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Washington Real Estate Practices

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1 Washington Real Estate Practices
Lesson 5: Sales Techniques and Practices © 2013 Rockwell Publishing

2 Listing Practices Listing agent:
obtains listings by finding listing prospects and giving listing presentations services listings by advertising properties, holding open houses, and communicating with sellers © 2013 Rockwell Publishing

3 Listing Sources Sources of listings: farming cold calls
expired listings for sale by owners referrals © 2013 Rockwell Publishing

4 Listing Sources Farming
Farming: choosing neighborhood and building reputation within that neighborhood. Long-term process: can lead to steady source of listings once agent is well-established. © 2013 Rockwell Publishing

5 Listing Sources Farming
Example: Sheila is getting started in real estate and decides to farm a neighborhood. She chooses her own neighborhood, since she knows it and many of its residents. She sends introductory letter to all 400 homes and follows up with personal visits. © 2013 Rockwell Publishing

6 Listing Sources Farming
She sends annual newsletter with real estate info plus neighborhood news. During holidays, she revisits every home, leaving a calendar. As she becomes known in the neighborhood, residents think of her when deciding to list their homes. © 2013 Rockwell Publishing

7 Listing Sources Farming
Farm is chosen based on three factors: diversity affinity turnover © 2013 Rockwell Publishing

8 Listing Sources Farming
Diversity: neighborhood has some variation in style of houses and type of resident. Diverse neighborhood is more likely to be a source of listings even if one segment of market is weak. © 2013 Rockwell Publishing

9 Listing Sources Farming
Affinity: agent likes neighborhood and feels comfortable there. © 2013 Rockwell Publishing

10 Listing Sources Farming
Turnover: people are moving in or out, creating listings and sales. © 2013 Rockwell Publishing

11 Listing Sources Cold calls
Cold calling: calling homeowners and asking if they (or anyone they know) are interested in selling their homes. Can be random or planned. Inexpensive; done in free time. © 2013 Rockwell Publishing

12 Listing Sources Cold calls
Cold calling is effective only if many calls are made. 100 calls may generate 1 listing appointment. © 2013 Rockwell Publishing

13 Listing Sources Cold calls
Cold callers cannot call those on Federal Trade Commission’s do-not-call registry. Agent must: check numbers against online registry honor request not to be called again not block Caller ID call within permissible hours © 2013 Rockwell Publishing

14 Listing Sources Expired listings
Listings expire because: property wasn’t marketed properly price was not reduced when it should have been Expired listings can be transformed into active listings. © 2013 Rockwell Publishing

15 Listing Sources Expired listings
When listing expires, agent can ask sellers if they’re interested in re-listing. Avoid criticizing previous agent’s selling efforts. © 2013 Rockwell Publishing

16 Listing Sources Expired listings
Did listing fail to sell because owners were unmotivated? If so, any agent may have trouble selling the property. Never try to convince seller to terminate existing listing in order to switch agents. Could lead to lawsuit based on interference with contract. © 2013 Rockwell Publishing

17 Listing Sources For sale by owners
Agents can find listings by contacting FSBOs (sellers trying to sell houses on their own). Sellers have already decided to sell. Convince FSBOs that resources and skills enable agent to sell faster and for higher price. © 2013 Rockwell Publishing

18 Listing Sources For sale by owners
Agents may contact: all FSBOs, or only FSBOs in certain neighborhood or price range. FSBOs can be found through “for sale by owner” signs and classified ads. © 2013 Rockwell Publishing

19 Listing Sources For sale by owners
Agent may try to win over seller by offering advice, rather than asking for listing. Might send a package with sample forms and tips on preparing property for open house. © 2013 Rockwell Publishing

20 Listing Sources For sale by owners
Agent may contact FSBO if she has a particular buyer in mind for that property. Agent can ask FSBO for a one-party listing (listing agreement that is valid only regarding one particular buyer). © 2013 Rockwell Publishing

21 Listing Sources Referrals
Good idea to cultivate referral network of other real estate professionals and financial services providers (mortgage brokers, escrow officers, attorneys, accountants). May also obtain referrals through satisfied clients. © 2013 Rockwell Publishing

