Welcome to the world of real estate, where success hinges on securing listings. Real estate agents are the bridge between sellers and buyers, and their ability to list and sell properties is the cornerstone of their profession. In this three-part series, we’ll take an in-depth look at how real estate agents go about getting those coveted listings.

The 16-Step Process to List and Sell a Home

1. Obtaining the Address and Due Diligence

Before even meeting the prospective clients, the first crucial step is to obtain the property’s address. This seemingly simple task holds immense significance. It allows the agent to prepare in advance by conducting due diligence.

Why is this important?

Getting the address enables agents to research comparable properties, check sales history, and assess any potential issues associated with the property’s title. Armed with this knowledge, they can approach the clients fully prepared to discuss their property’s market value and address any concerns.

2. The Meet and Greet

Meeting with the clients in person is more than just a courtesy; it’s an opportunity to connect and gather essential information. During this meet and greet, the clients are encouraged to give the agent a tour of their home.

Why is this significant?

The clients’ tour is invaluable because they’ve lived in the property and know every nook and cranny. They can share insights that an agent might not notice during a quick walkthrough. This step builds rapport and helps agents tailor their services to the clients’ needs.

3. Signing the Necessary Documents

Once both parties are comfortable, the next step involves signing essential documents. These documents include the exclusive seller relationship agreement, consumer relationship guide, and FINTRAC forms.

Why is document signing crucial?

Signing these documents formalizes the agent-client relationship and outlines key terms, responsibilities, and obligations. It’s a critical step in ensuring transparency and legal compliance. Additionally, discussing commission rates sets clear expectations for compensation.

4. Scheduling and Preparation

With the groundwork laid, the agent proceeds to schedule crucial activities like professional photography, property measurements, sign installation, and lockbox setup.

Why is this part important?

First impressions matter. High-quality photos and accurate property measurements are vital for creating appealing listings. The installation of signs and lockboxes ensures easy access for potential buyers and their agents, streamlining the showing process. Maintaining a professional image helps build trust with clients and buyers alike.

The Real Estate Listing Process Unveiled

In the first part of this series, we delved into the initial steps of the real estate listing process. Now, we continue our journey by exploring the critical phases that follow, where real estate agents employ their skills and expertise to bring properties to market and secure successful sales.

5: Uploading Details to the MLS (Multiple Listing Service)

The MLS is the lifeblood of the real estate industry, and Step 5 involves uploading all pertinent property details to this extensive database. This process is meticulously carried out to ensure that the property listing is thorough and accurate.

Why is this step crucial?

The MLS is where potential buyers, real estate agents, and brokers search for properties. Therefore, listing details must be comprehensive, correct, and appealing. Real estate agents input information about the property’s features, specifications, and any unique selling points. High-quality photos, property measurements, and other relevant data are included.

It’s not just about showcasing the property; it’s about telling its story effectively. Agents aim to capture the essence of the property through compelling descriptions and attractive visuals. A well-presented listing increases the chances of attracting potential buyers and ultimately securing a sale.

6: Going Live on the Market

Once the property’s details are accurately uploaded to the MLS, it’s time to make the listing go live on the market. This involves activating the listing for public viewing and initiating the marketing efforts to attract potential buyers.

How does this process unfold?

Real estate agents ensure that the listing is configured correctly on the MLS, including specifying the list price, property type, and other relevant information. Once activated, the property becomes accessible to anyone searching for homes in the area.

Initial Marketing Efforts

Going live is just the beginning. To maximize exposure, real estate agents initiate their marketing efforts. This may involve sharing the listing on social media platforms, updating their website, and creating eye-catching property flyers. The goal is to generate immediate interest in the property and attract potential buyers.

7: Ongoing Marketing

Listing a property on the MLS and sharing it on social media are important initial steps, but successful agents understand that ongoing marketing is essential. This phase involves continuously promoting the property to ensure it remains visible and appealing to potential buyers.

Why is ongoing marketing crucial?

The real estate market is dynamic, and competition can be fierce. Ongoing marketing efforts help keep the property in the spotlight, ensuring that it doesn’t get lost among newer listings. Agents may use a variety of strategies, including paid advertising, email marketing to their network, and engaging with potential buyers through virtual tours and open houses.

The key is to be proactive and creative in marketing the property. Agents often monitor the performance of their marketing efforts and adjust strategies as needed to attract serious buyers.

8: Accepting Showings

Once the property is actively marketed, potential buyers and their agents will request showings. Showings are essential as they allow interested parties to physically experience the property.

Why are showings significant?

Showings give buyers a firsthand look at the property, helping them visualize themselves living there. They also provide an opportunity for agents to showcase the property’s unique features and address any questions or concerns.

Real estate agents coordinate showings, ensuring that they are conducted professionally and safely. It’s important for the property to be clean and well-maintained during showings to make a positive impression on potential buyers.

9: Receiving Offers

Receiving offers is a critical milestone in the real estate listing process. Buyers who are interested in the property will submit purchase offers, initiating the negotiation phase.

Components of a Purchase Offer

A typical purchase offer includes details such as the property address, the initial offer price, the proposed possession date, the deposit amount, and the conditions set by the buyers. Common conditions include financing and property inspections, and sometimes, the sale of the buyer’s current property.

