Warren County Ohio Real Estate News and Observations: What Documents Are Involved In Listing My Home For Sale?

What Documents Are Involved In Listing My Home For Sale?

listing contractWhat Documents Are Involved In Listing My Home For Sale?

You've made the decision to list your home with us, so what's involved with making the decision official?  Just like many things in life, paperwork!  What paperwork you might ask?  Here's the collection of documents we'll cover when we list your home:

  • State of Ohio Residential Property Disclosure Form.  Four pages of standard questions and answers.  Primarily, it's the communication method for advising prospective buyers of known or past defects with your home.  Disclose here and you've reduced your liability.  Hide something and the buyers discover after purchase that you knew about a problem and didn't warn them, you just might find yourself becoming acquainted with our legal system.
  • Lead Based Paint Disclosure Form.  Unless your home was built prior to 1978 this probably isn't an issue, but we've got a form for it just in case!  We also have information from the EPA on lead based paint for you.
  • Consumer Guide to Agency Relationships.  This two page document details how agents work with the public in Ohio.  Do we work for the seller?  The buyer?  Both?  What are our Fair Housing Requirements?  It's all in these two pages.
  • Affiliated Business Disclosures.  If our brokerage owners have business relationships with mortgage providers and title companies, this is the document that will disclose which companies are involved.  The buyer chooses their lender and title company, so odds are we won't overlap.  Even if we do, the companies involved have professional obligations to keep everything arm's length and protect your confidentiality.
  • MLS Data forms.  You won't have to fill these out, but these forms are how we record the data for Cincinnati MLS and Dayton MLS to enter your home into the system.  We'll need to measure rooms, note features, obtain HOA fees and contact information, etc.
  • Showing Instruction Form.  What phone numbers do you want called?  How much notice do you need?  Any special instructions?  This form is where we capture that information.  Don't forget we'll need a spare key for the lockbox.
  • Broker Thank You Letter.  Our broker likes to say "Thanks" for hiring us!

And that's the complete set of documents we need to officially place your home on the market.

1296 WeathervaneNow we will ask for some additional information, like utility providers and what day is trash pick up?  What improvements have you made to your home? 

Why did you select your home?  Chances are the same factors that drove your decision are also going to drive your buyer's decision.  We like to integrate that information into our marketing efforts to increase the odds of finding your right buyer quickly!

Typically Liz takes the pictures of the home while Bill does the paperwork with you.  Overall, we'll need about an hour of your time, depending on how large your home is and how many questions you have for us.

If you have questions regarding the listing process, please don't hesitate to ask us.

Serving Warren County's residential real estate needs,
Liz and Bill aka BLiz

Serving Warren County Ohio & Adjacent Areas

The Liz Spear Team of RE/MAX Elite
Elizabeth Spear, ABR, CRS, Ohio License SAL.2002007747

William (Bill) Spear, CRS, Ohio License SAL.2004011109  Kentucky 77938
Ask for us by name if you visit the office!

EHO Two locations: Lebanon & Mason, OH
Bill Direct:  513-520-5305
Liz Direct: 513-265-3004     
Fax: 866-302-8418

MailTo:  LizSpear@Go-Concepts.com

Search Homes:  Http://WarrenCountyOhioRealEstate.com

Our Website:  www.LizTour.com

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Comment balloon 41 commentsLiz and Bill Spear • May 27 2012 05:50AM


Good morning BLIZ,

Great question and summary of your process in Ohio. I'm sure many sellers will find this useful!

Posted by Dorie Dillard, Serving Buyers & Sellers in NW Austin Real Estate (Coldwell Banker United Realtors® ~ 512.346.1799) over 5 years ago

Bliz, very good break down of the listing process. The Broker Thank You letter is a big plus.

Posted by Michael Setunsky, Your Commercial Real Estate Link to Northern VA over 5 years ago

Wow, our Exclusive Right to Sell Contract in Texas is 8 pages long!  Hmm, maybe we should take a look at yours and see if we can get ours down to size lol :)!  Looks like we have many of the same types of forms though.  

Posted by Brenda Mullen, Your San Antonio TX Real Estate Agent!! (RE/MAX Access) over 5 years ago

Dorie, We do a two step listing process, and this question came up yesterday during step 1.  Now we'll have a quick reference point for our prospective sellers.

Michael, It's a nice thing, and also clarifies that any recommendations for contractors, inspectors, etc. are strictly that, recommendations.  Sellers (and buyers) can choose any provider they want.

