WHY USE A REALTOR ?? Do you have any idea about all the things we do to sell (or buy) your home?

Why Was This List Prepared?

Surveys show that many homeowners and house buyers are not aware of the true value a REALTOR® provides during the course of a real estate transaction.

At the same time, REALTORS® have generally assumed that the expertise, professional knowledge and just plain hard work that go into bringing about a successful transaction were understood and appreciated.

Many of the important services and steps are performed behind the scenes by either the REALTOR® or the brokerage staff and traditionally have been viewed simply as part of their professional responsibilities to the client. Without them, the transaction could be in jeopardy.

Listed below are many of the typical actions, research steps, processes and review stages necessary for a successful residential real estate transaction.

This list is by no means complete, as these services may vary within each brokerage and each market. REALTORS® routinely provide a wide variety of additional services that are as varied as the nature of each transaction.

Not all transactions require all of these steps. However, given the unexpected complications that can arise, it’s far better to know about a step and make an intelligent, informed decision to skip it, than to not know the possibility even existed.

The REALTOR® Commitment
Through it all, the personal and professional commitment of the REALTOR® is to ensure that a seller and buyer are brought together in an agreement that provides each with a “win” that is fair and equitable.

The motivation is easy to understand. For most brokerages, they receive no compensation unless and until the transaction is complete.

A Variety of Choices
The variety of brokerage business models in today’s real estate industry affords the homeowner a greater range of options than ever before.

Regardless of which option is chosen, the homeowner should understand exactly what services will, or will not be provided prior to signing a Listing Agreement, Buyer Representation Agreement or otherwise engaging the services of a REALTOR®.

Why Use a REALTOR®?
Not every real estate salesperson or broker is a REALTOR®. That term and the familiar Block “R” logo are trademarked by the Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA) in association with the National Association of REALTORS® in the United States. CREA also owns the MLS® trademark. Both trademarked logos can only be used in Canada by members of CREA who accept and respect a strict Code of Ethics. The MLS® database is operated by member boards in various provinces and in Ontario by real estate boards belonging to the Ontario Real Estate Association (OREA). The boards provide an ongoing inventory of available properties and ensure maximum exposure of properties listed for sale. Most resale homes in Ontario are listed and sold through the MLS® systems of a member real estate board.

For peace of mind, ensure the individual seeking to represent you is both a registrant of the Real Estate Council of Ontario and a member of OREA - permitted to be called a REALTOR®. Check the RECO website for a searchable list of registrants.

The Role of the REALTOR®
The typical actions, research steps, procedures, processes and review stages taken by a REALTOR® to complete a successful residential real estate transaction depend on the transaction. Some tasks may take minutes, hours, or even days to complete, while some may not be needed.

These tasks reflect the level of skill, knowledge and attention to detail required in today’s real estate transaction, understanding the importance of having help and guidance from someone who fully understands the process - a REALTOR®.

REALTORS® are pledged to uphold the stringent, enforceable tenets of the REALTOR® Code of Ethics in their professional dealing with the public. Remember, not every real estate registrant holds REALTOR® membership or MLS® access; make sure yours does!

Pre-Listing Activities

  1. Make appointment with seller for listing presentation
  2. Send seller a written or email confirmation of listing appointment and call to confirm
  3. Review pre-appointment questions
  4. Research all comparable currently listed properties
  5. Research sales activity in the area from MLS® database
  6. Research days-on-the-market for similar properties, location and price
  7. Review property tax roll information
  8. Prepare Comparative Market Analysis (CMA) to establish fair market value
  9. Research property’s ownership and how it is held (deed)
  10. Check municipal tax records for lot size
  11. Verify the legal description from public records
  12. Check Planning Department of municipal offices for current zoning
  13. Check for land use restrictions or special zoning
  14. Verify legal names in the Registry Office (or deed)
  15. Prepare listing presentation with researched materials
  16. Drive by the property to assess the curb appeal, compare with others in neighbourhood
  17. Start formal office file on the property
  18. Confirm school district and effect of schools on the property value
  19. Determine whether property is subject to a shoreline road allowance (if applicable)
  20. Review all pertinent information to ensure that it’s complete

