The Value of a Realtor

The Critical Role of the Realtor® in the Real Estate Transaction


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, regrettably, 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. But, without them,

the transaction could be in jeopardy.

This publication seeks to close the gap.

Listed on the following pages are 136 typical actions, research steps, processes

and review stages necessary for a successful residential real estate transaction

and normally provided by a full service real estate brokerage and for which they

are entitled to fair compensation.


The list is by no means an attempt to set forth a complete list of

services as these may vary within each brokerage and each market. Many

REALTORS® routinely provide a wide variety of additional services that are as

varied as the nature of each transaction.

By the same token, some transactions may not require some of these steps to be

equally successful. However, most would agree that 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



The Critical Role of the REALTOR® Page 2 of 7

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 full-service 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.

But no matter which option is chosen, before signing a Listing Agreement, Buyer

Representation Agreement or otherwise engaging the services of a REALTOR®

agreeing to compensate them, the homeowner should understand exactly what

services will, or will not be, provided.

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

in association with the National Association of REALTORS® in the United States.

CREA owns the MLS® trademark also. Both trademarked logos can only be

used in Canada by members of the Canadian Real Estate Association 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) which provide an

ongoing inventory of available properties and ensure maximum exposure of

properties listed for sale. This is important because most resale homes in

Ontario are listed and sold through the MLS® systems.

For that extra measure of 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 the Ontario Real Estate Association - - - permitted to be called a

REALTOR®. Check the RECO website for a searchable list of

our registrants.


The Critical Role of the REALTOR® Page 3 of 7

The Critical Role of the REALTOR®

Listed here are 136 typical actions, research steps, procedures, processes and

review stages in a successful residential real estate transaction that are normally

provided by full service real estate brokerages in return for their sales

commission. Depending on the transaction, some may take minutes, hours, or

even days to complete, while some may not be needed.

More importantly, they 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


And never forget that 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 e-mail confirmation of listing appointment and call to


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


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


20. Review all pertinent information to ensure that it's complete


The Critical Role of the REALTOR® Page 4 of 7

Listing Appointment Presentation

21. Explain the various agency relationships using Working With a Realtor®

pamphlet and get acknowledgement that this has been reviewed with the


22. Give the seller an overview of current market conditions and projections

23. Review sales representative and brokerages credentials and


24. Review and confirm all legal descriptions and ownership details

25. Measure exterior and establish the square footage above grade

26. Confirm lot size from owner's survey - if no survey is available, make a note

on the listing

27. Note any lot line fencing, easements and variances

28. Discuss with the seller the possibility of seller take back (STB) and other


29. Review any appraisal that may have been made

30. Present CMA to the Seller including Comparable sold properties, Current

listings and expired listings

31. Offer pricing strategy based on experience and current market conditions

32. Discuss a Marketing Plan to meet the goals of the seller

33. Explain the advantages and power of Multiple Listing Service ®

34. Explain the use and power of web marketing, IDX and

35. Explain the work both the salesperson and brokerage do behind the scenes

and availability at night and on weekends

36. Explain the sales professional's role in taking calls and screening for

qualified buyers and curiosity seekers

37. Present and explain the strategic master marketing plan

38. Review and explain the Listing Agreement and obtain the signature of the

seller - give the seller(s) copies.

Once the Property is Listed

39. Measure and record all room dimensions

40. Obtain house plans if available

41. Make a copy of any house plans

42. Copy survey and retain in listing file

43. Advise seller of how showing appointments will be made

44. Prepare instructions for salespeople showing the property and confirm with

the seller the best times to show to prospective buyers

45. Have Mortgage Verification Forms signed and submitted to mortgagee

46. Verify with lender any penalties, terms and current rates and if the mortgage

can be discharged

47. Check on whether the existing mortgage can be assumed and under what


48. Confirm any Condominium Fees or Homeowner Association fees currently in



The Critical Role of the REALTOR® Page 5 of 7

49. Get a copy of the Condominium bylaws, if applicable

50. Confirm supplier of Hydro or any other provider of this utility

51. Calculate the utility usage for the past 12 months from seller's records

52. Verify the availability of any septic bed layout or permits at time of installation

53. Water - if Municipal check on rates for the past 12 months

54. Well Water - confirm well status and have Health Unit test so remedial steps

can be taken if required. Also, advise of any abandoned wells on the property

and put on the listing

55. Determine natural gas, heating oil or propane supplier's name and telephone


56. Note on listing any rented appliances i.e. hot water tank, furnace, etc.

57. Verify security system- owned, rented, terms and service terms

58. Ascertain if any lead-based paint, asbestos insulation, UFFI or other latent

defect needs to be disclosed

59. Prepare a list of property features such as pool, sauna, whirlpool, landscape

pools and special plants

60. Prepare a list of chattels included or excluded from the sale of the property

61. Compile a list of recent improvements, repairs or maintenance

62. Send letter to Seller if property is vacant to advise insurance company

63. Explain the advantages of a lock box and have extra keys made

64. Verify if property has rental units. If so:

65. - Inquire as to whether they comply with the zoning by-law, fire and

electrical safety

66. - Make copies of all rental agreements

67. - Determine ownership of any appliances or other chattels

68. - Verify and list all rental amounts and deposits held

69. - Inform tenant of the listing and discuss how showings will be handled

70. Arrange for installation of For Sale sign

71. Assist seller to fill in the Seller Property Information Statement

72. Give the seller a blank copy of the Agreement of Purchase and Sale and

discuss it with them

73. Explain the offer presentation process and the possibility of multiple offers

74. Discuss the type of conditions that will likely be included in an offer to


75. Discuss results of Curb Appeal Assessment, Interior Décor Assessment and

discuss ways to improve appearances for showings.

