What REALTORS do for Sellers


What Realtors do for Sellers

Why Sellers Need a REALTOR

Many times I'm surprised that the general public does not seem to understand how much work goes into the sale of a home. It's been almost three years since I first posted this, but I think it bears repeating. I often use it in a Listing Presentation. Not that I expect ANYONE to actually read it, but just the sheer volume of it is daunting, and the idea is to let the Client know that we are not just putting a sign in their yard when we take a listing. Many of these are not just tasks, but legal resposibilities for which we are liable. If you are mailing it to a Seller or using it in a Listing Presentation, there is a sample of the Cover Letter that I use at the end of this post.

This list was compiled prior to the advent of Short Sales and pre-Foreclosures and eContracts, and while I continue to tweek it, there could very easily be a LONG list of additional items.  If you have the fortitude to actually READ it, PLEASE feel free to add more items in the Comment section, and I will, in turn, add those to this list so that the list is more complete. You have my permission to use as you see fit, with attribution.


PRE LISTING: A lot goes in to getting ready for the initial listing appointment. After an initial phone call, we will verify City Records and previous sales, do a thorough Market Analysis, prepare documentation. This process generally takes several hours before we even meet with a prospective Client.

  • Make appointment with Seller for listing presentation
  • Pull property City and tax records
  • Pull old MLS listing, if applicable
  • Order Owner & Encumbrance Report
  • Research property's current use and zoning
  • Research and verify legal description of property
  • Pull comps on Active, Sold, Pending, Withdrawn, Expired, and Cancelled Listings
  • Research "Average Days on Market" for property of this type and location
  • Prepare Comparative Market Analysis
  • Print Map of property and comps
  • Prepare Agency Disclosure
  • Prepare Listing Contract
  • Prepare Seller's Property Disclosure
  • Prepare Closing Instructions
  • Prepare Lead-Based Obligations of Seller
  • Prepare Lead-Based Paint Disclosure
  • Prepare Mold Disclosure
  • Prepare Square Footage Disclosure
  • Prepare Seller's Request for Verification of Loan Information
  • Prepare Showing Instructions
  • Prepare Pre-Listing Packet
  • Order delivery of Pre-Listing Packet
  • Confirm time to meet with Seller
  • Inform Seller to have a copy of their key made for the lockbox

LISTING APPOINTMENT: Meet with Seller to discuss market, pricing strategy, and options. Determine financial and time needs. Would working together be mutually beneficial? Prepare Net Proceeds for Seller. Discuss Staging of the property. If proceeding, fill out paperwork.

  • Give Seller an overview of current market conditions and projections
  • Discuss Comparative Market Analysis
  • Discuss pricing strategy based on professional judgment and market
  • Discuss goals with Seller to market effectively, including schedule for selling
  • Explain role in taking calls to screen for qualified Buyers
  • Discuss safety of lock box
  • Discuss Agency
  • Discuss Contract and all other disclosures
  • Discuss availability of Home Owner's Warranty
  • Have Seller sign all paperwork
  • Assist Seller with completion of Seller's Property Disclosure form
  • Discuss things that need to be done in home
  • Staging Packet to Seller
  • Get loan payoff information
  • Show Centralized Showing Service to Seller
  • Have Seller choose preferred flyer template
  • Get copies of leases, if applicable
  • Ask for floor plan, upgrades, special features, detailed list of amenities

AFTER LISTING APPOINTMENT: Place sign, lockbox, directionals. Take measurements and pictures (after Staging). Verify all information and enter into MLS. Design flyers, do all internet input to multiple sources, design eProperties site, make web page, show property to prospective Buyers, discuss property with other agents, Broker Open, if applicable.