22 Listing Sources Referrals
First step in building a referral network is networking: let friends, family, colleagues, and acquaintances know you’re in real estate and seeking clients. Goal is to create chain of referrals. © 2013 Rockwell Publishing

23 Listing Sources Referrals
Let influential persons in community (centers of influence) know you’re looking for clients. Attorneys, doctors, public officials, and others who regularly interact with many people. © 2013 Rockwell Publishing

24 Listing Sources Referrals
Use local community service groups (churches, PTA, Chamber of Commerce, etc.) to make useful contacts. Don’t join too many groups and participate only superficially. © 2013 Rockwell Publishing

25 Listing Sources Referrals
Maintain a referral file to keep track of contacts, when you last contacted them, and what those contacts suggested. © 2013 Rockwell Publishing

26 Summary Listing Sources
Farming Cold calling Expired listings For sale by owners Referrals © 2013 Rockwell Publishing

27 Listing Presentations
After locating prospective seller, agent makes listing presentation to seller. Listing presentation must be professional and thoroughly prepared. © 2013 Rockwell Publishing

28 Listing Presentations
Listing presentation is important opportunity to discuss listing price. Agent should encourage seller to list property at competitive price, and present information suggesting property’s market value. © 2013 Rockwell Publishing

29 Listing Presentations Before the presentation
To prepare for presentation: research property visit property complete competitive market analysis (CMA) © 2013 Rockwell Publishing

30 Before the Presentation Researching the property
First, obtain basic property info: legal description plat map property tax information ownership information Sources of info: local title company or county recorder’s office, real estate websites. © 2013 Rockwell Publishing

31 Before the Presentation Visit the property
Before preparing CMA, get permission to inspect property and: count the rooms look for special features look at the construction quality look for characteristics that indicate whether house is worth more than normal, based on location, age, and square footage © 2013 Rockwell Publishing

32 Before the Presentation Visit the property
Also look at neighborhood for any external factors that might affect value: quality of nearby homes access to shopping and parks reputation of local schools © 2013 Rockwell Publishing

33 Before the Presentation Competitive market analysis
When familiar with property and neighborhood, prepare CMA, using prices of comps to estimate reasonable listing price. © 2013 Rockwell Publishing

34 Before the Presentation Competitive market analysis
Three types of properties can be used in CMA: homes that recently sold homes that are currently listed homes where the listings have expired Prices paid for recently sold properties are best indications of property’s value. © 2013 Rockwell Publishing

35 Before the Presentation Competitive market analysis
Prices of current listings indicate what buyer might pay for available comparable property. Prices from expired listings represent what reasonable buyer would not pay for similar home. © 2013 Rockwell Publishing

36 Listing Appointment Things to bring to listing appointment: CMA
listing agreement form marketing plan info about you and your brokerage net proceeds to seller form © 2013 Rockwell Publishing

37 Listing Appointment Presenting the CMA
Agent should stress that seller—not agent—sets listing price. Agent only offers advice as to what reasonable listing price might be. CMA provides evidence that suggests appropriate listing price. © 2013 Rockwell Publishing

38 Listing Appointment Presenting the CMA
CMA form should include all info gathered for CMA, as well as estimate of property’s market value. CMA shows that pricing conclusions are based on fact. © 2013 Rockwell Publishing

39 Listing Appointment Presenting the CMA
When presenting CMA, focus on objective data on both seller’s property and comps: square footage room count age location terms of sale © 2013 Rockwell Publishing

40 Listing Appointment Presenting the CMA
Objective data will help seller understand neighborhood’s current market and encourage more realistic listing price. © 2013 Rockwell Publishing

41 Listing Appointment Presenting the CMA
CMA typically presents three figures: general price range suggested listing price (usually on high side) what agent expects property to sell for Estimated sale price should be close to the property’s true market value. © 2013 Rockwell Publishing

42 Listing Appointment Net proceeds to seller
Use net proceeds to seller form to estimate for sellers how much cash they’ll walk away with once sale has closed. © 2013 Rockwell Publishing

