Closing Tips For Real Estate Professionals & Agents

Hi!

I hope your summer is going well and problem free.  This time of year is very busy in the real estate field and often when problems arise.  I am sure you as a real estate professional have had a bad real estate closing once or twice…right?  So how did you handle the closing and how would you the next time?  What have you learned from your experiences and what did you do to memorialize these hard learned lessons for when “it” happens again?

On the day of closing you may find yourself dealing with a full document review of the borrower’s finances, or the property suffers electrical, water, wind or fire damages, or an intrical party suffers a serious illness.  How you handle these events could influence how your client feels about all your hard but soon to be forgotten work to date.  Up to this point in the real estate transaction process you have done a great job and your client is thrilled they are part of a contract for the property.

Unfortunately, it only takes one issue to change the perception of your abilities to your clients and it is human nature to remember the bad and difficult and to forget the good and easy.

So here is how you should handle the next catastrophe that takes place last minute right before you were to close yet another successful real estate transaction:


  1. Set your clients expectations early and often and explain to them the effect the “event” will have on your closing and whether this is normal or they need to be concerned. Explain early on that closing dates are “guidelines not deadlines” unless the contract calls for “time is of the essence” in the closing date.
  2. Have a go to list of contractors and tradesmen to introduce to your client who has to deal with the issue. Giving a number is not enough; an in person or telephone introduction will relay the urgency and hopefully get a quick response.
  3. Vet the contractor list quarterly and ask for reviews from your clients after each job to ensure prompt service and completion of work. Ideally these contacts should drop everything within reason for you so they stay on your list.
  4. Be an inclusive leader suggesting alternative courses of action to your client and possible pros and cons to each scenario. Don’t take charge completely but don’t be aloof either.  Listen to the clients concerns.
  5. Bring in the Attorneys and other professionals early not late in the crisis and supply them with as much factual information as possible as soon as possible while asking for their guidance and assistance. Don’t dump the problem on the professionals; work with them to fix it.
  6. Assume what can go wrong may go wrong and prepare accordingly by leaving time prior and after a scheduled closing to deal with these types of issues. Scheduling a vacation flight the night of a closing or next morning is generally not a good plan.
  7. Keep a “lessons learned list”, ask your clients for their input in an “after action critique” of what should have been done differently after the fact. This will help you gain insight into how you are perceived in handling the crisis and how to improve for next time.

I hope you have an event free closing but if not save this list it may come in handy!

Sincerely,

Geoffrey Einhorn

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