  • Copies of all documents
  • Prepare Seller Net Sheet based on List price
  • Measure interior rooms
  • Measure exterior of home
  • Take interior pictures after Staging
  • Take exterior pictures in good weather
  • Select best pictures, crop, and download
  • Put in yard sign and directionals
  • Get extra key and install Lockbox
  • Enter listing to MLS and verify all information
  • Download best pictures to MLS
  • Download disclosures to MLS
  • Make copies of disclosures
  • Leave several copies of disclosures at property
  • Check MLS for Matching Buyers
  • Design flyers for Matching Buyers to mail to Realtors
  • Input Seller into Management System
  • Assist Seller in Staging home for maximum price and quickest sale
  • Make Showing Sheet for front desk
  • Design mailers and postcards to Realtors
  • Design and print flyers
  • Design "Just Listed" cards and "Pick Your Neighbors"
  • Mail Realtor, Neighbor, and Matching flyers/cards
  • Design, print, and deliver flyers
  • Compile list of completed repairs and maintenance items Seller has done
  • Verify HOA fees and disclosures, if applicable
  • Mail copy of Contract to Seller - include MLS printout and projected Seller Net Sheet
  • Call in HOW, if applicable
  • Listing to www.Realtor.com
  • Listing to CoSpringsRealEstateNews
  • Input listing into Centralized Showing
  • Input listing into eProperties and all related information
  • Make "Special Features" cards
  • Calculate average utility usage for last twelve months
  • Set any number of showings
  • Return all phone calls - weekdays and weekends
  • Verify with Seller after first few that Showing Instructions are being followed
  • Add daily activities to eContracts
  • Call Seller weekly to keep updated
  • Reprint and supply flyers promptly as needed
  • Input all showings into Centralized Showing and eContracts
  • Discuss feedback regularly with Seller
  • Discuss Open House
  • Show house any number of times to prospective Buyers
  • If interested, get Buyer pre-qualified
  • Do CMA every four weeks
  • Call Seller with strategy if CMA different
  • Amend/Extend if monetary change
  • Change MLS, if applicable
  • If price changed, send out email BLAST to previous Agents who showed home
  • Reprint flyers
  • Deliver flyers

CONTRACT NEGOTIATIONS: Thoroughly review and discuss all offers, review Buyer's financial qualifications and details of offer, prepare Net Sheet for Seller with offered numbers, negotiate and renegotiate as many times as it takes, sign offer or counter.

  • Receive and thoroughly review all offers submitted
  • Pre-negotiate with other Agent before writing, if applicable
  • Discuss Buyer's financial qualifications, terms, and times
  • Discuss exclusions, dates, etc. with other Agent
  • Review Contract Addendum thoroughly
  • Evaluate offer(s) and prepare a "Net Sheet" on each offer for Seller
  • Discuss offer with Seller
  • Negotiate the offer and options
  • Get pre-qualification letter
  • Sign offer or prepare Counterproposal, if necessary
  • Prepare and convey any counteroffers, acceptances, or amendments
  • Acceptance Deadline Time
  • Renegotiate however many times necessary and finalize
  • Make applicable copies
  • Convey signed copies to other Agent

AFTER CONTRACT SIGNED BY ALL PARTIES: Make sure all Contracts and disclosures signed properly. Deliver Earnest Money and Contract to Title Company, order Title Commitment. Order payoff from mortgage company, meet all deadlines, coordinate inspections and appraisal, explain moving and closing issues with Seller.

  • Order Title work
  • Make copy of Earnest money and Contract
  • Deliver check and Contract to Title Company
  • Notate dates on calendar
  • Send date sheet to Seller
  • Do necessary paperwork for unusual conditions
  • If Seller and Buyer both our clients, do Change of Status Notice
  • Copies of leases and damage deposit receipts, if applicable
  • Order payoff
  • Seller's Property Disclosure Deadline
  • Inspection Objection Deadline
  • Resolution Deadline
  • Property Insurance Objection Deadline
  • Change status on MLS and print to verify
  • Review all paperwork for signatures
  • Get all necessary signatures
  • If mail-out, get instructions and addresses
  • Notify Title Company of Mail out
  • If POA needed, get original from Title Company
  • Get POA signed and notarized
  • "Under Contract" info letter to Seller
  • Signed copies of Contract to Seller
  • Remind Seller to notify Utility Company to stop service and do a "final read"
  • Discuss with Seller advantages/disadvantages to continued showings
  • Discuss what happens if other offers come in between Contract and Closing
  • Change showing instructions in Centralized Showing
  • Referral agent needed for Sellers new location?
  • Resolve any Title Disputes
  • Resolve any Off Record Matters
  • Deliver unrecorded property information to Buyer
  • Have Seller notify Utilities, phone, cable, etc.
  • Mail "The Moving Guide" with Change-of-address forms to Seller
  • Set up closing time
  • Call Buyer's Agent and coordinate closing time
  • Verify closing date and time and make all parties aware
  • Mail time-verification of closing and directions to Seller
  • Assist in solving any Title problems (boundary disputes, easements, etc.)
  • Assist in obtaining Death Certificates, if applicable
  • Cleaning needs (e.g. carpet, kitchen, etc.) upon move-out
  • Discuss mover and time-frame for move-out with Seller

HOME INSPECTION: Make arrangements with all parties to coordinate inspection. Thoroughly review inspection report with Seller. Discuss items, willingness and advisability to fix, estimate of costs. Make arrangements with appropriate contractors and vendors to have items fixed.