43 Listing Appointment Background information
Be prepared to discuss yourself and your company, focusing on positive aspects of your career (education, training, experience, and any awards or achievements). Also discuss brokerage’s success rate, available resources, and membership in MLS. © 2013 Rockwell Publishing

44 Listing Appointment Background information
Discuss services you’ll provide during listing period, such as advertising property and holding open houses. Use written marketing plan to aid discussion. © 2013 Rockwell Publishing

45 Listing Appointment Listing agreement
Go over listing agreement with sellers, reviewing its basic terms and answering any questions. Leave a copy of the form with the seller. (Of course, if seller signs, license law requires leaving a copy.) © 2013 Rockwell Publishing

46 Listing Appointment Agency disclosure
Agent must let all parties know whom he represents. Signing a listing agreement creates an agency relationship. © 2013 Rockwell Publishing

47 Listing Appointment Agency disclosure
Listing agent should inform seller that he represents only the seller. Agent must provide seller with copy of pamphlet explaining Washington’s Real Estate Brokerage Relationships Act. © 2013 Rockwell Publishing

48 Summary Listing Presentations
Before the presentation Competitive market analysis Net proceeds to seller Background information Listing agreement Agency disclosure © 2013 Rockwell Publishing

49 Servicing the Listing Servicing listing: entering property into MLS
communicating with seller preparing the property for showing holding open houses advertising listing modifying listing if needed © 2013 Rockwell Publishing

50 Servicing the Listing Communicating with seller
Remain in frequent contact with seller through process of marketing and showing property. Regular progress reports reassures seller you’re working hard and reduces misunderstandings. © 2013 Rockwell Publishing

51 Servicing the Listing Communicating with seller
Describe what will happen during listing period: marketing strategies to be used how to prepare property for showing role of keybox instructions for what seller should do during showings and open houses © 2013 Rockwell Publishing

52 Communicating with Seller Weekly activity report
Weekly activity report summarizes inquiries about property and any showings. It should include copies of ads and comments from other agents or prospective buyers. © 2013 Rockwell Publishing

53 Servicing the Listing Preparing the property
Preparing house for sale requires thorough cleaning and perhaps minor repairs. Explain to seller that renovations make house more marketable Sellers often recoup much of what is spent on minor renovations. © 2013 Rockwell Publishing

54 Servicing the Listing Preparing the property
To get a property into prime condition: mow and water lawns weed flower beds remove dead or damaged plantings and plant extra flowers prune trees and shrubs © 2013 Rockwell Publishing

55 Servicing the Listing Preparing the property
rake up old leaves and debris cover bare ground with bark or gravel pressure wash siding and roof and replace missing shingles fix broken fences or railings clean porches and decks repaint if necessary © 2013 Rockwell Publishing

56 Servicing the Listing Preparing the property
remove toys and bikes from walkways and driveways clean up garage and/or shed fix any broken door or window screens clear out clutter repaint walls a neutral shade © 2013 Rockwell Publishing

57 Servicing the Listing Preparing the property
shampoo carpets and replace any outdated or worn carpets repair any cracks in walls fix leaky faucets and squeaky doors © 2013 Rockwell Publishing

58 Preparing the Property Security
Seller should remove small valuables from home during listing period. Keep jewelry/coins in safety deposit box. Move or secure fragile vases or artwork. Before a showing remove laptops, tablets, and cellphones. © 2013 Rockwell Publishing

59 Preparing the Property Keys and keyboxes
Seller gives agent copy of key. Key is stored in keybox: locked box attached to the front door that only agents can access. © 2013 Rockwell Publishing

60 Servicing the Listing Advertising the property
First/most important advertisement occurs when agent submits listing to MLS. Usually as soon as listing is signed. Lets other MLS agents know house is available. © 2013 Rockwell Publishing

61 Servicing the Listing Advertising the property
“For sale” sign on property is very effective and cost-efficient advertising. Potential buyers interested in neighborhood will see sign and call about properties they like. © 2013 Rockwell Publishing

62 Servicing the Listing Advertising the property
Flyers: single letter-sized pages with property photos/sketches and info (price, terms of sale, number of bedrooms and bathrooms, square footage, year of construction). © 2013 Rockwell Publishing

