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The Critical Role of the Realtor® in the Real Estate Transaction

Why Was This List Prepared?

Surveys show that many homeowners and house buyers are not aware of the true value a REALTOR® provides during the course of a real estate transaction. At the same time, regrettably, REALTORS® have generally assumed that the expertise, professional knowledge and just plain hard work that go into bringing about a successful transaction were understood and appreciated.

Many of the important services and steps are performed behind the scenes by either the REALTOR® or the brokerage staff and traditionally have been viewed simply as part of their professional responsibilities to the client. But, without them, the transaction could be in jeopardy.

This publication seeks to close the gap.

Listed on the following pages are 136 typical actions, research steps, processes and review stages necessary for a successful residential real estate transaction and normally provided by a full service real estate brokerage and for which they are entitled to fair compensation.


The list is by no means an attempt to set forth a complete list of services as these may vary within each brokerage and each market. Many REALTORS® routinely provide a wide variety of additional services that are as varied as the nature of each transaction.

By the same token, some transactions may not require some of these steps to be equally successful. However, most would agree that given the unexpected complications that can arise, it’s far better to know about a step and make an intelligent, informed decision to skip it, than to not know the possibility even existed.

The REALTOR® Commitment

Through it all, the personal and professional commitment of the REALTOR® is to ensure that a seller and buyer are brought together in an agreement that provides each with a “win” that is fair and equitable.

The motivation is easy to understand. For most full-service brokerages, they receive no compensation unless and until the transaction is complete.

A Variety of Choices

The variety of brokerage business models in today’s real estate industry affords the homeowner a greater range of options than ever before.

But no matter which option is chosen, before signing a Listing Agreement, Buyer Representation Agreement or otherwise engaging the services of a REALTOR® agreeing to compensate them, the homeowner should understand exactly what services will, or will not be, provided.

Why Use a REALTOR®?

Not every real estate salesperson or broker is a REALTOR®. That term and the familiar Block “R” logo are trademarked by the Canadian Real Estate Association in association with the National Association of REALTORS® in the United States. CREA owns the MLS® trademark also. Both trademarked logos can only be used in Canada by members of the Canadian Real Estate Association who accept and respect a strict Code of Ethics. The MLS® database is operated by member boards in various provinces and in Ontario by real estate boards belonging to the Ontario Real Estate Association (OREA) which provide an ongoing inventory of available properties and ensure maximum exposure of properties listed for sale. This is important because most resale homes in Ontario are listed and sold through the MLS® systems.

For that extra measure of peace of mind, ensure the individual seeking to represent you is both a registrant of the Real Estate Council of Ontario and a member of the Ontario Real Estate Association - - - permitted to be called a REALTOR®. Check the RECO website www.reco.on.ca for a searchable list of our registrants.

The Critical Role of the REALTOR®

Listed here are 136 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, understanding the importance of having help and guidance from someone who fully understands the process - a REALTOR®.

And never forget that REALTORS® are pledged to uphold the stringent, enforceable tenets of the REALTOR® Code of Ethics in their professional dealing with the public! Remember, not every real estate registrant holds REALTOR® membership or MLS® access; make sure yours does!

