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What Does a Realtor® Do?

198 Ways a Realtor® Goes the Extra Mile for Your Dream Home

By The Salt Lake Board of Realtors®

The process of buying or selling a home is indeed the most significant financial transaction in most people's lives. Moreover, this transaction has become increasingly complex and litigious. Statistics show that nine out of 10 home sellers and buyers choose to engage the services of a Realtor®. This choice is not merely for convenience; it's about leveraging the expertise and support that only a professional can provide.

Realtors® offer much more than the simple showing of properties. They are involved in a highly regulated, state-licensed profession that requires continuous education and training to stay abreast of the latest market trends, legal changes, and industry standards. This depth of knowledge and expertise ensures that they are well-equipped to navigate the intricacies of the real estate market, providing valuable guidance to their clients.

The reality is that the transaction involves a multitude of tasks that extend far beyond mere paperwork. These tasks include, but are not limited to, analyzing the market to ensure fair pricing, negotiating to save clients thousands of dollars, explaining financing options, navigating inspections and repairs, and coordinating the closing process. Realtors® also bring a network of professional contacts, including lenders, inspectors, and repair professionals, which can streamline the process and ensure that clients have access to the best resources available.

Here is a “short” list of 198 possible tasks a buyer or seller agent does in a typical real estate transaction.