63 Servicing the Listing Advertising the property
Leave flyers inside house so info is available to prospective buyers taking tour. Leave flyers in box attached to home’s “for sale” sign, so passersby can get info. © 2013 Rockwell Publishing

64 Servicing the Listing Advertising the property
Listed homes are often advertised in newspapers and online. Most ads are classified ads: small ads with several lines of text. Display ads, which are larger and include graphics, are more expensive and may not generate more interest. © 2013 Rockwell Publishing

65 Servicing the Listing Advertising the property
Advertising helps sell properties and increases agent’s exposure to potential buyers. When unrepresented buyer calls about a listing, agent has opportunity to discuss other properties and enter into a buyer agency relationship. © 2013 Rockwell Publishing

66 Servicing the Listing Advertising the property
The Internet is very important advertising venue. Large brokerages and real estate organizations maintain websites with photos and detailed info on thousands of listings. Many smaller brokerages and individual agents also operate websites. © 2013 Rockwell Publishing

67 Servicing the Listing Advertising the property
Agents must be aware of federal and state restrictions on advertising. Rules govern truthfulness and the disclosure of financing terms. © 2013 Rockwell Publishing

68 Advertising the Property License law restrictions
Washington real estate license law forbids misleading advertising by licensees. Advertising must state brokerage’s name as licensed—otherwise, it’s a “blind ad” and violates license law. © 2013 Rockwell Publishing

69 Advertising the Property Truth in Lending Act
Federal Truth in Lending Act applies to anyone placing ad offering consumer credit (this includes agents advertising private homes for sale). © 2013 Rockwell Publishing

70 Advertising the Property Truth in Lending Act
Act prohibits ad from describing only a loan’s most attractive terms without disclosing true costs of financing. © 2013 Rockwell Publishing

71 Advertising the Property Truth in Lending Act
If ad contains a “trigger term,” ad must make other required disclosures. Trigger terms include: amount of downpayment (such as “10% down”) amount of any payment (such as “Only $1,500 per month”) © 2013 Rockwell Publishing

72 Advertising the Property Truth in Lending Act
number of payments (such as “360 monthly payments”) period of repayment (such as “30-year loan term”) amount of any finance charge (such as “1% financing fee”) © 2013 Rockwell Publishing

73 Advertising the Property Truth in Lending Act
If any trigger terms are used in an ad, the following disclosures must be made: amount of downpayment terms of repayment annual percentage rate (APR) © 2013 Rockwell Publishing

74 Advertising the Property Truth in Lending Act
Annual percentage rate (APR): relationship of total finance charge to loan amount, expressed as an annual percentage. APR is always higher than loan’s quoted interest rate, since it includes all other fees paid to lender (such as loan fees and discount points). © 2013 Rockwell Publishing

75 Advertising the Property Truth in Lending Act
These won’t trigger required disclosures: “7% APR loan” “Low monthly payments” “Save money with an adjustable-rate mortgage” “Low-cost FHA and VA financing available” © 2013 Rockwell Publishing

76 Servicing the Listing Holding open houses
Open houses rarely result in immediate sales, but are a good opportunity to meet prospective buyers or sellers. Open houses usually occur only once or a few times, typically when property is first listed. © 2013 Rockwell Publishing

77 Servicing the Listing Holding open houses
Basic steps of open house: select day/time when sellers can be gone advertise and prepare flyers clean/arrange home for showing put out directional signs in neighborhood put out guest log welcome guests and give tours follow up with thank-you notes to guests © 2013 Rockwell Publishing

78 Holding Open Houses Setting day and time
Set day and time for open house when it’s convenient for sellers to be away. Let sellers know that potential buyers are often uncomfortable looking at a house with the owners present. © 2013 Rockwell Publishing

79 Holding Open Houses More tips
Always remain at open house for entire scheduled duration, even if business is slow. If you must leave, get another colleague to fill in for you. If open house ends before sellers return, make sure no visitors remain, and lock up properly. © 2013 Rockwell Publishing

80 Listing Modifications
If listing price was too high, might have to modify listing agreement. Meet with seller to discuss lowering price. Offer evidence to support decrease (prices of comps that sold or were listed after seller’s property was listed). © 2013 Rockwell Publishing