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 in the area from MLS® database
  6. Research days-on-the-market for similar properties, location and price
  7. Review property tax roll information
  8. Prepare “Comparative Market Analysis” (CMA) to establish fair market value
  9. Research property’s ownership and how it is held (deed)
  10. Check Municipal tax records for lot size
  11. Verify the legal description from public records
  12. Check Planning Department of Municipal Offices for current zoning
  13. Check for land use restrictions or special zoning
  14. Verify legal names in the Registry Office (or deed)
  15. Prepare listing presentation with researched materials
  16. Drive by the property to assess the Curb Appeal, compare with neighbourhood
  17. Start formal office file on the property
  18. Confirm school district and effect of schools on the property value
  19. Determine whether property is subject to a shoreline road allowance (if applicable)
  20. Review all pertinent information to ensure that it’s complete
  21. Critical Role of the REALTOR® Page 4 of 7 Listing Appointment Presentation
  22. Explain the various agency relationships using Working With a Realtor® pamphlet and get acknowledgement that this has been reviewed with the seller
  23. Give the seller an overview of current market conditions and projections
  24. Review sales representative and brokerages credentials and accomplishments.
  25. Review and confirm all legal descriptions and ownership details
  26. Measure exterior and establish the square footage above grade
  27. Confirm lot size from owner’s survey - if no survey is available, make a note on the listing
  28. Note any lot line fencing, easements and variances
  29. Discuss with the seller the possibility of seller take back (STB) and other options
  30. Review any appraisal that may have been made
  31. Present CMA to the Seller including Comparable sold properties, Current listings and Expired listings
  32. Offer pricing strategy based on experience and current market conditions
  33. Discuss a Marketing Plan to meet the goals of the seller
  34. Explain the advantages and power of Multiple Listing Service
  35. Explain the use and power of web marketing, IDX and mls.ca
  36. Explain the work both the salesperson and brokerage do behind the scenes and availability at night and on weekends
  37. Explain the sales professional’s role in taking calls and screening for qualified buyers and curiosity seekers
  38. Present and explain the strategic master marketing plan
  39. Review and explain the Listing Agreement and obtain the signature of the seller - give the seller(s) copies.
  40. Once the Property is Listed

  41. Measure and record all room dimensions
  42. Obtain house plans if available
  43. Make a copy of any house plans
  44. Copy survey and retain in listing file
  45. Advise seller of how showing appointments will be made
  46. Prepare instructions for salespeople showing the property and confirm with the seller the best times to show to prospective buyers
  47. Have Mortgage Verification Forms signed and submitted to mortgagee
  48. Verify with lender any penalties, terms and current rates and if the mortgage can be discharged
  49. Check on whether the existing mortgage can be assumed and under what terms.
  50. Confirm any Condominium Fees or Homeowner Association fees currently in effect
  51. Get a copy of the Condominium bylaws, if applicable
  52. Confirm supplier of Hydro or any other provider of this utility
  53. Calculate the utility usage for the past 12 months from seller’s records
  54. Verify the availability of any septic bed layout or permits at time of installation
  55. Water – if Municipal check on rates for the past 12 months
  56. Well Water – confirm well status and have Health Unit test so remedial steps can be taken if required. Also, advise of any abandoned wells on the property and put on the listing
  57. Determine natural gas, heating oil or propane supplier’s name and telephone number
  58. Note on listing any rented appliances i.e. hot water tank, furnace, etc.
  59. Verify security system- owned, rented, terms and service terms
  60. Ascertain if any lead-based paint, asbestos insulation, UFFI or other latent defect needs to be disclosed
  61. Prepare a list of property features such as pool, sauna, whirlpool, landscape pools and special plants
  62. Prepare a list of chattels included or excluded from the sale of the property
  63. Compile a list of recent improvements, repairs or maintenance
  64. Send letter to Seller if property is vacant to advise insurance company
  65. Explain the advantages of a lock box and have extra keys made
  66. Verify if property has rental units. If so: Inquire as to whether they comply with the zoning by-law, fire and electrical safety
  67. Make copies of all rental agreements
  68. Determine ownership of any appliances or other chattels
  69. Verify and list all rental amounts and deposits held
  70. Inform tenant of the listing and discuss how showings will be handled
  71. Arrange for installation of For Sale sign
  72. Assist seller to fill in the Seller Property Information Statement
  73. Give the seller a blank copy of the Agreement of Purchase and Sale and discuss it with them
  74. Explain the offer presentation process and the possibility of multiple offers
  75. Discuss the type of conditions that will likely be included in an offer to purchase
  76. Discuss results of Curb Appeal Assessment, Interior Décor Assessment and discuss ways to improve appearances for showings.
  77. Arrange for Office Tour/MLS® Tour and report comments back to seller
  78. Load listing into personal database for transaction management
  79. Entering Property in Multiple Listing Service® Database

  80. Prepare and check MLS® data input sheet
  81. Upload to Real Estate Board – MLS® Data Input
  82. Proof read listing as it appears in mls.ca
  83. Take additional photos for uploading to MLS® and for use in Flyer. Talk to seller about virtual tour possibilities
  84. Marketing The Listing