Brenda, With your Texas option periods and other specifics, probably a few more things to put into yours than ours.  Our purchase contract is 5 pages.

Posted by Liz and Bill Spear, RE/MAX Elite Warren County OH (Cincinnati/Dayton) (RE/MAX Elite 513.520.5305 www.LizTour.com) over 5 years ago

Good Morning, Bliz. What a nice list of documents to have at the Listing presentation. I Like that idea of having a Thank You Letter from the Broker handy. I may add that to my list too.

Posted by Jerry Newman, Texas REALTOR, San Antonio Military Relocation (Brown Realty, 210-789-4216,www.JeremiahNewman.com) over 5 years ago

Jerry, It's a nice touch, and wasn't something that was part of our previous brokerage.

Posted by Liz and Bill Spear, RE/MAX Elite Warren County OH (Cincinnati/Dayton) (RE/MAX Elite 513.520.5305 www.LizTour.com) over 5 years ago

Great post guys... I know are paper work is different but the quantity is similar.. In fact we now prepar it ahead of time and put it in folders for the agents so that they don't forget anything when they are on an appointment... What I must remember is 30 years ago when we had a one page MLS Listing Form or a one page Exclusive Listing Form... I totally am not sure we accomplished anything with the pile of complicated forms that now must be signed... In fact it takes our manager two days two teach our new agents everything they need to know about form... Great :-(

PS... We send a letter from Rich to every new listing thanking them -  so I love your idea of a Thank you letter from the Broker!

Posted by Richard and Beth Witt, Long Island Cash Home Buyer 516-330-6940 (Long Island Cash Home Buyer) over 5 years ago

The land of small print and legalese...It is not a favorite "to do" but it is necessary to discuss, explore and initiate

Posted by Richie Alan Naggar, agent & author (people first...then business Ran Right Realty ) over 5 years ago

Beth, We've consolidated all our forms into one PDF file, then customize it before the listing.  If a form updates, we just replace the old one in the master PDF file.  Love the ease of the consolidated documents :)

Richie, For sure in this business :)

Posted by Liz and Bill Spear, RE/MAX Elite Warren County OH (Cincinnati/Dayton) (RE/MAX Elite 513.520.5305 www.LizTour.com) over 5 years ago

Our requirements in California are similar but different. Just another instance of how we do the same business differently across the Nation.

Posted by John Juarez, ePRO, SRES, GRI, PMN (The Medford Real Estate Team) over 5 years ago

Good morning, Bliz....our paperwork seems to keep multiplying!!!  it's all in the name of protecting against liability....

Posted by Barbara Todaro, "Franklin MA Homes" (RE/MAX Executive Realty ) over 5 years ago

Liz/Bill - very simiilar to ours.  I like reading about other areas of the country.  Oh, and I like the broker letter. 

Posted by Juli Vosmik, Scottsdale/Cave Creek, AZ real estate 480-710-0739 (Dominion Fine Properties) over 5 years ago

Great list... perfect idea about the "Thank You Letter"!

Posted by Reuben Fine (Fill-In-The-Blanks PDF Flyer Templates www.TurnKeyFlyers.com) over 5 years ago

I love the idea of the thank you letter!  I had almost forgotten how much paperwork is needed outside of NYC.  We have a 2 page exclusive agency form for the company and a single page agency disclosure form from the dept of state--that's it.

Posted by Jennifer Chiongbian, Real Estate Broker - NYC (Specializing in all types of Manhattan apts & townhouses) over 5 years ago

Great list! Sometimes folks aren't real sure what to expect when listing their home for sale.

Posted by Dale Samples, REALTOR -Homes for Sale Charleston, West Virgini (304.741.4705 • www.dalesamples.com ) over 5 years ago

And I'm sure prior to the listing you've done a net sheet, a detailed comp . . . there's a lot of prep involved too.  Great list and very similiar here.

Posted by Carla Muss-Jacobs, Principal Broker (503) 810-7192, Buyer Focused ~ Buyer Results (BuyersAgentPortland.com | Portland Metro Exclusive Buyers Agent | 100% Buyer Representation ~ 100% of the Time) over 5 years ago

The net proceeds sheet takes me the longest....because of the stupid property taxes that are paid in arrears here in Indiana!

