01front-3Selling a house is time-consuming and hard work, especially in today's market.  If you are thinking about selling your house, you might feel a little overwhelmed by it all.  That's why it is helpful to have a professional by your side--one who can guide you every step of the way.  In this blog entry, I am going to give you a brief overview of how a realtor will help you sell your house.  This is just an overview, so if you would like to discuss it in more detail, feel free to contact me.

Pre-listing:  This is the first meeting between sellers and agent.  This will be an interactive interview in which both sides get to discuss what they want and need from the relationship.

  • Discuss and explain what are agency relationships.
  • Obtain a signed Agency Relationships in Real Estate Transactions form.
  • Find out what the seller's experctations are, as well as his/her wants, desires, motivation for moving, price, marketing plan, etc.
  • Find out what the sellers are looking for in an agent.  What is most important to the sellers?
  • Discuss compensation in a real estate transaction, including the listing company's policy for paying co-op agents.  This includes a discussion of the Code of Ethics Standard of Practice 1-12, Variable Commissions, etc.
  • What is the sellers' position?  Are they first-time buyers?  Are they relocating, moving-up, or retiring?

Marketing Plan Presented

  • Present a Comparative Market Analysis (CMA)
  • Discuss the venues in which the sellers want to market.  Discuss the pros and cons of said marketing.  For the real estate agent, present a comprehensive marketing plan--including on-line marketing.

Listing the Property:  This is what will occur at a meeting after the house is listed.  This step is essential.

  • Present Seller Disclosure and related forms.  These include:
    • Truth-in-housing disclosure requirements (if applicable)
    • Sellers Property Disclosure Statement
    • Resale Disclosure Certificate (if applicable)
    • Environmental Disclosures (if applicable.  Wells, septic systems, Methamphetamine labs, lead pant, underground storage tanks, wetlands, etc.)
    • Property Tax preference disclosures
    • Seller inspections
  • Abstract or owners' title insurance policy and location.
  • Address issues of the house (repairs and/or replacement--get quotes for repairs/replacements).
  • Verify data such as selling price, mortgage amount, pre-payment penalties, taxes, assessments, and other issues with the house.
  • Tax implications (1031 exchange, valuation exclusions, etc.).
  • Net Proceeds.
  • Marketing Plan:
    • Services that the agent brings to the sellers
    • Valuation issues--properly pricing the property
    • Marketing time neighborhood sales and types of financing
    • Currents statistics/inventory
    • Market expectations (i.e., first-time  home buyers may use FHA financing requiring sellers to pay for some repairs)
    • Staging
    • Advertising/signs
    • Open houses
    • Virtual tours
    • Promotional flyers/brochures
    • Closing time
    • MLS exposure
    • How showings are arranged through listing agents and who will be the contact person if the listing agent is sick, out of town, or otherwise unavilable.
    • Electronic lockbox key security system
    • Seller availability for potential time-sensitive issues regarding purchase agreement negotiations, removal of contingencies, inspections, etc.
On-the-Market Discussion
  • Industry trends, interest rates, marketplace issues
  • Housing supply in immediate area
  • Number of showings for their house vs. number of showings for other homes in the immediate area

Pre-Offer Consultation

  • How will offers be handles?  (Faxed, buyer or buyer's agent present, etc.).
  • Will an attorney be reviewing offers?
  • Explain company policy on multiple offers and obtain seller's approval.
  • Counter offers vs. 'sleeping on it'.  Explain pros/cons of waiting to make a decision on offers received.  Discuss the risk of losing the buyer if there are long delays in acceptance or counter offers.
  • Contingencies and inspections:  Discuss the pros/cons of accepting/rejecting offers that include contingencies.
  • Determine buyer's ability to purchase and consummate the transaction.
  • Discuss the difference between pre-approved vs. pre-qualified qualification.
  • Proffer an estimate net proceed sheet.
  • Discuss capital gains and tax implications.
  • Explain about binding purchase agreements, execution, and acceptance.  Oral agreements are not binding.

Presenting/Countering and Offer Acceptance

Analyzing the offer

  • What is flexible and what is not.
  • Assist sellers in understanding the risks and rewards of countering/accepting a particular offer.
  • Walk through the contract with them to analyze and understand the proposal.
  • Talk about earnest money, purchase price, and personal property (i.e., refrigerators).
  • Discuss financing issues and fraudulent arrangements.
  • Talk about contingencies.
  • Talk about inspections and what happens during them.  Discuss the consequences and what can happen as a result of the inspection.
  • Closing date.
  • Possession/Move-In Agreements.
  • Risk vs rewards of multiple offers.
  • Review the integrity of the other agent involved.
  • Verify the mortgage pre-approval strength of the buyer.
  • Anticipate any potential problems.
  • Secure appraisal and full-underwriting approval.
  • Explain the net proceeds:  bottom line for the seller.
  • Final walk-thru review.

Negotiate the offer

  • Due diligence/time is of the essence
  • Obtain proper signatures
  • Provide copies to the seller

Post-Purchase Agreement

  • Follow through  and stay on top of all aspects
  • Inspection time frames
    • Work orders:  negotiated, completed, and re-inspected
  • Buyer's mortgage lender follow up
  • Verify that an appraisal has been ordered
  • Title:  locate and provide to title company
  • Schedule closing date. time, and location, and  provide necessary documents to the closing agent
  • Provide necessary documents for closing to the lender
  • If a Common Interest Community sale (condo), make sure the Disclosule Statement or Resale Disclosure Certificate and other required documentation are delivered to the buyer.  Track the purchaser's right of rescission period
  • Remind seller that the buyer has the right to a walk-through prior to closing (generally the day of or the day before closing)
  • Negotiate any last minute complications/problems
  • Obtain and verify mortgage information and pay-off requirements
  • Review and summarize the purchase agreement for the seller
  • Counsel seller on what to expect at closing
    • What to bring to closing
    • What to be prepared for
    • Review net proceeds, financials, etc.
    • Driver's license (photo ID)
    • Social Security Numbers
    • Previous addresses
    • Preview closing documents

Closing the Sale

  • Attend the closing
  • Go through the HUD with the seller and match with estimate proceeds
  • Credit for anything (money transfers for bad carpet, etc.)
  • Watch for fraudulent financing proposals that could bring liability to the seller
  • Handle any last minute issues--all known conflicts to be resolved by a written agreement, including escrow agreements to avoid adverse consequences
  • Exchange keys, garage door openers, and final information about the property
  • Verify possession date and time

Post Closing Follow-Up


  • Survey
  • Any questions/problems/concerns
  • Send thank-you note and/or gift

During the transaction and after the closing, the real estate agents can perform a significant role in resolving disputes and moving the transaction forward.  The real estate agent can also solve the problems before they escalate.  However, there comes a point in time when an agent will have to back off and suggest that the parties consult their attorneys.  A dual agent is in a particularly awkward position when problems arise because s/he represents both parties.  The dual agent can be an information disseminator, but must not be a negotiator.  Thus, when a dual agent is involved and a problem starts to develop, the dual agent may have to refer the parties to an attorney earlier than s/he might have if serving as an exclusive agent.

© Copyright 2021 - Steven Hong - All Rights Reserved. Each office independently owned and operated.
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