Meeting the Client
Sale Yourself: It may not be the most important factor to introduce what you can do as an agent at first as it is to introduce yourself as a person. In order to do this it is important to get to know the people and their interests in life. Determine what you might have in common and establish a relationship conducive of working together in what might be one of the most important financial decisions in your client’s life.
Sale your Credentials and Expertise: Let your prospective client know of all that you have in the way of tools to execute a successful sale. Let them know what you will do as an agent.
Establish Agency: Use the Exclusive Right to Sell Listing Agreement & Agency Disclosure form to secure a relationship with the seller. Under an exclusive right-to-sell agreement, the listing firm is offered compensation in the event of a sale regardless of who procured the eventual purchaser.
Seller Disclosures on the Property: After establishing agency it is a good time to go over what the owners know about their property. Any improvements, repairs or lot issues can be disclosed to inform buyers about the property’s history. This is done on the 'Seller's Property Condition Disclosure' available in the forms selection on the MLS website.
Do a Market Analysis: Search for sold properties in the area and establish a market value of the property. The easiest way to do this is using the Comparative Market Analysis tools on the Multiple Listing Service.
List the Property on the Multiple (MLS) Listing Service: Use the Listing Input Form on your computer to list all the attributes of the property and to describe the setting in which you convey the terms of the sale. This usually originates by going into the ‘new listings’ section of the MLS website.
Inform Your Broker: Fill out the Listing Folder Checklist so that your broker can assign reference numbers to your listing and set up a Dropbox folder. Use this folder to downloaded documents once they are either in process or completed.
Yard Signs, Tours, Media and Brochures: Marketing the property is key to getting the exposure for your client and to fully utilize the power of the resources available to you.
Inform Your Contacts: Just Listed Cards, Email, Text Messages and Social Media are the best way to get you listing exposed to the market place.
Answer Your Phone and Text Messages: Make sure to answer your phone or return calls promptly. Also answer text messages as soon as possible.
Each property is different and requires special attention to market effectively. If you have concerns or questions to more fully get exposure to your listing contact your broker for additional ideas.
What Happens When You receive an Offer?
Buying and selling a home are complex undertakings and in most cases, an overwhelming experience. A potential buyer of your home who wants to make an offer to purchase the home will ask is or her real estate agent (or an attorney) to prepare a written offer to the seller, outlining several specifics, such as the purchase price, time to close escrow, contingencies for inspections or loan approval, place of escrow, amount of the deposit, amount and interest rate of the loan if financing is needed. Once this is done, the offer is then submitted to the seller’s real estate agent or attorney. The seller rejects the offer, accepts the offer, or submits a counter offer to the buyer.
If the price for the purchase and sale of the real property has been agreed to as well as the contingencies, etc., that are in the written contract, signed and dated by the seller and the buyer, the situation is then known as the “parties being in contract”.
What Happens Next?
At this point, typically the real estate agent representing the buyer sets up an escrow with an escrow company to handle all the paperwork. The selling agent sends any deposit check to the seller’s real estate agent (called the “listing agent”) for deposit into the escrow account. (The deposit is mostly used as a show of good faith between parties.) The buyer proceeds to finalize any financing needed to complete the purchase of the home.
Depending on the specifics in the purchase agreement, both the selling agent and the buyer may also contact third party experts (i.e., pest inspectors, home inspectors, surveyors, licensed contractors, roofers, and even engineers) to take an in-depth, unbiased look at the overall structural condition of the home prior to purchase. These experts submit reports to the buyer. If there are property defects or repair issues/requests, the buyer typically will ask the seller to make the repairs at his cost or, alternatively, credit the costs in the purchase price. In this situation, an “addendum” to the purchase agreement is then signed by the seller and the buyer.
At the same time, the residential seller is required to give the home buyer “Seller Property Condition Disclosure” (Seller Disclosure). The statement discloses any details on the present condition of the home, defects and major repairs, putting the buyer on notice of any material facts that might affect the desirability or the purchase price. Likewise, statutory disclosures such as the need for smoke detectors, carbon monoxide detectors, water heater straps and the like are also presented to all sides by the listing agent. The Seller Disclosure can be complicated and confusing, so the seller will want to make sure to understand every word in it. A reputable real estate agent/attorney can guide you through the process.
In some states, the selling agent typically orders a natural hazard report (NHD) for the neighborhood where the property is located. This report advises the buyer of various natural hazards in the neighborhood, including earthquake faults, flood zones, high fire zones, landslide areas and the like.
Throughout the time period when the parties are “in contract” until close of escrow (signing of documents to transfer title of the property), the real estate agents are exchanging documents and disclosures for their clients to review, read, understand, sign and date concerning the property to be purchased. The buyer and seller receive estimated closing costs and distributions amounts that each will pay and receive from the sale from the escrow company. The buyer, if he or she is financing the property, will also receive from the lender proposed loan documents and disclosures as well as an appraisal of the property.
Once the parties are satisfied that all known problems with the property have been uncovered and the costs for any repairs been addressed, the financing secured by the buyer, all written contingency requirements are then waived by the buyer and the parties sign paperwork at escrow to close the sale. The paperwork typically signed by the buyer at escrow’s close will be loan documents, a promissory note and a mortgage (trust deed) to be recorded on the property. The buyer also signs the final escrow instructions and receives paperwork for such. The seller signs the deed transferring legal title to the property to the buyer and the final escrow instructions.
The buyer and seller also receive the final closing statement showing what each will pay into or receive from the transaction from the escrow company and all monies that escrow paid out to in the transaction. Such payments would the real estate commissions, lien payments, and third party expert bills.
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Checklist for Listing Agents
By Dave Barton - Time Real Estate and Development and FREE ADVICE®