Contract to Closing

My seller clients really appreciate my services in listing, marketing and getting a buyer signed on the dotted line on a purchase contract. However, neither they nor we can rest just because a contract is inked. There are more than 50 tasks and deadline deliveries on my normal residential seller side real estate transaction checklist. And, I take our responsibilities seriously in the processing of all documents and meeting of all deadlines.
The process of taking a signed purchase contract through to closing involves a great many details, deliveries and document submissions. I coordinate all of this for my sellers, making sure that all phases of the closing process move along smoothly.

  • Title – I work closely with the title company and attorneys to make sure that all documents and deliveries are processed in a timely manner. I work with my sellers to examine all of their title and recorded documents to uncover all material defects and items of importance. Though this is normally of more concern to the buyer, sellers must respond to their objections, so it’s important to know what’s in all recorded documents. Example:  while there are normally few items in a title binder that can be corrected as they’re recorded and pass with the property, sometimes there are requirements or exceptions that weren’t expected but must be addressed.  With the more careful lending environment, more “quit-claim” deeds are being required as one example.  Perhaps you have a previous divorce and the lender wants better protection against claims and will require a quitclaim deed from your former spouse.
  • Inspections, Survey & Appraisal – My job is to coordinate access for inspectors and the appraiser, and to accept deliveries of reports as well as any objections or correction requirements from the buyers. I take this job seriously and will be with my sellers every step of the way. Every instance of delivery of an inspection and/or buyer objections requires a response in most cases, and there are deadlines. I stay on top of these deadlines, make sure reports are delivered to you on time or extensions are put into place, and that you respond within required time lines. Failure to do so could obligate you to repairs or other corrections or kill the deal.
  • Repair Negotiations – If the buyer submits requirements for corrective actions to items on reports, I work with my sellers to determine the cost of those requirements and the appropriate response necessary to keep the deal going in a way beneficial to my seller clients. Should you agree to make certain repairs, there will be deadlines associated with completion, and possibly requirements for the buyer’s inspector to return and re-inspect for completion and repair quality. I keep all of this on track for you, and can recommend contractors I know do quality work at fair prices.
  • Lender Document Coordination – One of the leading causes of delayed closings is some problem with funding due to lender last minute requirements or other document demands. I am monitoring all document flows to make sure this doesn’t happen for my sellers. As the seller, you aren’t getting a mortgage, but you need to be very concerned with the buyer’s ability to do so and their lender’s process and ability to meet deadlines and fund at closing. Mortgage problems kill a lot of deals, so we’re going to be involved in the buyer’s process to protect you, our seller client.

The Real Estate Transaction in 180 Steps
What Your REALTOR® Does for You

Based on a list prepared by Belton Jennings, CEO of the Orlando Regional REALTORS


The Critical Role of the REALTOR® – 180 Steps

Listed here are 180 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, underscoring the importance of having help and guidance from
someone who fully understands the process – a REALTOR

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 confirm
3 Review pre-appointment questions
4 Research all comparable currently listed properties
5 Research sales activity for past 18 months from MLS® and public records databases
6 Research "Average Days on Market" for this property of this type, price range and location
7 Download and review property tax roll information
8 Prepare "Comparable Market Analysis" (CMA) to establish fair market value
9 Obtain copy of subdivision plat/complex lay-out

10 Research property's ownership & deed type
11 Research property's public record information for lot size & dimensions
12 Research and verify legal description
13 Research property's land use coding and deed restrictions
14 Research property's current use and zoning
15 Verify legal names of owner(s) in county's public property records
16 Prepare listing presentation package with above materials and HomeTrack™ information
17 Perform exterior "Curb Appeal Assessment" of subject property
18 Compile and assemble formal file on property
19 Confirm current public schools and explain impact of schools on market value
20 Review listing appointment checklist to ensure all steps and actions have been completed

Listing Appointment Presentation
21 Give seller an overview of current market conditions and projections
22 Review agent's and company's credentials and accomplishments in the market
23 Present company's profile and position or "niche" in the marketplace
24 Present CMA Results To Seller, including Comparables, Solds, Current Listings & Expireds
25 Offer pricing strategy based on professional judgment and interpretation of current market conditions
26 Discuss Goals With Seller To Market Effectively
27 Explain market power and benefits of Multiple Listing Service
28 Explain market power of web marketing, IDX and
29 Explain the work the brokerage and agent do "behind the scenes" and agent's availability on weekends
30 Explain agent's role in taking calls to screen for qualified buyers and protect seller from curiosity seekers
31 Present and discuss strategic master marketing plan
32 Explain different agency relationships and determine seller's preference
33 Review and explain all clauses in Listing Contract & Addendum and obtain seller's signature