Listing Appointment Presentation

  1. Explain the various agency relationships using Working With a REALTOR® pamphlet and get acknowledgement that this has been reviewed with the seller
  2. Give the seller an overview of current market conditions and projections
  3. Review sales representative and brokerages credentials and accomplishments
  4. Review and confirm all legal descriptions and ownership details
  5. Measure exterior and establish the square footage above grade
  6. Confirm lot size from owner’s survey - if no survey is available, make a note on the listing
  7. Note any lot line fencing, easements and variances
  8. Discuss with the seller the possibility of seller take back (STB) and other options
  9. Review any appraisals that may have been made
  10. Present CMA to the seller including comparable sold properties, current listings and expired listings
  11. Offer pricing strategy based on experience and current market conditions
  12. Discuss a marketing plan to meet the goals of the seller
  13. Explain the advantages and power of Multiple Listing Service®
  14. Explain the use and power of web marketing and www.realtor.ca
  15. Explain the work both the salesperson and brokerage do behind the scenes and availability at night and on weekends
  16. Explain the sales professional’s role in taking calls and screening for qualified buyers and curiosity seekers
  17. Present and explain the strategic master marketing plan
  18. Review and explain the Listing Agreement and obtain the signature of the seller - provide the seller(s) with copies

Once the Property is Listed

  1. Measure and record all room dimensions
  2. Obtain house plans if available
  3. Make a copy of any house plans
  4. Copy survey and retain in listing file
  5. Advise seller of how showing appointments will be made
  6. Prepare instructions for salespeople showing the property and confirm with the seller the best times to show to prospective buyers
  7. Have Mortgage Verification Forms signed and submitted to mortgagee
  8. Verify with lender any penalties, terms and current rates and if the mortgage can be discharged
  9. Check on whether the existing mortgage can be assumed and under what terms
  10. Confirm any Condominium Fees or Homeowner Association fees currently in effect
  11. Get a copy of the Condominium bylaws, if applicable
  12. Confirm supplier of hydro or any other provider of this utility
  13. Calculate the utility usage for the past 12 months from seller’s records
  14. Verify the availability of any septic bed layout or permits at time of installation
  15. Water – if municipal, check on rates for the past 12 months
  16. Well water – confirm well status and have Health Unit test so remedial steps can be taken if required. Advise of any abandoned wells on the property and put on the listing
  17. Determine natural gas, heating oil or propane supplier’s name and telephone number
  18. Note on listing any rented appliances i.e. hot water tank, furnace, etc.
  19. Verify security system - owned, rented, terms and service terms
  20. Ascertain if any lead-based paint, asbestos insulation, UFFI or other latent defect needs to be disclosed
  21. Prepare a list of property features such as pool, sauna, whirlpool, landscape pools and special plants
  22. Prepare a list of chattels included or excluded from the sale of the property
  23. Compile a list of recent improvements, repairs or maintenance
  24. Send letter to seller if property is vacant to advise insurance company
  25. Explain the advantages of a lock box and have extra keys made
  26. Verify if property has rental units. If so:
    1. Inquire as to whether they comply with the zoning by-law, fire and electrical safety
    2. Make copies of all rental agreements
    3. Determine ownership of any appliances or other chattels
    4. Verify and list all rental amounts and deposits held
    5. Inform tenant of the listing and discuss how showings will be handled
  27. Arrange for installation of For Sale sign
  28. Assist seller with filling in the Seller Property Information Statement
  29. Give the seller a blank copy of the Agreement of Purchase and Sale and discuss it with them
  30. Explain the offer presentation process and the possibility of multiple offers
  31. Discuss the type of conditions that will likely be included in an offer to purchase
  32. Discuss results of Curb Appeal Assessment, Interior Décor Assessment and discuss ways to improve appearances for showings
  33. Arrange for Office Tour/Real Estate Association Tour and report comments back to seller
  34. Load listing into personal database for transaction management

Entering Property in Multiple Listing Service® Database

  1. Prepare and check MLS® data input sheet
  2. Upload to Real Estate Board – MLS® Data Input
  3. Proofread listing as it appears in www.realtor.ca
  4. Take additional photos for uploading to MLS® and for use in flyer. Talk to seller about virtual tour possibilities

