What exactly does a listing Realtor do?

How does your listing Realtor earn their commission? The work of a listing Realtor starts early and ends late. It can be divided into three parts: Pre-listing Listing Post-listing
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How does your listing Realtor earn their commission?

The work of a listing Realtor starts early and ends late. It can be divided into three parts:

  • Pre-listing
  • Listing
  • Post-listing

What does a listing Realtor do before listing your home for sale?

Listings are front loaded. What I mean by this is that getting a home on the market is not only the most important part but also the part that takes the most time and effort. Once the home is on the market, the hardest work is over. 

Essentially, you want to do everything right, have all the information correct and at the ready and have the home in its most marketable condition. That means a lot of details and a lot of preparation. 

It starts with a listing presentation.


A good listing presentation is not a prepackaged boring brokerage promotion telling all about how many houses a brokerage sells with a sheet showing the three best comparables thrown in almost as an afterthought. 

A good listing presentation is consultative and customized to each and every home seller. It will include information about:

  1. The seller’s tax municipal tax information
  2. Zoning restrictions and neighbourhood covenants
  3. Comparable properties currently for sale
  4. Comparable properties recently sold
  5. Current market analysis 
  6. Discussion about what the seller’s can expect to happen
  7. Information gathering about the home and the home seller’s goals
  8. Advice on getting the home into its most marketable condition (staging suggestions and repairs advice)
  9. Marketing strategies
  10. Inclusions and exclusions
  11. Rental contracts attached to the property
  12. Preferred closing date
  13. Discussion about neighbourhood, schools and amenities
  14. Explanation of agency relationships and listing paperwork


Although above I said that the pre-listing stage is the most important part, it is also essential that once the listing is going live, we do everything right. Delays and incomplete information upon listing sends mixed signals and frustrates potential buyers. When listing here are the important things to do:

  1. Have professional photographs taken
  2. Upload complete information to MLS
  3. Prepare all marketing materials (including online)
  4. Establish showing times
  5. Instruct sellers on how to prepare for showings
  6. Obtain a key
  7. Install a lockbox
  8. Install yard sign
  9. Set up showing software for cooperation agents
  10. Coordinate showings with agents and homeowners 
  11. Coordinate feedback from showing agents to sellers
  12. Update home sellers about listing activity, neighbourhood sales and market trends. 
  13. Communicate with other agents and answer all consumer queries. 


I don’t golf much anymore. But I remember that a good hit has a good follow through. And with selling homes, we have to get to the finish line (whoops, I’m mixing metaphors). Here’s what happens next:

  1. Review offer(s)
  2. Negotiate terms of agreement
  3. Receive deposit cheque from buyer
  4. Facilitate and advise through the conditional period
  5. Deal with home inspection issues and lender inquiries 
  6. Send agreement copies to buyer’s agent, seller’s lender and lawyer
  7. Update MLS information
  8. Provide closing and moving checklist to seller
  9. Arrange pre-closing inspection
  10. Provide keys to buyer’s agent
  11. Remove lockbox and yard sign
  12. File paperwork at brokerage


I left a lot of the details out. If you are selling a condominium or an investment property with tenants, if you are moving out of the country or selling in a different province or country than Ontario, there will be other things, different things that will happen at different times. Also, our requirements sometimes change depending on how hot the real estate market is. For example, lender appraisals were suddenly required a couple of years ago, but now they have mostly faded away again. All in all, selling your home is not rocket science, but there are a lot of moving parts. 

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