This article is part of a larger series on Real Estate Lead Generation and Marketing.
Sales listings are a lucrative source of income for any real estate agent, but it can be challenging to manage marketing, negotiations, deadlines, and seller expectations without a real estate listing checklist. Your checklist should include items to complete before listing the property, during the active listing, and throughout the closing process. This checklist will help you and your clients easily track progress and ensure every stage of the sales process gets completed before moving on to the next.
To save time creating your own listing checklist for realtors or sellers, we compiled a detailed real estate listing checklist template you can download and use or share with clients.
Choose which stage of the listing checklist you’d like to focus on from the drop-downs below, or take a look at all three stages to prepare yourself for a successful property sale:
You need to take several steps before a property becomes your exclusive listing. The prelisting stage requires you to establish trust, build rapport, and demonstrate your value as a real estate professional to potential sellers. By being organized and prepared during the prelisting stage, you will secure the listing and instill confidence in your abilities to provide a seamless transaction for your clients.
Present Your Prelisting Package
First impressions are everything, especially when it comes to the stressful and complicated process of selling a home. When you first encounter a potential seller, send them a prelisting package or pitch deck.
A prelisting package aims to introduce yourself and your real estate services so the prospect will decide to work with you or at least invite you to continue the conversation. A well-organized and comprehensive prelisting package can be the catalyst that turns a random lead into a loyal client. Your real estate prelisting packet should include the following items:
- Introduction: A personal letter to the seller, professional biography, and introduction to your brokerage and team
- Statistics: Numbers based on performance; for example, how many homes you’ve sold, the average number of days on the market, and the percentage of homes sold over ask
- Marketing and advertising: The basics of your marketing plan showing how you plan to gain maximum exposure for the property and the tools you employ to generate qualified buyer leads
- Sales process: An overview of the sales process so clients are aware of what happens during each stage, what they will have to do, and what you and your brokerage will do throughout the process
- Information about the seller’s property: Include market trends in the seller’s area and an overview of the techniques you will use to price the property in your comparative market analysis (CMA)*
- Paperwork: Samples of contracts and disclosures the seller needs to sign to employ your services and checklists with questions to expand their knowledge
*The CMA will be produced after you present your full listing presentation or may be made as part of your presentation if you’ve had a chance to thoroughly examine the seller’s property.
The prelisting package is typically sent to a potential client via email, mail, or in person. The right prelisting package can set you up for success, so it’s essential to make sure it stands out from the crowd. If you need graphics and images for your prelisting package, use Canva’s premade templates and customizable images. Canva can take your simple pitch deck and elevate it to a work of art with stunning design elements that impress clients.
For more information about the structure and organization of your prelisting package, take a look at our article What to Include in a Winning Prelisting Package.
Deliver Your Listing Presentation
After your prospect has reviewed your entire prelisting package, they’ll be ready to invite you to prepare and deliver a complete listing presentation. Although this is similar to the prelisting packet and may contain some of the same elements, there are distinct differences between the prelisting package and the listing presentation.
The listing presentation is more specific to the seller’s home than the materials presented in the prelisting package. It will be delivered in person or live through virtual means like Zoom, so dress your best and practice your pitch before showing it to the sellers. Other differences include a more in-depth description of your marketing strategy and samples of past materials, adding market statistics specific to their home and area, and discussing your pricing strategy for their home.
Most importantly, during the listing presentation, focus on the client and uncover their experience with the sales process, motivation for selling, fears, and unique pain points. For instance, they may be moving because they purchased a home elsewhere and need to sell the property quickly to close on their new home within the next three months.
The pain point is the need to sell quickly, and they may fear that not being able to do so will cause them to lose the home they want to buy. Pay attention to that pain by telling them how to expedite the sales process and alleviate their fears by detailing the steps you’ll take to make their transition between homes seamless. The ultimate goal is to show how your value as a real estate professional will complement their needs.
Do-it-yourself agents should check out our Ultimate Real Estate Listing Presentation (+ Free Template) article and download a free listing presentation template. To make your listing presentation visually appealing as well as informative, employ the services of the experts at 99designs. Whether you need help with a few graphics or the entire package, 99designs can assist with logos, websites, presentation design, and personal branding to make your listing presentation unique.
Produce a Comparative Market Analysis Report to Determine the Price
Once you know your clients better and they have a deeper understanding of your services, you will produce a comparative market analysis (CMA) report to help them price their property correctly. The importance of this report can’t be understated, as pricing the home correctly the first time saves you and your client time and money in the long run.
Your CMA will take into account the home’s size and the number of bedrooms and bathrooms, condition, overall property size, outbuildings, unique features, finishes and flooring, renovations, and updates, as well as current market trends and homes that recently sold or are currently on the market. Using all these elements allows you to compare the subject property to others in the area to determine the most appropriate list price.
Reviewing the CMA report with your clients rather than sending it via email is best because it will help clients understand the thought process behind the facts and figures you’ve gathered. Allow them to ask questions and make comments to clarify the details. Also, ask them to weigh in and be comfortable with your suggested price to settle on the definitive list price as a team.