1. Research all comparable, currently listed, and sold properties (to properly list or make an offer)
2. Make appointment with seller for listing presentation
3. Make appointment with buyer to determine their goals
4. Send seller or buyer a written or e-mail confirmation of listing appointment and call to confirm
5. Review pre-appointment questions
6. Research other sales activity info from MLS
7. Research average days on market for property of this type, price range, and location
8. Download and review property tax roll/assessor information
9. Prepare preliminary Comparable Market Analysis (CMA) to establish fair market value and listing price range and/or potential offer price range
10. Obtain copy of subdivision plat/complex lay-out
11. Research property’s ownership and deed type
12. Research property’s public record information for lot size and dimensions
13. Research and verify legal description
14. Research property’s land use coding and deed restrictions
15. Research property’s current use and zoning
16. Verify legal names of owner(s) in county’s public property records and obtain copy of trust or LLC as applicable
17. Prepare listing presentation package with above materials
18. Perform exterior curb appeal assessment of subject property
19. Compile a formal file on property
20. Confirm current public schools and explain impact of schools on market value
21. Review listing appointment or buyer appointment checklist to ensure all steps and actions are completed
22. Review any applicable permit records on property
23. Add client (buyer or seller) into your database
24. Set up listing alerts for buyer for properties that meet their criteria
25. Give seller or buyer an overview of current market conditions and projections
26. Tour properties for however long it takes to find the right one
27. Review agent’s and company’s credentials and accomplishments in the market for clients
28. Present company’s profile and position or niche in the marketplace
29. Present preliminary CMA to seller or buyer, including comparable properties, sold properties, current listings, and expired listings
30. Offer pricing or offer strategy with updates to CMA based on tour of home and updates, upgrades professional judgment, and current market conditions
31. Discuss goals with seller to market effectively
32. Discuss goals with buyer to determine timeline
33. Explain market power and benefits of Local MLS Broker Marketplaces
34. Explain market power of web marketing, IDX and other sites
35. Explain the work you do behind the scenes and your availability on weekends
36. Explain role in screening for qualified buyers and protect seller from curiosity seekers
37. Explain how multiple offers work and what might set your buyer's offer apart from others
38. Present and discuss strategic master marketing plan
39. Explain agency brokerage relationship and how commissions are earned and paid in a fully transparent manner
40. Review and explain all clauses in listing and buyer broker agreements, then obtain seller’s or buyer's signature
41. Review current title information
42. Gather square footage of info and its source
43. Confirm lot size via owner’s copy of certified survey, if available
44. Note all unrecorded property liens, agreements, easements
45. Obtain and make copies of house plans, if applicable and available for buyer to review
46. If new build, review builder’s contract so buyer knows what they are agreeing to
47. Prepare showing instructions for buyers’ agents and showing times with seller
48. Discuss possible buyer financing alternatives and options with seller
49. Discuss possible financing options with buyer and buyer's lender
50. Review current appraisal if available
51. Identify Homeowner Association manager if applicable
52. Verify Homeowner Association Fees, if any
53. Order copy of Homeowner Association bylaws, if applicable
54. Research electricity availability, supplier’s name, and phone number
55. Have utility companies provide average utility usage from last 12 months of bills
56. Research and verify city sewer/septic tank system
57. Calculate average water fees or rates from last 12 months of bills
58. Confirm well status, depth and output from Well Report, if applicable
59. Natural Gas: Research/verify availability, supplier’s name, and phone number
60. Verify security system, current terms of service and whether owned or leased
61. Review seller property condition disclosure form with seller or buyer as applicable
62. Review in detail the buyer due diligence checklist with buyer
63. Ascertain need for lead-based paint disclosure and provide if necessary
64. Prepare detailed list of property amenities and assess market impact
65. Prepare detailed list of property’s inclusions and conveyances with sale
66. Compile list of completed repairs and maintenance items
67. If property is vacant, review ways to keep it secure
68. Explain benefits of Homeowner Warranty to seller or buyer as applicable
69. Place Homeowner Warranty in property file for conveyance at time of sale
70. Have extra key made for lockbox and one for your file
71. Verify if property has rental units involved
72. If the property does have rental units, make copies of all leases to provide to prospective buyer
73. Verify all rents and deposits
74. Inform tenants of listing and discuss how showings will be handled
75. Arrange for installation of yard sign
76. Complete new listing checklist
77. Review curb appeal assessment and provide suggestions to improve saleability with possible staging
78. Review interior décor assessment and suggest changes to shorten time on market
79. Load listing into transaction management software program
80. Prepare Local MLS data input sheet
81. Write property description
82. Proofread MLS data sheet for accuracy— including proper placement in map
83. Add property to company’s active listings list
84. Present listing at company sales meeting
85. Discuss buyer needs at company sales meeting
86. Provide seller copies of the listing agreement and other related forms
87. Hire photographer to take photos for upload into MLS and other syndication sites and use in fliers
88. Create print and internet ads with seller’s input
89. Coordinate showings with owners, tenants, and other agents.
90. Return all calls to buyer or seller client 24/7
91. Install electronic lock box if authorized
92. Create CBS (call before showing code) if desired
93. Prepare mailing and contact list
94. Generate mail-merge letters to contact list
95. Order Just Listed labels and reports
96. Prepare fliers and feedback reports
97. Review comparable MLS properties regularly to ensure property remains competitive
98. Prepare property marketing brochure for seller’s review
99. Arrange for printing or copying of marketing brochures or fliers
100. Place marketing brochures in all company agent mailboxes
101. Upload listing to company and agent Internet site, if applicable