81 Listing Modifications
Listing may need to be modified if expiration date is approaching and no sale is pending. Meet with seller to sign listing extension. Be prepared to discuss your marketing efforts and possible reasons why the property hasn’t sold. © 2013 Rockwell Publishing

82 Summary Servicing the Listing
Communicating with seller Preparing the property Advertising the property Truth in Lending Act Open houses Listing modifications © 2013 Rockwell Publishing

83 Selling Practices Selling agents must:
locate prospective buyers and convince them to enter into a buyer agency find out what kind of home they want show them appropriate properties help them make offer and negotiate sales price © 2013 Rockwell Publishing

84 Selling Practices Types of buyers
Buyers fall into four general categories: first-time buyers trade-up buyers empty-nesters retirees © 2013 Rockwell Publishing

85 Selling Practices Types of buyers
First-time buyer: usually inexperienced, and needs education/encouragement. Typically has limited funds and is looking for smaller, low-priced home. May get advice from friends and relatives. May be relying on parents or other family for financial help. © 2013 Rockwell Publishing

86 Selling Practices Types of buyers
Trade-up buyer: intends to sell current home to use proceeds for new home. Often is looking for larger home for family. Relies less on others’ advice and has a better idea of wants and needs. Typically can make a large downpayment using equity from current home. © 2013 Rockwell Publishing

87 Selling Practices Types of buyers
Empty-nesters: owner whose children have left home and who wishes to trade larger home for smaller property with less upkeep. May want to move closer to work or family, or move from suburbs back to urban core. Can usually make substantial downpayment using built-up equity. © 2013 Rockwell Publishing

88 Selling Practices Types of buyers
Retiree: also looking for smaller, easily maintained home, such as condo or townhouse. May want to move closer to family, or to area with better climate. May be concerned with keeping monthly payments low, due to fixed income. © 2013 Rockwell Publishing

89 Selling Practices Finding a buyer
Buyers are often found through same techniques used to find sellers, such as advertising and holding open houses. Many prospective buyers call agents after seeing name on “for sale” sign. © 2013 Rockwell Publishing

90 Selling Practices Finding a buyer
Buyers may call or visit brokerage to find agent, without a particular person in mind. “Call-ins” and “walk-ins” are helped by the agent on floor duty (assigned to handle phone calls and visits). © 2013 Rockwell Publishing

91 Selling Practices Determining needs
Determine prospective buyer’s housing needs by asking two questions: What does buyer want? What can buyer afford? © 2013 Rockwell Publishing

92 Selling Practices Determining needs
In the past, many agents prequalified their buyers. Prequalification: informal process in which agent uses basic underwriting rules to help determine how much buyer can afford to spend © 2013 Rockwell Publishing

93 Selling Practices Determining needs
Today, most real estate agents advise buyer to get preapproved by lender. Preapproval: lender agrees to loan up to a specified amount, as long as buyer chooses home that meets lender's standards. © 2013 Rockwell Publishing

94 Selling Practices Determining needs
Determine the maximum amount a buyer can spend before showing her properties. Showing unaffordable properties is counterproductive: it wastes time, and can discourage the buyer. © 2013 Rockwell Publishing

95 Selling Practices Determining needs
Buyers usually know what they want—you help them prioritize their needs. Never try to manipulate buyers into buying a particular home because it would benefit you. © 2013 Rockwell Publishing

96 Selling Practices Showing properties
Showing property effectively is a critical task for a buyer’s agent. Always research and plan your efforts: Know what properties are available, as well as local and national market trends. Develop sales speeches to encourage buyers to close deal. © 2013 Rockwell Publishing

97 Selling Practices Selecting listings
Agent should only choose houses to show that are within buyers’ price range. Buyers may want to see houses priced below what they can afford; it’s up to them to decide how much to spend. © 2013 Rockwell Publishing

98 Selling Practices Selecting listings
Never show more than five or six properties in one day. Buyers get tired and houses start to look the same. © 2013 Rockwell Publishing