Once Property is Under Listing Agreement
34 Review current title information
35 Measure overall and heated square footage
36 Measure interior room sizes
37 Confirm lot size via owner's copy of certified survey, if available
38 Note any and all unrecorded property lines, agreements, easements
39 Obtain house plans, if applicable and available
40 Review house plans and make copy
41 Order plat map for retention in property's listing file
42 Prepare showing instructions for buyers' agents and agree on showing time window with seller
43 Obtain current mortgage loan(s) information: companies and & loan account numbers
44 Verify current loan information with lender(s)
45 Check assumability of loan(s) and any special requirements
46 Discuss possible buyer financing alternatives and options with seller
47 Review current appraisal if available
48 Identify Home Owner Association manager if applicable

49 Verify Home Owner Association Fees with manager - mandatory or optional and current annual fee
50 Order copy of Homeowner Association bylaws, if applicable
51 Research electricity availability and supplier's name and phone number
52 Calculate average utility usage from last 12 months of bills
53 Research and verify city sewer/septic tank system
54 Water System: Calculate average water fees or rates from last 12 months of bills )
55 Well Water: Confirm well status, depth and output from Well Report
56 Natural Gas: Research/verify availability and supplier's name and phone number
57 Verify security system, current term of service and whether owned or leased
58 Verify if seller has transferable Termite Bond
59 Ascertain need for lead-based paint disclosure
60 Prepare detailed list of property amenities and assess market impact
61 Prepare detailed list of property's "Inclusions & Conveyances with Sale"
62 Compile list of completed repairs and maintenance items
63 Send "Vacancy Checklist" to seller if property is vacant
64 Explain benefits of Home Owner Warranty to seller
65 Assist sellers with completion and submission of Home Owner Warranty Application
66 When received, place Home Owner Warranty in property file for conveyance at time of sale
67 Have extra key made for lockbox
68 Verify if property has rental units involved. And if so:
69 * Make copies of all leases for retention in listing file
70 * Verify all rents & deposits
71 * Inform tenants of listing and discuss how showings will be handled
72 Arrange for installation of yard sign
73 Assist seller with completion of Seller's Disclosure form
74 "New Listing Checklist" Completed
75 Review results of Curb Appeal Assessment with seller and provide suggestions to improve salability
76 Review results of Interior Décor Assessment and suggest changes to shorten time on market
77 Load listing into transaction management software program Entering Property in Multiple Listing Service Database 

78 Prepare MLS® Profile Sheet -- Agents is responsible for "quality control" and accuracy of listing data
79 Enter property data from Profile Sheet into MLS® Listing Database
80 Proofread MLS® database listing for accuracy - including proper placement in mapping function
81 Add property to company's Active Listings list
82 Provide seller with signed copies of Listing Agreement and MLS® Profile Sheet Data Form within 48 hours
83 Take additional photos for upload into MLS® and use in flyers. Discuss efficacy of panoramic photography

Marketing The Listing
84 Create print and Internet ads with seller's input
85 Coordinate showings with owners, tenants, and other Realtors® Return all calls - weekends included
86 Install electronic lock box if authorized by owner. Program with agreed-upon showing time windows

87 Prepare mailing and contact list
88 Generate mail-merge letters to contact list
89 Order “Just Listed” labels & reports
90 Prepare flyers & feedback faxes
91 Review comparable MLS® listings regularly to ensure property remains competitive in price, terms,
conditions and availability
92 Prepare property marketing brochure for seller's review
93 Arrange for printing or copying of supply of marketing brochures or fliers
94 Place marketing brochures in all company agent mail boxes
95 Upload listing to company and agent Internet site, if applicable
96 Mail Out "Just Listed" notice to all neighborhood residents
97 Advise Network Referral Program of listing
98 Provide marketing data to buyers coming through international relocation networks
99 Provide marketing data to buyers coming from referral network
100 Provide "Special Feature" cards for marketing, if applicable
101 Submit ads to company's participating Internet real estate sites
102 Price changes conveyed promptly to all Internet groups
103 Reprint/supply brochures promptly as needed
104 Loan information reviewed and updated in MLS® as required
105 Feedback e-mails/faxes sent to buyers' agents after showings
106 Review weekly Market Study
107 Discuss feedback from showing agents with seller to determine if changes will accelerate the sale
108 Place regular weekly update calls to seller to discuss marketing & pricing
109 Promptly enter price changes in MLS® listing database