Marketing The Listing

  1. Create both print and internet ads with seller’s input
  2. Co-ordinate showings with the owner, tenants and other REALTORS®. Return all calls - weekends included
  3. Install lockbox if authorized by the owner
  4. Prepare personal mailing and contact list
  5. Generate mail merge letters to contact list
  6. Order “Just Listed” cards and handouts
  7. Prepare flyers and feedback faxes
  8. Constantly review MLS® listings to ensure property remains competitive in price
  9. Prepare property marketing brochure for seller’s approval
  10. Arrange for printing of approved brochure and distribution
  11. Distribute property brochure to all company salespeople
  12. Mail out “Just Listed” notices to the immediate neighbourhood residents
  13. Advise company Network Referral Program of the listing
  14. Provide marketing data to buyers coming through international relocation
  15. Provide marketing data to buyers coming from referral network
  16. Submit ads to company’s internet site
  17. Price changes promptly conveyed to all databases and internet groups
  18. Reprint supply of brochures as required
  19. Update mortgage information as available to all marketing facilities
  20. Follow-up feedback emails and faxes sent to representatives who have shown the property
  21. Discuss feedback from showing representatives with the seller to determine if changes are required to accelerate the sale
  22. Place regular weekly update calls to the seller to discuss marketing activity and results
  23. Receive and review all Offers to Purchase submitted by buyers and buyers’ representatives
  24. Evaluate offer and prepare a “net sheet” on each for owner comparison
  25. Counsel owners on each offer – explaining merits and weaknesses of each
  26. Contact buyer’s representative to discuss qualifications and motivations of their client
  27. Fax/deliver Seller Property Information Statement (SPIS) to buyer’s representative or buyer prior to offer if possible
  28. Confirm that buyer is qualified by Mortgage Officer
  29. Obtain pre-qualification letter from Mortgage Officer
  30. Negotiate all offers on seller’s behalf, setting condition time limits and closing date
  31. Prepare and convey all counter offers, acceptance and/or amendments to buyer’s representative
  32. Fax copies and mail originals of all documents to lawyer for the seller
  33. When Offer to Purchase is settled and finalized by the seller, deliver to the buyer’s representative leaving a true copy with the owner
  34. Deliver deposit to Trust Account as soon as practicable
  35. Provide copy of the executed agreement to the office for filing in the deal file
  36. Advise and counsel owner on the handling of offers while the original transaction is pending i.e. days to meet conditions in first offer and procedures
  37. Update personal transaction program indicating sale pending
  38. Assist buyer in applying for financing, if applicable
  39. Arrange for appraiser to inspect the property and give any information including comparables, survey copy, etc.
  40. If STB – get Credit Report of buyer for seller and review it with him/her
  41. Order Septic Tank inspection, if applicable
  42. Deliver water test results from Health Unit to mortgage company
  43. Arrange other inspections as required by financial institution and/or insurance company i.e. mould, termite, WETT inspection, etc.

Mortgage Tracking

  1. Contact lender regarding mortgage application progress
  2. Prepare/obtain waiver or condition removal documents and deliver to lawyer for the seller

Home Inspection

  1. Co-ordinate buyer’s professional home inspection
  2. Review the inspection report
  3. If repairs required, assist seller in obtaining trustworthy contractor to perform required repairs

The Appraisal

  1. Schedule appraisal appointment
  2. Provide appraiser with comparables used to set list price
  3. Assist seller in questioning appraisal report if it seems too low

Closing Preparations and Duties

  1. Work with buyer’s representative to arrange any visits prior to closing as agreed in the Agreement of Purchase and Sale
  2. Arrange for trust deposit monies, if in excess of commission due, to be given to the lawyer for the seller
  3. Be available for any concerns/questions from the seller
  4. Advise real estate association that property is Sold and supply details as to price, date of sale, selling brokerage
Jorge Branca

Jorge Branca

Sales Representative
CENTURY 21 Leading Edge Realty Inc., Brokerage*
Contact Me