  • Set up Inspection
  • Coordinate time with Seller, Agents, Buyer, Inspector
  • Review Notice of Unsatisfactory Conditions with Seller
  • Help Seller negotiate Inspection Objections
  • Help Seller with repair estimates or a credit at closing
  • Copy of Inspection Notice to file
  • Verify prior to closing that all repairs have been made
  • Get copies of repair receipts
  • Fax copies of receipts to other Agent

THE APPRAISAL: Do current Market Analysis on property value. Coordinate and meet with Appraiser. Make sure appraisal done in timely manner. Options if appraisal is low. Any appraisal conditions? Coordinate fixing items, if noted. Schedule final inspection.

  • Set up appraisal
  • Coordinate time with Seller, Agents, Buyer, Appraiser
  • Do current CMA for appraiser
  • Meet appraiser with CMA
  • If VA, make sure CRV ordered and completed
  • Track Appraisal Deadline
  • Verify appraisal completed and satisfactory
  • If appraisal low, discuss options with Seller
  • Discuss any conditions on appraisal with Seller
  • Schedule final inspection on appraisal conditions, if applicable
  • Verify all conditions met prior to closing

TRACKING THE LOAN PROCESS: Track the Buyer's loan progress with other Agent. Make sure all dates and deadlines are met. Keep Seller apprised of current situation. If Contract falls, begin from the beginning. Release of Earnest Money if within Contract dates.

  • All paperwork to Lender
  • Make contact with Lender and verify Buyer information
  • Loan Application Deadline
  • Buyer's Credit Information Deadline
  • Disapproval of Buyer's Credit Information Deadline
  • Existing Loan Documents Deadline
  • Existing Loan Documents Objection Deadline
  • Loan Transfer Approval Deadline
  • Contact Lender weekly to ensure processing of loan approval is on track
  • Notify Seller of loan approval

IF CONTRACT FALLS: Begin from the beginning. Sign all documentation to terminate, and Release of Earnest Money if within Contract dates. Reinstate on MLS and all internet sites. Reissue flyers and start marketing process again.

  • Fill out all necessary paperwork
  • Re-input into MLS
  • Sign Release of Earnest Money forms

CLOSING PREPARATIONS AND DUTIES: Schedule a walk-thru with all parties. Confirm that all dates are being met, confirm if mail-out, POAs or other documents needed. Review closing documents and verify that all figures are correct. Deal with all last-minutes crises, make sure Seller brings keys, ID and GDOs.

  • Schedule walk through with Buyer, Buyer's Agent, Seller, Vineyard Properties
  • Verify with Seller how proceeds of sale being received
  • If mail-out, verify correct mailing address
  • Confirm mail-out with Closer
  • Title Deadline
  • Title Objection Deadline
  • Survey Deadline
  • Survey Objection Deadline
  • Document Request Deadline
  • CIC Documents Objection Deadline
  • Off-Record Matters Deadline
  • Off-Record Matters Objection Deadline
  • Right of First Refusal Deadline
  • Property Insurance Objection Deadline
  • Coordinate Possession Date and Possession Time
  • Prepare disbursement authorizations
  • Notify Title Company of any Amend/Extends or date/money changes
  • Last minute bills and receipts faxed to Closer including HOW, if applicable
  • Make sure Closer has all addenda, correct price, rents, or applicable credits
  • Discuss closing figures with Closer
  • Check final figures for accuracy
  • Call Seller and discuss final figures 24 hours prior to closing
  • Remind Seller to bring picture ID, keys, door openers, receipts, etc.
  • If not receiving proceeds at closing, discuss Seller's need for Cashier's Check
  • Deal with all last-minute crises
  • Check file for any unsigned documents
  • Coordinate this closing with Seller's next purchase and resolve timing issues
  • Have a "no surprise" closing so that Seller receives proceeds at closing

POST SALE: Enter the sales data to MLS and records for County. Remove signs, directionals, and Lockbox. Make sure file is completed and have it copied to disc. Change MLS to SOLD

  • Change MLS to "SOLD"
  • Enter sales data for County Records
  • Scan entire file to disc
  • Store hard file at outside location
  • Copy HUD-1 and put in pre-addressed envelope
  • Remove sign, directionals, and brochure box
  • Remove lockbox
  • Mail out disc of all paperwork to Seller
  • Mail out HUD-1 to Seller the following year for taxes


Why Should a SELLER Use a REALTOR®?