Are you doing your stuff electronically...I just moved to that here in the last few months...good use for the iPad!  lol

Posted by Cindy Marchant, "Cindy in Indy" , Realtor, Fishers Real Estate (Keller Williams Indy NE 317-290-7775 www.marchantteam.com) over 5 years ago

BLiz: You no doubt have the process down to an exact science.  Congrats on the well deserved feature.

Posted by Anita Clark, Realtor - Homes for Sale in Warner Robins GA (ColdwellBanker SSK Realtors ~ 478.960.8055) over 5 years ago

John, Definitely a lot of variation despite the core requirements being the same.

Barbara, True!  Minimize the liability, even our broker's thank you note has a disclaimer note about recommendations made by us.

Juli, It is interesting to compare regional practices.

Reuben, It is a nice touch!

Jennifer, Your area gets off pretty light!

Dale, Especially the sellers who are in it for the first or second time.

Carla, We do a two step listing, so the initial appointment breaks down expenses, nets and a thorough pricing analysis.  Step two is the listing paperwork above, pictures, etc.

Cindy, We just calculate based on absolute worst case.  Assume a full year and it never gets worse than that.  And no docusign or dotloop, we do the pdf contracts, but signatures are wet ink.

Anita, Our process works for us.  Not high pressure for the sellers, share the information, advise and let them make the final decision.


Posted by Liz and Bill Spear, RE/MAX Elite Warren County OH (Cincinnati/Dayton) (RE/MAX Elite 513.520.5305 www.LizTour.com) over 5 years ago

This is a comprehensive list and a great resource. I have been meaning to write something like this. Great job!

Posted by Mark Montross, Listing and Buyer Specialist (Catamount Realty Group) over 5 years ago

Mark, Just tailor it to your market and you're good to go!

Posted by Liz and Bill Spear, RE/MAX Elite Warren County OH (Cincinnati/Dayton) (RE/MAX Elite 513.520.5305 www.LizTour.com) over 5 years ago

Bill & Liz - You guys seem to have a few less papers than we have. Great job making the paperwork simple!

Posted by Carla Freund, Raleigh - Cary Triangle Real Estate 919-602-8489 (Keller Williams Preferred Realty) over 5 years ago

Carla, It's not too bad.  Other than a few things in the main contract, pretty straightforward.

Posted by Liz and Bill Spear, RE/MAX Elite Warren County OH (Cincinnati/Dayton) (RE/MAX Elite 513.520.5305 www.LizTour.com) over 5 years ago

It is amazing how much paper we all have to deal with for a real estate transaction.  I hear stories from the old timers that contracts used to be written on 1 page.  Amazing!

Posted by Joan Whitebook, Consumer Focused Real Estate Services (BHG The Masiello Group) over 5 years ago

Joan, That would be amazing!  Guess all the liability mitigation expanded the paperwork significantly since then.

Posted by Liz and Bill Spear, RE/MAX Elite Warren County OH (Cincinnati/Dayton) (RE/MAX Elite 513.520.5305 www.LizTour.com) over 5 years ago

BLiz - And, they'll have the two of you to help them through the paperwork and the whole process, making it all step by step, just like this post.

Posted by Christine Donovan, Broker/Attorney 714-319-9751 DRE01267479 - Costa M (Donovan Blatt Realty) over 5 years ago

Christine, We're cross trained enough that in a pinch one of us can fill the other's role, but our preferred practice is always the two of us present.  It's the quickest option for us and the least disruption to the sellers too.

Posted by Liz and Bill Spear, RE/MAX Elite Warren County OH (Cincinnati/Dayton) (RE/MAX Elite 513.520.5305 www.LizTour.com) over 5 years ago

Liz and Bill,  It's a nice touch to send a thank you letter.  Carla brings up a great point about the amount of time it takes to prepare to put a listing on the market!

Posted by Kathleen Daniels, San Jose Homes for Sale-Probate & Trust Specialist (KD Realty - 408.972.1822) over 5 years ago

Kathleen, Definitely plenty of prep work involved, especially if the home is more challenging than most to price.  Hours of work just for the opportunity to MAYBE hear "Yes, you're the agents for us!".

Posted by Liz and Bill Spear, RE/MAX Elite Warren County OH (Cincinnati/Dayton) (RE/MAX Elite 513.520.5305 www.LizTour.com) over 5 years ago
Bill and Liz. I recognize all of the forms except the lead based paint. It must be an issue in your area that your board decided to address through a form. Remember when it was urea formaldahyde (sp.) foam insulation? That stuff off gassed for years.
Posted by Valerie Zinger, Home Organizer (House Proud Ottawa-Ontario-Canada) over 5 years ago

BLiz, what a great recap of the listing papers...and it should be easier shouldn't it?!

