This is a wonderful post from Alan. Great info to keep in mind!
As a Realtor, it's up to you, to get your ducks in a row in order for a transaction to go smoothly, and without hiccups. (or hiccoughs for you purists!).
Regions function differently, and some Realtors handle more or less of the transaction depending on their region, but for the most part, here are some things that we are should all universally have under our belts.
Duck #1) Make certain that you have a pre-approval for your buyer clients, and if you're the listing agent, make sure you've got a copy of it.
Duck #2) Make certain that you understand the difference between a pre-qualification and a pre-approval, and if you're the listing agent, don't accept a pre-qual in place of the preapproval.
Duck #3) Make sure you have a good stable of property inspectors (and R.E. attorneys if your area uses them) to recommend to your clients, should they need them.
Duck #4) Make sure you touch base with your clients lender. See if there's anything they need, and try to facilitate those needs. Do they need condo declarations? Proof of Insurance? A copy of the signed contract? Get it to them.
Duck #5) Keep tight control of any deadlines. As the due date for balance of earnest money comes up... make sure you address it. If you're the buyer's agent, don't let it surprise your buyer... mention it ahead of time, and make sure they have that balance of e.m. check on schedule. You don't want to find yourself in default, if the seller has a backup offer. As the listing agent, make sure the buyer's agent isn't surprised by the deadline... mention it ahead of time... call for it on the morning of the deadline. Be in control of those deadlines, so they don't control you.
Duck #6) There is no duck #6, just trying to see if you're paying attention.
Duck #7) Keep a close eye on your mortgage commitment date. Again, as the buyer's agent... don't allow it be a surprise to the buyer. Mention it as it's coming up... touch base with the lender... make sure you have it in hand, it's for your own protection. As the listing agent, keep track of that date. You don't have to remind the buyer's agent of this deadline, but you can if you choose to.
Duck #8) Once these "deadlines" have been met, and you're simply "cruising" toward closing... don't ignore your client. Touch base with them now and then... let them know that they're not merely a paycheck, you actually care about how they're doing, and how they're progressing toward closing. This is an opportunity for you to the be the hero, and solve any problems that pop up.
Duck #9) As the closing comes near... set up the walk-through. Note any problems, and resolve them. (or attempt to). The clients expect to have an advocate on their side, and you should be that advocate.
Duck #10) Attend the closing. I know, I know... you think you have better things to do. No you do not! This is a major deal for your client. Probably the largest transaction that they'll make in their lives. Even though you'll likely end up sitting in a chair in the corner, they need your presence, they need to have a friend in the room. Be there... make every effort to be there.... they'll appreciate it.
Duck #11) Stay in touch with your client post-closing. This is a big one. Staying in touch means you care. Dropping them like a hot potato, means they were only a paycheck. Who are YOU more likely to refer, and use again??
Duck #12) Sorry... I'm' outta ducks. Weren't you counting? Maybe you have some more?
ALAN MAY, Realtor®
Specializing in Evanston Real Estate and North Shore Real Estate
Coldwell Banker Residential Real Estate, 2929 Central Street, Evanston, IL 60201
847.425.3779 Cell: 847.924.3313 Email: Almay@aol.com
Evanston Real Estate, Evanston Realtor, Evanston Buyers, Evanston Sellers
North Shore Real Estate, North Shore Realtor, North Shore Buyers, North Shore Sellers