Because so many of the services provided by REALTORS® to our Clients are performed behind the scenes, there is often a lack of understanding of what we do to facilitate a sale. Too often Sellers think that with the advent of the internet and declining home prices, that it is just a matter of putting a sign in the yard and placing an online ad. But without a REALTOR®, many times the transaction is placed in jeopardy.


There are more than 200 actions, research steps, procedures, processes, and review stages that are typically provided by full service real estate brokerages in a successful residential transaction in return for their sales commission. Because the commission is not paid until the time of closing, all of the monetary risk of marketing a property is borne by the REALTOR®. Depending on the transaction, some of these actions will take minutes, some hours, and some even days to complete, while some may not be necessary. It is imperative to have guidance from someone who understands the process intimately; someone whose knowledge, level of skill, and attention to detail required in most real estate transactions is apparent.

If you've found this list helpful, click on the green Victorian below to SUBSCRIBE to my blog to get the next post on what we do for Buyers.

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If you would like to search for Homes for Sale in Colorado Springs,

please contact your Colorado Springs Realtor

 Colorado Springs Realtor Mimi Foster 

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Selling homes throughout Colorado Springs, Old Colorado City,
Manitou Springs, and surrounding areas

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Tammy Lankford,
Lane Realty Eatonton, GA Lake Sinclair, Milledgeville, 706-485-9668 - Eatonton, GA
Broker GA Lake Sinclair/Eatonton/Milledgeville

I actuallly read the list, you know REALLY read the entire list and I sat here thinking... you know I do all this stuff, but I never tell the seller I do ALL this stuff.  I just highlight the headlines.    I think I'm going to call my very frustrated "why hasn't my short sale sold" seller tomorrow and tell them how I talked to new appraiser on the phone for an HOUR today trying to get him to understand what NO BOATHOUSE on this lot means for value on my lake.  Perhaps they will "get it" more then.

Oct 06, 2014 02:19 PM #10
Florida Tolbert Team Keller Williams Advantage
Keller Williams Advantage III Realty in Lake Nona - Orlando, FL
Keller Williams Land Division Specialist

That is a very powerful list and I will repost this as many sellers need to see this.  

Oct 06, 2014 02:23 PM #11
Mimi Foster
Voted Colorado Springs Best Realtor

Thank you, Winston Heverly. If we don't educate them, who will?

First off, Tammy Lankford, I must say I'm impressed you read it all.  It used to frustrate my mom that I spent so much time on the phone when I should have been working.  So many times I'd tell her that I didn't know anyone who worked harder talking on the telephone than I did. LOL But it's such a big part of our jobs - whether we're on the phone or at a house or in our office or in the car, it's all part of what goes into our work. Frustrated short sale sellers - now that's a blog post in and of itself 

Oct 06, 2014 02:27 PM #12
Mimi Foster
Voted Colorado Springs Best Realtor

Thanks, Kevin B. Tolbert PA Team. I think many Realtors need to see the list as well. Not sure even we have a clue how much we do in a transaction. ;)

Oct 06, 2014 02:59 PM #13
Chris Griffith
Downing-Frye Realty, Bonita Springs, FL - Bonita Springs, FL
Bonita Springs Listing Agent

I pulled off a double closing so spectacular that when my seller told me her "friend" didn't understand why she used I realtor, I recapped what I did and said, "Caroline, I'm a unicorn.  You're welcome."

Oct 06, 2014 08:32 PM #14
Dorie Dillard CRS GRI ABR
Coldwell Banker United Realtors® ~ 512.750.6899 - Austin, TX
Serving Buyers & Sellers in NW Austin Real Estate

Good morning Mimi,

It is amazing all the responsibilities we undertake in a transaction acting as a Realtor! Great post!

Oct 06, 2014 09:51 PM #15
Mimi Foster
Voted Colorado Springs Best Realtor

Nice comeback, Chris Griffith. You'd have to be a unicorn, a magician, and have at least a four year degree in psychology to do what we do many days. Nice job!!

So true, Dorie Dillard. And they aren't just tasks, many are legal responsibilities for which we are liable. 

Oct 06, 2014 10:33 PM #16
Rob D. Shepherd
Windermere/lane county - Florence, OR
Principal Broker GRI, SRES

Wow! I am going to pull the covers back over my head. I am tired after reading this list. I can't think of any thing you missed.

Oct 06, 2014 11:20 PM #17
Jill Sackler
Charles Rutenberg Realty Inc. 516-575-7500 - Long Beach, NY
LI South Shore Real Estate - Broker Associate

Wow! I don't believe I ever saw it enumerated in such great detail. You do us all proud.