Posted by Ginny Gorman, Homes for Sale in North Kingstown RI and beyond (RI Real Estate Services ~ 401-529-7849~ RI Waterfront Real Estate) over 5 years ago

People always want to know what to expect and if a seller has never sold a home before, this provides a nice list and surely will bring comfort to a potential seller reading this post.

Posted by Charita Cadenhead, Serving Jefferson and Shelby Counties (Alabama) (Keller Williams Realty) over 5 years ago

Valerie, The lead based paint thing is an entire U.S. thing actually.  EPA related requirement to disclose.  To some extent kind of futile. No seller typically actually has knowledge that their is lead based paint, but it's safe to assume any pre-1978 home probably has it somewhere.  And our residential disclosures do have a place for urea foam insulation.

Ginny,  No major complaints here, most of the documents are pretty straightforward and easy.  Still, it COULD be simpler :)

Charita, It's been our experience that the more familiar our buyers and sellers are with the process and what to expect, the smoother the transaction.

Posted by Liz and Bill Spear, RE/MAX Elite Warren County OH (Cincinnati/Dayton) (RE/MAX Elite 513.520.5305 www.LizTour.com) over 5 years ago

We have a similar amount of forms here in the DFW area of Texas also. I am finding that as I list & sell more homes that I am streamliing and getting better systems in place to deal with the forms & educatiing my clients on the process.

I think moving from a 1 step to 2 step listing appointment system ( unless client insists on only 1) has helped greatly. 

Posted by Nick Walton, Call 469-556-2393 (JP & Associates REALTORS®) over 5 years ago

Nick, The two step works for us.  Realistically, how often is a home ready for pictures when you walk in, and needs no tweaks to be ready to go on the market?  With the first appointment we can provide the MUST DO list, then get pix when the home is at optimum.

Posted by Liz and Bill Spear, RE/MAX Elite Warren County OH (Cincinnati/Dayton) (RE/MAX Elite 513.520.5305 www.LizTour.com) over 5 years ago

Liz and Bill:

Your seller's are lucky.  In California we have lots of disclosures the seller must acknowledge or provide written answer to questions. 

Posted by Evelyn Kennedy, Alameda, Real Estate, Alameda, CA (Alain Pinel Realtors) over 5 years ago

Evelyn, We have a four page disclosure, but fortunately not to the extreme as the California form.  We'd have major problems here if we had to mention things like racoons may come out of the woods and raid your birdfeeders and coyotes might eat your pets.

Posted by Liz and Bill Spear, RE/MAX Elite Warren County OH (Cincinnati/Dayton) (RE/MAX Elite 513.520.5305 www.LizTour.com) over 5 years ago

Wow! Your Exclusive Right to Sell contract is only 3 pages. Ours is 8. By the time you add all of the other CYB pages it is around 20 total. YIKES!

Posted by Joni Bailey, Your Huntsville / Lake Livingston Area REALTOR® (Berkshire Hathaway Home Services - Anderson Properties) over 5 years ago

Joni, Only about 12 pages for the sellers to directly sign or initial.  Some of the others (showing instructions, MLS sheets) we fill out.

Posted by Liz and Bill Spear, RE/MAX Elite Warren County OH (Cincinnati/Dayton) (RE/MAX Elite 513.520.5305 www.LizTour.com) over 5 years ago

I have found (luckily not personally ) but nothing is going to stop someone from sueing if the are of that mind set.I have a 20 questionaire and one of is "have you or a relative been involved in a law suit is the past 10 years and is so I don't bother listing or working with them. it is just a thing with me I am a court room junkie and I see the same faces over and over at eviction hearings and small claim hearings.

Posted by Charles Stallions, 800-309-3414 - Pensacola, Pace or Gulf Breeze, Fl. (Charles Stallions Real Estate Services ) over 5 years ago

Charles, Agreed, those with a litigious bent will find a way if they want.  Fortunately, the likelihood of us getting taken to court by our sellers is pretty remote.  We don't give them a chance.  We'd consider the likelihood higher from the buyer side, and we don't control that aspect with who is brought to our listings.

Posted by Liz and Bill Spear, RE/MAX Elite Warren County OH (Cincinnati/Dayton) (RE/MAX Elite 513.520.5305 www.LizTour.com) over 5 years ago