Receiving an offer signifies that there is genuine interest in the property, and it’s the agent’s role to manage this process effectively.

Importance of Reaching an Agreement

While receiving offers is exciting, the ultimate goal is to reach an agreement that satisfies both the seller and the buyer. Negotiations may involve back-and-forth discussions, counteroffers, and compromises. Successful agents possess strong negotiation skills and aim to secure the best possible terms for their clients.

10: Negotiating and Accepting Offers

The negotiation phase is where the art of the deal comes into play. Agents work tirelessly to negotiate mutually acceptable terms between the seller and the buyer.

Why is negotiation crucial?

Negotiation is about finding common ground and ensuring that both parties are satisfied with the transaction. Agents advocate for their clients’ interests, whether it’s regarding the final sale price, possession date, or any conditions attached to the offer.

A successful negotiation results in an agreement where both the seller and the buyer feel they have achieved their objectives. Once an agreement is reached, the offer becomes firm, and the transaction progresses to the next stages of the listing process.

Navigating the Final Stages of Real Estate Listing

In the previous parts of our series on how real estate agents get listings, we’ve explored the critical steps involved in listing and marketing a property. Now, we’ll unravel the concluding phases of the real estate listing process, shedding light on the intricacies that lead to a successful property sale.

11: The Condition Period

During the condition period, buyers delve into due diligence to ensure they’re making a sound investment. Common conditions buyers might have include property inspections, financing approval, and sometimes, the sale of their current home.

What happens during this phase?

Buyers often schedule inspections to thoroughly evaluate the property. Property inspectors examine various aspects, from the structural integrity of the house to plumbing, electrical systems, and more. Additionally, buyers work with lenders to secure financing for the purchase, providing assurance that they can fulfill their financial commitment.

Real estate agents play a pivotal role in coordinating these activities, ensuring that the condition period progresses smoothly. If issues arise during inspections or financing, negotiations may resume to address concerns and potentially amend the terms of the offer.

12: Waiver of Conditions

When buyers are satisfied with the outcomes of inspections and financing, they may choose to submit a waiver of conditions. This document signifies that they are waiving all conditions specified in the purchase offer, moving the transaction closer to firm status.

Implications of a Firm Deal

Receiving a waiver of conditions is a significant milestone. It indicates that the buyers are committed to the purchase without any contingencies. The deal is now considered “firm.” While there may still be legal processes ahead, a firm deal provides a higher degree of certainty that the sale will proceed.

13: Involvement of Lawyers

At this stage, real estate agents take a step back as lawyers step in to handle the legal aspects of the transaction. Lawyers play a crucial role in the transfer of title and ensuring that all legal requirements are met.

The Role of Lawyers

Lawyers work to draft legal documents, ensure that the property’s title is clear, and manage the financial aspects of the transaction. They ensure that the property’s title is transferred correctly from the seller to the buyer, a process often involving the exchange of funds.

Real estate agents may still be consulted if issues or questions arise during this phase, but their involvement is less hands-on compared to earlier stages of the process.

14: Pre-Possession Walkthrough (if applicable)

In some cases, buyers may request a pre-possession walkthrough. This is an opportunity for them to inspect the property one final time before taking possession. It’s crucial for the property to be in excellent condition during this walkthrough.

Why is this walkthrough important?

Buyers use this final inspection to ensure that the property is as expected, and any agreed-upon repairs or conditions have been met. It also provides a chance to verify that the property is clean and ready for occupancy.

Sellers are advised to cooperate and ensure that the property is in top-notch condition to avoid any last-minute hiccups.

15: Possession

Possession marks the final phase of the real estate listing process. It’s the day when the buyer officially takes ownership of the property, and the seller vacates the premises.

What does the possession phase entail?

On possession day, the lawyers coordinate the transfer of funds, and the property’s title is transferred to the buyer. Keys are released to the buyer, symbolizing the commencement of their ownership. Sellers are expected to ensure that the property is clean, empty, and in the condition agreed upon in the purchase agreement.

16: Post-Sale Nurturing

The journey doesn’t end on possession day; it evolves into a new phase. Successful real estate agents understand the importance of maintaining communication with their clients even after the sale is complete.

Why is post-sale nurturing essential?

Satisfied clients can be a valuable source of referrals and future business. Real estate agents often stay in touch with their clients through periodic check-ins, providing market updates, and offering assistance with any real estate-related questions or needs.

By nurturing these relationships, agents not only build a loyal client base but also increase their chances of receiving referrals from clients who are delighted with their services.


In this comprehensive three-part series, we’ve unraveled the intricate steps that real estate agents take to get listings and successfully guide properties through the selling process. From initial preparations to negotiations, legalities, and post-sale relationships, real estate agents play a pivotal role in ensuring a smooth and rewarding experience for both buyers and sellers.

The process of listing and selling a property is far more than a mere transaction; it’s a journey that requires expertise, dedication, and attention to detail. Real estate agents who follow this comprehensive process stand to not only achieve successful sales but also build lasting relationships and a thriving real estate career.

Whether you’re a seasoned real estate professional or someone considering a career in real estate, understanding these steps can empower you to navigate the complexities of the real estate market with confidence. Ultimately, it’s the commitment to excellence and a client-centric approach that sets successful real estate agents apart in this dynamic industry.

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