommend or assist seller with identifying trustworthy contractors to perform any required repairs.

80.       Obtain copies of repair bills showing seller has made required repairs.

81.       Coordinate entry into the property and buyer’s review of completed repairs, if needed.

Appraisal Activities

82.       Make arrangements for appraiser to enter property.

83.       Follow up on appraisal and obtain copy of appraisal report, if available.

84.       Discuss appraisal report with seller and suggest options, if necessary.

Closing Preparation Activities

85.       Obtain buyer’s Contingency Removal.

86.       Work with buyer’s broker in scheduling and conducting buyer’s final walk-through prior to closing.

87.       Obtain buyer’s Verification of Property Condition form.

88.       Confirm with escrow officer that all tax, HOA, utility, and other applicable pro-rations have been resolved.

89.       Confirm with escrow officer that all title problems have been resolved.

90.       Request final closing figures from escrow officer.

91.       Review closing figures on HUD statement with seller to verify accuracy of preparation.

92.       Coordinate closing process with buyer’s broker, lender, and escrow.

93.       Confirm date and time of closing.

94.       Review closing documents with seller.

95.       Confirm seller’s net proceeds check sent to seller.

After Closing Activities

96.       Provide keys to buyer’s agent.

97.       Take down yard sign.

98.       Change MLS status to "sold” and provide sales information.

99.       Close out listing in company files.

100.    Follow up with seller for any remaining questions or concerns.

* This list is illustrative and is not exhaustive or instructive.  Please consult all appropriate legal, financial, and real counsel in accomplishing all tasks listed and not listed here for successful real estate transactions.

Have any questions about how we can serve you in your real estate buying or selling needs? Feel free to call, email, or click here.

Bryan's direct line: 949-421-7097