The Offer and Contract
109 Receive and review all Offer to Purchase contracts submitted by buyers or buyers' agents.
110 Evaluate offer(s) and prepare a "net sheet" on each for the owner for comparison purposes
111 Counsel seller on offers. Explain merits and weakness of each component of each offer
112 Contact buyers' agents to review buyer's qualifications and discuss offer
113 Fax/deliver Seller's Disclosure to buyer's agent or buyer upon request and prior to offer if possible
114 Confirm buyer is pre-qualified by calling Loan Officer
115 Obtain pre-qualification letter on buyer from Loan Officer
116 Negotiate all offers on seller's behalf, setting time limit for loan approval and closing date
117 Prepare and convey any counteroffers, acceptance or amendments to buyer's agent
118 Fax copies of contract and all addendums to closing attorney or title company
119 When Offer to Purchase Contract is accepted and signed by seller, deliver to buyer's agent
120 Record and promptly deposit buyer's earnest money in escrow account.
121 Disseminate "Under-Contract Showing Restrictions" as seller requests
122 Deliver copies of fully signed Offer to Purchase contract to seller
123 Fax/deliver copies of Offer to Purchase contract to Selling Agent
133 Fax copies of Offer to Purchase contract to lender
124 Provide copies of signed Offer to Purchase contract for office file
125 Advise seller in handling additional offers to purchase submitted between contract and closing
126 Change status in MLS® to "Sale Pending"

127 Update transaction management program show "Sale Pending"
128 Review buyer's credit report results -- Advise seller of worst and best case scenarios
129 Provide credit report information to seller if property will be seller-financed
130 Assist buyer with obtaining financing, if applicable and follow-up as necessary
131 Coordinate with lender on Discount Points being locked in with dates
132 Deliver unrecorded property information to buyer
133 Order septic system inspection, if applicable
134 Receive and review septic system report and assess any possible impact on sale
135 Deliver copy of septic system inspection report lender & buyer
136 Deliver Well Flow Test Report copies to lender & buyer and property listing file
137 Verify termite inspection ordered
138 Verify mold inspection ordered, if required

Tracking the Loan Process
139 Confirm Verifications Of Deposit & Buyer's Employment Have Been Returned
140 Follow Loan Processing Through To The Underwriter
141 Add lender and other vendors to HomeTrack™ so agents, buyer and seller can track progress of sale
142 Contact lender weekly to ensure processing is on track
143 Relay final approval of buyer's loan application to seller

Home Inspection
144 Coordinate buyer's professional home inspection with seller
145 Review home inspector's report
146 Enter completion into transaction management tracking software program
147 Explain seller's responsibilities with respect to loan limits and interpret any clauses in the contract
148 Ensure seller's compliance with Home Inspection Clause requirements
149 Recommend or assist seller with identifying and negotiating with trustworthy contractors to perform
any required repairs
150 Negotiate payment and oversee completion of all required repairs on seller's behalf, if needed

The Appraisal
151 Schedule Appraisal
154 Provide comparable sales used in market pricing to Appraiser
152 Follow-Up On Appraisal
151 Enter completion into transaction management program
153 Assist seller in questioning appraisal report if it seems too low

Closing Preparations and Duties
154 Contract Is Signed By All Parties
155 Coordinate closing process with buyer's agent and lender
156 Update closing forms & files
157 Ensure all parties have all forms and information needed to close the sale
158 Select location where closing will be held
159 Confirm closing date and time and notify all parties

160 Assist in solving any title problems (boundary disputes, easements, etc) or in obtaining Death Certificates
161 Work with buyer's agent in scheduling and conducting buyer's Final Walk-Thru prior to closing
172 Research all tax, HOA, utility and other applicable prorations
162 Request final closing figures from closing agent (attorney or title company)
163 Receive & carefully review closing figures to ensure accuracy of preparation
164 Forward verified closing figures to buyer's agent
165 Request copy of closing documents from closing agent
166 Confirm buyer and buyer's agent have received title insurance commitment
167 Provide "Home Owners Warranty" for availability at closing
168 Reviews all closing documents carefully for errors
169 Forward closing documents to absentee seller as requested
170 Review documents with closing agent (attorney)
171 Provide earnest money deposit check from escrow account to closing agent
173 Coordinate this closing with seller's next purchase and resolve any timing problems
174 Have a "no surprises" closing so that seller receives a net proceeds check at closing
175 Refer sellers to one of the best agents at their destination, if applicable
176 Change MLS® status to Sold. Enter sale date, price, selling broker and agent's ID numbers, etc.
177 Close out listing in HomeTrack™

Follow Up After Closing
178 Answer questions about filing claims with Home Owner Warranty company if requested
179 Attempt to clarify and resolve any conflicts about repairs if buyer is not satisfied
180 Respond to any follow-on calls and provide any additional information required from office files.

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Contact Info
Realtor | Broker

Michael Jones

RE/MAX Of Greensboro

204 Muirs Chapel Rd
Greensboro  North Carolina 27410

(336) 750-6453 (800) 950-6453 (336) 346-1280

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