Oct 06, 2014 11:27 PM #18
Mimi Foster
Voted Colorado Springs Best Realtor

Right, Rob D. Shepherd? It's exhausting just reading it 

What a nice thing to say, Jill Sackler. We generally work hard for our paychecks, and I must admit I sometimes feel guilty for the ones that are easy. But they are few and far between these days, so I've been out of that zone for a while 

Oct 07, 2014 12:16 AM #19
Rebecca Gaujot, Realtor®
Vision Quest Realty - Lewisburg, WV
Lewisburg WV, the go to agent for all real estate

Mimi, I read the entire list and thought yes we do all this; really made be think. I'm bookmarking and thanks so much for the list. Now I think I will reblog this post.

Oct 07, 2014 12:59 PM #20
Troy Erickson AZ Realtor (602) 295-6807
Good Company Real Estate www.ChandlerRealEstate.weebly.com - Chandler, AZ
Your Chandler, Ahwatukee, and East Valley Realtor

Now that's a pretty comprehensive list. If home sellers don't get it after showing them this list, I guess they never will. You have shown the real value of working with an agent to list a home.

Oct 15, 2014 03:20 PM #21
Claude Labbe
Real Living | At Home - Washington, DC
Realty for Your Busy Life

Nice list Mimi.

Now the cynical me steps in to take over this comment.  I'd think that a few agents have a list like yours, and I'd think most of them don't use it other than for marketing purposes.

I've told sellers that wil buyers take a lot of time (ie, when I'm in a car showing homes), listings take just as much if not more, though all of that time is on the phone, online doing research, and sometimes in the car doing previews to the competition.  It's not just a "put up a sign and collect a check" deal at all.

And...yes, nice list.

Oct 17, 2014 01:57 PM #22
William Collins
ERA Queen City Realty - Scotch Plains, NJ
Property and Asset Management

Mimi, Thank you for taking the time to summarize what appears to be the never ending list of tasks that we undertake to serve our sellers. The list is a reminder to the professional and an eye opener to the uninitiated.

Dec 28, 2014 12:40 PM #23
Thomas J. Nelson, Realtor, ePRO, CRS, RCS-D
Big Block Realty 858.232.8722 - La Jolla, CA
& Host of Postcards From Success Podcast

I plan to print and use this, add our my personal service touches and use it as a service guarantee.

Mr & Mrs. Seller "Not every agent will be so committed to you that they guarantee their services. I guarantee mine. Which is why I can not cut my fees!"

I can see the thought and time you invested into this, thank you!

Apr 10, 2016 01:13 AM #24
M.C. Dwyer
Century 21 Showcase REALTORs - Felton, CA
Santa Cruz Mountains Property Specialist

Hi Mimi - awesome list!    I just got here from a Thomas Nelson blog and am glad I did.

Apr 13, 2016 07:06 AM #25
Kasey & John Boles
Jon Gosche Real Estate, LLC - BoiseMeridianRealEstate.com - Boise, ID
Boise & Meridian, ID Ada/Canyon/Gem/Boise Counties

Wow, you spent a great deal of time and detail to do both of these buyer and seller lists.  I am going to print them out and read them a lot more carefully in paper form (my preference of reading/reviewing).  I'm really impressed. Though, I've always enjoyed your blogs, writing skill and expertise in this industry. -Kasey

Feb 17, 2017 04:07 PM #26
Mimi Foster
Voted Colorado Springs Best Realtor

Thank you, Kasey & John Boles and the team at Jon Gosche Real Estate, LLC

I include these lists when I give the Sellers a listing packet, or give them to Buyers when I have them sign a Buyer Agency Agreement. 

Hope you're doing well. 

Feb 17, 2017 07:00 PM #27
Kasey & John Boles
Jon Gosche Real Estate, LLC - BoiseMeridianRealEstate.com - Boise, ID
Boise & Meridian, ID Ada/Canyon/Gem/Boise Counties

Thats a great idea and an excellent addition to your buyer/seller packets. We are well, keeping ourselves busy. I hope you are well too.  Have a fabulous weekend! -Kasey

Feb 17, 2017 07:11 PM #28
Pat Starnes-Front Gate Realty
Front Gate Real Estate - Brandon, MS
601-991-2900 Office; 601-278-4513 Cell

Mimi, this list is CraZy long, but it includes everything a GREAT selling agent will do for a seller.

May 06, 2017 11:25 AM #29
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