Sign the Listing Agreement
The final stage of the prelisting process is for all parties to sign the listing agreement, solidifying the relationship between you and your client. The listing agreement gives you the exclusive right to list, advertise, market, and assist in selling your client’s home within a specific time frame.
Once the listing agreement is fully executed, other agents can only advertise or assist your clients with your consent. Showings, open houses, offers, communication, and all other aspects of the process must go exclusively through you as the seller’s agent.
Once you’ve signed official paperwork, the prelisting stage is complete—but your role as a sales agent is just starting. In the active listing stage, you do the heavy lifting to get as much exposure as possible for the home. In addition to generating buzz about the listing, you’ll also be able to generate viable buyer leads who may be interested in purchasing the property. This can be done in various ways, leading to offers and, eventually, an executed sales contract.
Prepare the Home Listing
When it comes to first impressions, the little things, like cleaning, decluttering, organizing, and repairing your home before the listing, are essential. This makes a striking improvement in the overall appearance of your home.
Now that you’ve executed a sales contract between the buyers and sellers, you’re in the home stretch of the transaction, but there’s still a lot for you to do. Other players in some states are introduced during the closing phase, such as appraisers, lenders, title companies, and even lawyers. In the closing stage, you act as moderator to ensure everything gets done and runs smoothly up through the final closing date.
Calculate & Monitor Deadlines
Part of your job is to ensure your listing sells according to the terms of the purchase contract. To do this, you need to identify and track important dates for disclosures, due diligence periods, and other closing requirements. Enter these dates on your calendar to make sure they have been completed, and update your clients when deadlines have (or haven’t) been met by the buyers. Timely communication between yourself and the buyer’s agent is crucial to guarantee all items are checked off before the closing date.
While tracking these deadlines on your calendar can help you monitor transactions, real estate management software ensures you don’t miss a deadline. Pipedrive CRM categorizes leads into pipelines and automates communication through calls, email, and activity.
You can add deals, list the deal value, and add expected close dates you need to monitor deadlines throughout the sales process. In addition, Pipedrive’s Smart Docs feature sends and stores trackable documents to clients for signature to guarantee all the transaction’s deadlines are met.
Track Appraisals, Inspections & Title Insurance
The buyer and their lender are generally responsible for scheduling and paying for real estate appraisals and inspections, but as the seller’s agent, you will coordinate property access for those inspections. Work with both parties to arrange access for the appraisal, home inspection, and additional inspections for termites, lead paint, and radon. After reports are released, you may also need to negotiate repairs or credits with the buyer’s agent and track necessary repairs and re-inspections.
In general, title insurance includes owner’s coverage, lender’s coverage, and sometimes extended coverage. Whether or not the buyer or seller covers one or more of these insurance costs depends on the seller’s location. To adhere to standard practices in your area—and the terms of the contract—make sure your seller is meeting their title insurance responsibilities.
Provide the Seller Closing Checklist
While your sellers are sitting idle during the due diligence period, you can help them to prepare to move out of their homes. This involves scheduling deep cleaning, a final walk-through, and making an inventory of needed keys and security codes. It is also helpful to provide sellers with a list of tasks, like shutting off utilities after the closing date, changing their mailing address with the U.S. Postal Service, and making any outstanding payments to the homeowners association (HOA) home-related service companies.
For details about what goes into a seller’s closing checklist, check out the article Real Estate Closing Checklist for Buyers & Sellers and download the free buyer and seller checklists.
Monitor the Status of Closing Documents & Close
Once the closing date arrives, ensure the seller provides all the necessary items and signs all the required documents. Keep in mind that closing documents are often provided to the seller before closing, and they usually don’t have to attend in person on the actual day of closing. So this may need to be done a few or even several days in advance.
Sellers should provide the following:
- The deed, if the home is paid off
- A valid, state-issued photo ID, such as a driver’s license or passport
- A certified check (if required) in the amount requested by the escrow officer
- Keys and security codes if possession of the house is granted at closing
Sellers will typically be required to sign the following documents (some vary by state):
- Loan payoff: The amount of money left on the seller’s loan that needs to be satisfied at closing
- Property deed: The deed transfers the ownership of the home and property to the buyer on closing
- HUD-1 settlement statement: An accounting of all the money involved in the transaction
- Certificate of title: Sworn statement affirming the seller has the right to sell the property
- Bill of sale: Itemizes any personal property the seller agreed to leave with the home
- Statement of information: Sworn statement guaranteeing the identity of the seller
- Mechanic’s liens: A sworn statement that there is no possibility of a lien being placed against the property by a subcontractor or other laborer for money owed
- Statement of closing costs: Signed statement confirming the seller was informed of various fees and closing costs ahead of time
While you will not be signing documents as the seller’s agent, it is vital to attend when your client signs closing documents for moral support and ensure the transaction is completed correctly. Thinking back to stage one of the listing process, you promised your client an end-to-end experience―by fulfilling that promise, you are showing your actual value as a real estate professional.