102. Mail out Just Listed notice to all neighborhood residents
103. Advise network referral program of listing or buyer needs
104. Provide marketing data to buyers through international relocation network buyers
105. Provide marketing data to buyers coming from referral network
106. Provide Special Feature cards for marketing, if applicable
107. Submit ads to company’s participating internet real estate sites
108. Price changes conveyed promptly to all internet groups
109. Reprint/supply brochures promptly as needed
110. Provide listing feedback emails/texts to listing agents after touring properties with buyers
111. Review weekly market study
112. Attend weekly sales meetings to keep updated on market trends
113. Discuss with sellers any feedback from showings to determine if changes are needed
114. Place regular weekly update calls to seller to discuss marketing and pricing
115. Be in constant contact with buyer so their needs expectations are being met
116. Promptly enter price changes in the MLS database
117. Receive and review all Offer to Purchase contracts submitted by buyers’ agents
118. Evaluate offer(s) and prepare a net sheet for the owner for comparison purposes
119. Explain merits and weakness of each offer to sellers
120. Explain merits and weaknesses of buyers offer to buyer so they understand how it will be viewed by seller
121. Contact buyers’ agents to review buyer’s qualifications and discuss offer
122. Deliver Seller’s Disclosure to buyer upon request and prior to offer if possible. Upload to the MLS additional documents at time of listing
123. Confirm buyer is pre-qualified by calling loan officer
124. Buyer agents ensure buyer is pre-qualified
125. Obtain buyers’ pre-qualification letter from loan officer if not submitted with offer
126. Negotiate all offers per seller’s direction on seller’s behalf, set time limit for loan approval and closing
127. Prepare and convey counteroffers, acceptance, or amendments to buyer’s agent
128. Write offer and explain to buyer in detail
129. Create excel spreadsheets for easy review on multiple bids if needed
130. Email or send copies of contract and all addenda to the title company
131. When purchase contract is accepted, deliver to buyer’s agent
132. Submit earnest money to listing agent
133. Record and promptly deposit buyer’s earnest money in appropriate trust account
134. Disseminate under-contract showing restrictions as seller requests
135. Ensure buyer understands showing etiquette while touring properties
136. Make sure buyer understands that many listings have video and audio recordings during showings
137. Deliver copies of fully signed Offer to Purchase contract to seller or buyer
138. Deliver copies of Offer to Purchase contract to lender
139. Provide copies of signed Offer to Purchase contract for office file
140. Advise seller of additional offers submitted between contract and closing
141. Change status in MLS to Under Contract
142. Update transaction management program to show Under Contract
143. Provide credit report information to seller if property will be seller financed
144. Assist buyer with obtaining financing, if applicable, and follow-up as necessary
145. Coordinate with lender on discount points being locked in with dates
146. Deliver unrecorded property information to buyer
147. Order septic system inspection, if applicable
148. Receive and review septic system report, and assess any possible impact on sale
149. Deliver copy of septic system inspection report lender and buyer
150. Verify mold, radon or any other inspection ordered, if required for buyer
151. Order survey if required by buyer
152. Confirm Earnest Money has been deposited and cleared
153. Buyer agent to provide proof of earnest money delivery
154. Follow loan processing through to the underwriter
155. Add lender and other vendors to your management program so agents, buyer, and seller can track progress of sale
156. Buyer agents contact lender weekly to ensure processing is on track
157. Relay final approval of buyer’s loan application to seller
158. Coordinate with seller for buyer’s professional home inspection
159. Review home inspector’s report with buyer
160. Enter completion into transaction management tracking program
161. Explain seller and buyer responsibilities, and recommend an attorney to interpret any clauses in the contract if requested
162. Ensure seller’s compliance with included and excluded items and other contractual responsibilities
163. Assist buyer during the due diligence inspection phase of the transaction
164. Assist seller with identifying contractors to perform any required repairs
165. Negotiate payment, and oversee all required repairs on seller’s behalf, if needed
166. Schedule appraisal
167. Provide to appraiser any comparable sales used in market pricing
168. Follow-up on appraisal
169. Enter completion into transaction management program
170. Assist seller in questioning appraisal report if it seems too low
171. Get contract signed by all parties
172. Coordinate closing process with buyer’s agent and lender
173. Update closing forms and files
174. Ensure all parties have all forms and information needed to close the sale
175. Select location where closing will be held
176. Confirm closing date and time, and notify all parties
177. Assist in solving any title problems or in obtaining death certificates
178. Work with buyer’s agent in scheduling buyer’s final walk-thru prior to closing
179. Conduct final walk through with buyer
180. Double check all tax, homeowners’ association dues, utility, and applicable prorations
181. Request final closing figures from title company
182. Receive and carefully review closing figures to ensure accuracy of preparation
183. Confirm buyer and buyer’s agent have received title insurance commitment
184. Provide homeowners warranty for availability at closing
185. Forward closing documents to seller as requested
186. Review documents with title company
187. Coordinate closing with seller’s next purchase, and resolve any timing problems
188. If buyer is selling current home on contingency, be on top of that transaction in every aspect to not jeopardize the purchase of the new home
189. Have a no-surprises closing so seller receives a net-proceeds check at closing
190. Make sure buyer is satisfied after closing with the condition the seller left the property in
191. Refer sellers to one of the best agents at their destination, if applicable
192. Change MLS status to Sold. Enter sale date, price, selling broker, etc.
193. Share the warranty paperwork for claims in the future
194. Attempt to clarify and resolve any conflicts about repairs if buyer is not satisfied
195. Respond to any calls and provide any information required from office files
196. If a rental, verify all deposits and prorated rents are reflected accurately on the closing statement
197. Close out listing in your management program
198. Act as a client psychologist on life and other critical decisions