76. Arrange for Office Tour/MLS® Tour and report comments back to seller

77. Load listing into personal database for transaction management

Entering Property in Multiple Listing Service® Database

78. Prepare and check MLS® data input sheet

79. Upload to Real Estate Board - MLS® Data Input

80. Proof read listing as it appears in

81. Take additional photos for uploading to MLS® and for use in Flyer. Talk to

seller about virtual tour possibilities


The Critical Role of the REALTOR® Page 6 of 7

Marketing The Listing

82. Create both print and Internet Ads with seller's input

83. Co-ordinate showings with the owner, tenants and other REALTORS®.

Return all calls - weekends included

84. Install lockbox if authorized by the owner

85. Prepare personal mailing and contact list

86. Generate mail merge letters to contact list

87. Order "Just Listed" cards and handouts

88. Prepare flyers and feedback faxes

89. Constantly review MLS® listings to ensure property remains competitive in


90. Prepare property marketing brochure for seller's approval

91. Arrange for printing of approved brochure and distribution

92. Distribute property brochure to all company salespeople

93. Mail out "Just Listed" notices to the immediate neighbourhood residents

94. Advise company Network Referral Program of the listing

95. Provide marketing data to buyers coming through international relocation

96. Provide marketing data to buyers coming from referral network

97. Submit ads to company's internet site

98. Price changes promptly conveyed to all databases and internet groups

99. Reprint supply of brochures as required

100. Update Mortgage information as available to all marketing facilities

101. Follow up feed back e-mails and faxes sent to representatives who have

shown the property

102. Discuss feedback from showing representatives with the seller to determine if

changes are required to accelerate the sale

103. Place regular weekly update calls to the seller to discuss marketing activity

and results

104. Receive and review all Offers to Purchase submitted by buyers and buyers'


105. Evaluate offer and prepare a "net sheet" on each for owner comparison

106. Counsel owners on each offer - explaining merits and weaknesses of each

107. Contact buyer's representative to discuss qualifications and motivations of

their client

108. Fax/Deliver S.P.I.S. to buyer's representative or buyer prior to offer if


109. Confirm that buyer is qualified by Mortgage Officer

110. Obtain pre-qualification letter from Mortgage Officer

111. Negotiate all offers on seller's behalf, setting condition time limits and closing


112. Prepare and convey all counter offers, acceptance and/or amendments to

buyer's representative

113. Fax copies and mail originals of all documents to lawyer for the seller

114. When Offer to Purchase is settled and finalized by the seller, deliver to the

buyer's representative leaving a true copy with the owner


The Critical Role of the REALTOR® Page 7 of 7

115. Deliver deposit to Trust Account as soon as practicable.

116. Provide copy of the executed agreement to the office for filing in the deal file

117. 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


118. Update personal transaction program indicating Sale Pending

119. Assist buyer in applying for financing, if applicable

120. Arrange for appraiser to inspect the property and give any information

including comparables, survey copy, etc.

121. If STB - get Credit Report of buyer for seller and review it with him/her

122. Order Septic Tank inspection, if applicable

123. Deliver water test results from Health Unit to mortgage company

124. Arrange other inspections as required by Financial Institution and/or

insurance company i.e. mould, termite WETT inspection, etc.

Mortgage Tracking

125. Contact lender regarding mortgage application progress

126. Prepare/obtain waiver or condition removal documents and deliver to lawyer

for the seller

Home Inspection

127. Co-ordinate buyer's professional home inspection

128. Review the inspection report

129. If repairs required, assist seller in obtaining trustworthy contractor to perform

required repairs

The Appraisal

130. Schedule appraisal appointment

131. Provide appraiser with comparables used to set list price

132. Assist seller in questioning appraisal report if it seems too low

Closing Preparations and Duties

133. Work with buyer's representative to arrange any visits prior to closing as

agreed in the Agreement of Purchase and Sale

134. Arrange for trust deposit monies, if in excess of commission due, to be given

to the lawyer for the seller

135. Be available for any concerns/questions from the seller

136. Advise MLS® that property is Sold and supply details as to price, date of

sale, selling brokerage


This list is adapted from the list prepared by the Orlando Regional REALTOR® Association.

Canadian content has been added.

Stanley Kukla

Stanley Kukla

CENTURY 21 Millennium Inc., Brokerage*
Contact Me


Real Estate Performance for March 2017
Exceptional Sales Listing Ratio for 2016
Sales Continue to Climb in Southern Georgian Bay
Read More