99 Showing properties Previewing properties
Preview home before showing it to buyers. Seeing house’s best and worst features in advance lets you know what aspects to emphasize/downplay at showing. © 2013 Rockwell Publishing

100 Showing properties Previewing properties
Research area before a showing. This helps you avoid getting lost on the way, and allows you to answer questions about school district boundaries, distance to shopping areas, and so on. © 2013 Rockwell Publishing

101 Showing properties Inside the homes
Read buyer’s signals and body language. Buyer’s nonverbal cues will help you understand buyer’s likes and dislikes. © 2013 Rockwell Publishing

102 Showing properties Inside the homes
You don’t need to talk a lot during a showing—give buyers time and space to picture themselves living in home, and to discuss property’s pros and cons. Just shadow the buyers and be available to answer any questions. © 2013 Rockwell Publishing

103 Selling Practices Making an offer
Under statute of frauds, any offer to purchase real estate must be made in writing. The offer, once signed by the seller, forms valid purchase and sale agreement. © 2013 Rockwell Publishing

104 Making an Offer Offer and counteroffer
Agents must submit any offer to seller, whether or not it seems reasonable. It’s seller’s decision whether or not to accept offer. © 2013 Rockwell Publishing

105 Making an Offer Offer and counteroffer
Offers are typically given to listing agent, who presents them to seller. Buyer’s agent, however, may want to be present when offer is presented, in case seller has questions about buyer. © 2013 Rockwell Publishing

106 Making an Offer Offer and counteroffer
Offers are rarely accepted without some modification to purchase price or terms, such as closing date or date of possession. Negotiation typically involves counteroffers. © 2013 Rockwell Publishing

107 Making an Offer Negotiation
Agents must maintain professionalism and discourage hostility between parties. When presenting offer, present positive aspects first, to discourage seller from rejecting offer before hearing all of its terms. © 2013 Rockwell Publishing

108 Making an Offer Negotiation
Parties should receive copies of any documents (offers, counteroffers, and purchase and sale agreement) they sign, at time of signing. © 2013 Rockwell Publishing

109 Making an Offer Multiple offers
If seller receives multiple offers, listing agent should present all of them at the same time. © 2013 Rockwell Publishing

110 Making an Offer Multiple offers
Seller’s options: reject all offers accept one offer make a counteroffer to one offer accept one offer while making a backup counteroffer to another offer © 2013 Rockwell Publishing

111 Making an Offer Multiple offers
Seller is most likely to choose highest priced offer, but other factors might be considered, such as: length of escrow period absence of contingencies personal appeal from buyers (since decision to sell is emotional as well as financial) © 2013 Rockwell Publishing

112 Making an Offer Multiple offers
Get buyers preapproved before making an offer, especially in a tight real estate market. Formal preapproval indicates buyer is serious about buying and is financially able to do so. © 2013 Rockwell Publishing

113 Making an Offer Agency disclosure
Washington law requires agent to inform any party to transaction which party that agent represents. Buyer must receive disclosure before signing offer to purchase. Seller must receive disclosure before offer is presented. © 2013 Rockwell Publishing

114 Summary Selling Practices
Finding a buyer Determining needs Showing properties Making an offer © 2013 Rockwell Publishing

115 Safety Issues Agents must take precautions about:
safety of their clients and customers their clients’ possessions their own safety © 2013 Rockwell Publishing

116 Safety Issues Never show buyer a house that is being built or renovated; instead, arrange for contractor to show the property. Construction sites can be hazardous, particularly if buyer brings small children. © 2013 Rockwell Publishing

117 Safety Issues Be mindful of seller’s possessions when showing property or holding an open house. If possible, have sellers remove valuable items from property beforehand. © 2013 Rockwell Publishing

118 Safety Issues During open house, encourage all visitors to sign log book, and avoid leaving prospects unattended. © 2013 Rockwell Publishing

119 Safety Issues After showing, make sure house is locked and key is properly secured in keybox. Agents must take responsibility for keeping keyboxes as secure as possible. © 2013 Rockwell Publishing

120 Safety Issues Agents must take sensible precautions for their own safety. It is advisable to ask customers for photo ID at first meeting. © 2013 Rockwell Publishing