  85. Create both print and Internet Ads with seller’s input
  86. Co-ordinate showings with the owner, tenants and other REALTORS®. Return all calls - weekends included
  87. Install lockbox if authorized by the owner
  88. Prepare personal mailing and contact list
  89. Generate mail merge letters to contact list
  90. Order “Just Listed” cards and handouts
  91. Prepare flyers and feedback faxes
  92. Constantly review MLS® listings to ensure property remains competitive in price
  93. Prepare property marketing brochure for seller’s approval
  94. Arrange for printing of approved brochure and distribution
  95. Distribute property brochure to all company salespeople
  96. Mail out “Just Listed” notices to the immediate neighbourhood residents
  97. Advise company Network Referral Program of the listing
  98. Provide marketing data to buyers coming through international relocation
  99. Provide marketing data to buyers coming from referral network
  100. Submit ads to company’s internet site
  101. Price changes promptly conveyed to all databases and internet groups
  102. Reprint supply of brochures as required
  103. Update Mortgage information as available to all marketing facilities
  104. Follow up feed back e-mails and faxes sent to representatives who have shown the property
  105. Discuss feedback from showing representatives with the seller to determine if changes are required to accelerate the sale
  106. Place regular weekly update calls to the seller to discuss marketing activity and results
  107. Receive and review all Offers to Purchase submitted by buyers and buyers’ representatives
  108. Evaluate offer and prepare a “net sheet” on each for owner comparison
  109. Counsel owners on each offer – explaining merits and weaknesses of each
  110. Contact buyer’s representative to discuss qualifications and motivations of their client
  111. Fax/Deliver S.P.I.S. to buyer’s representative or buyer prior to offer if possible
  112. Confirm that buyer is qualified by Mortgage Officer
  113. Obtain pre-qualification letter from Mortgage Officer
  114. Negotiate all offers on seller’s behalf, setting condition time limits and closing date
  115. Prepare and convey all counter offers, acceptance and/or amendments to buyer’s representative
  116. Fax copies and mail originals of all documents to lawyer for the seller
  117. When Offer to Purchase is settled and finalized by the seller, deliver to the buyer’s representative leaving a true copy with the owner
  118. Deliver deposit to Trust Account as soon as practicable.
  119. Provide copy of the executed agreement to the office for filing in the deal file
  120. Advise and counsel owner on the handling of offers while the original transaction is pending i.e. days to meet conditions in first offer and procedures
  121. Update personal transaction program indicating Sale Pending
  122. Assist buyer in applying for financing, if applicable
  123. Arrange for appraiser to inspect the property and give any information including comparables, survey copy, etc.
  124. If STB – get Credit Report of buyer for seller and review it with him/her
  125. Order Septic Tank inspection, if applicable
  126. Deliver water test results from Health Unit to mortgage company
  127. Arrange other inspections as required by Financial Institution and/or insurance company i.e. mould, termite WETT inspection, etc.
  128. Mortgage Tracking

  129. Contact lender regarding mortgage application progress
  130. Prepare/obtain waiver or condition removal documents and deliver to lawyer for the seller
  131. Home Inspection

  132. Co-ordinate buyer’s professional home inspection
  133. Review the inspection report
  134. If repairs required, assist seller in obtaining trustworthy contractor to perform required repairs
  135. The Appraisal

  136. Schedule appraisal appointment
  137. Provide appraiser with comparables used to set list price
  138. Assist seller in questioning appraisal report if it seems too low
  139. Closing Preparations and Duties

  140. Work with buyer’s representative to arrange any visits prior to closing as agreed in the Agreement of Purchase and Sale
  141. Arrange for trust deposit monies, if in excess of commission due, to be given to the lawyer for the seller
  142. Be available for any concerns/questions from the seller
  143. Advise MLS® that property is Sold and supply details as to price, date of sale, selling brokerage


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Mississauga MLS Real Estate Properties & MLS.CA Homes for Sale  | All Pages including Mississauga Real Estate Blog all maintained by info@mississauga4sale.com Copyright © A. Mark Argentino, P.Eng., Broker, RE/MAX Realty Specialists Inc., Brokerage, Mississauga, Ontario, Canada L5M 7A1 (905) 828-3434  Google  First created - Tuesday, July 16th, 1996 at 3:48:41 PM - Last Update of this website: Monday, January 15, 2018 8:24 PM
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