121 Safety Issues Ideally, work in pairs when hosting open houses or showing properties. If that’s not possible, ask customer to meet you at your office, and proceed to showing from there. © 2013 Rockwell Publishing

122 Safety Issues Legitimate customers usually will abide by your safety rules, especially if you explain it’s in their best interest as well. A client who insists on meeting you at a property or who “cannot” leave a number or address isn’t a good risk. © 2013 Rockwell Publishing

123 Safety Issues When showing properties, always tell your office where you’re going and when you’ll return. You may also want to check in with someone via cell phone on a regular basis. © 2013 Rockwell Publishing

124 Real Estate Assistants
A real estate assistant handles administrative tasks, giving agent more time to solicit and work with clients. Assistant may be compensated either through salary or salary-plus-commission basis, and may work full- or part-time. © 2013 Rockwell Publishing

125 Real Estate Assistants
Assistant may or may not have real estate license. If agent hires unlicensed person, must take special care to make sure assistant doesn’t perform any duties requiring a license. © 2013 Rockwell Publishing

126 Real Estate Assistants
Under Washington license law, unlicensed assistants may not: Show properties, answer questions, or interpret information about the property, price, or condition. Interpret information about listings, titles, financing, contracts, closing, or other information relating to a transaction. © 2013 Rockwell Publishing

127 Real Estate Assistants
Fill in legal forms or negotiate price or terms. Hold or disburse trust funds. Perform any act with the intent to circumvent, or which results in the circumvention of, real estate licensing law © 2013 Rockwell Publishing

128 Real Estate Assistants
New licensee might choose to begin as an assistant, to gain experience and connections before taking on agent responsibilities. Or licensee might choose to work as a salaried assistant to ensure regular paycheck. © 2013 Rockwell Publishing

129 Real Estate Assistants
Licensee might simply be uncomfortable with selling and negotiating, and prefer to work in real estate in a less stressful position. © 2013 Rockwell Publishing

130 Real Estate Assistants Assistant’s duties
Tasks delegated to assistant will vary, depending on assistant’s experience, and whether or not the assistant is licensed. Specific duties will also depend on individual brokerage office practices. © 2013 Rockwell Publishing

131 Assistant’s Duties Office administration
Assistants (licensed or not) are typically given task of maintaining agents’ transaction files. Assistant may organize these documents, and photocopy and distribute any duplicates that need to go to different parties. © 2013 Rockwell Publishing

132 Assistant’s Duties Office administration
Transaction file can include: listing agreement offers and counteroffers purchase and sale agreement modifications and addenda settlement statement disclosures appraisals canceled checks and receipts © 2013 Rockwell Publishing

133 Assistant’s Duties Office administration
Assistant may also answer and direct phone calls, or assist visitors to real estate office. An unlicensed assistant may answer general questions about the agent’s services but should pass specific questions about listings to the agent. © 2013 Rockwell Publishing

134 Assistant’s Duties Updating information
Agent should give listing info to MLS as soon as listing is taken, and any changes should be posted to MLS as soon as possible. Real estate assistant may be in charge of giving info to MLS. (Some multiple listing services may require licensees to do this.) © 2013 Rockwell Publishing

135 Assistant’s Duties Updating information
Assistant may update info on agent’s website. Assistant may also work on advertising, such as purchasing ad space or laying out ads. © 2013 Rockwell Publishing

136 Assistant’s Duties Client communication
Communication with former clients can easily be neglected, but it’s critical to generating referrals. © 2013 Rockwell Publishing

137 Assistant’s Duties Client communication
Unlicensed assistant can’t take over duties such as cold calling, but can prepare and send mass mailings (newsletters, holiday cards). © 2013 Rockwell Publishing

138 Assistant’s Duties Appointments and open houses
Unlicensed assistant’s contact with buyers must be limited (can hand out flyers, but not answer questions about property’s price or condition). Licensed assistant could answer questions about financing or help prospective buyers write up an offer. © 2013 Rockwell Publishing

139 Summary Safety Issues and Real Estate Assistants
Office administration Showings and open houses © 2013 Rockwell Publishing

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