As a real estate agent, you should NEVER assume the agent on the other side of the transaction is doing their job! That is the advice that was given to me by a top producer, when I was new to the business. It is one of the best pieces of advice I have ever been given, during the course of my real estate career.
I was just reading Broker Bryant Tutas' recent post titled "350 DOM (Days on Market), 5 Contracts and Finally... SUCCESS! In his post, he wrote about having to coach the selling agent (Bryant was the listing agent), how to get the transaction closed in a legal manner. You'd need to read Bryant's previous post about an ignorant agent's bad advice that could have caused the buyer to commit a felony. That link is also in the aforementioned post.
Reading Bryant's post once again reminded me of the wise words that were given to me many years ago, by the agent who told me to "Never assume the other agent is doing their job". Here are a few examples....
If you're the listing agent, don't assume the buyer's agent is...
- Paying attention to the time constraints of the
- loan application,
- inspection periods,
- loan approval period, etc. You should be calling that agent and questioning/reminding them of every time frame of the contract, every step of the way (In a very pleasant manner!) Except perhaps the home inspection period. That's up to you if you want to remind them or not. After all, if you're representing the seller and the buyer's agent doesn't remind their buyer to get the home inspection completed in time, the buyer is now obligated to buy the house with no inspection and the buyer's agent is responsible for not doing their job! To be honest, I usually DO remind the other agent, unless they've been a condescending jerk.(Sometimes, I even remind them then, too. My conscience is a real pain in the butt!)
- Side note: Remember, it pays to be pleasant and professional to the other agent! There are many agents whose negative reputations precede them. Don't be one of those agents! Believe me when I say, there are many agents who will discourage their clients from working with you and your clients, just because of your difficult nature. You need to learn to walk that fine line between doing your job and being too pushy. Only push when necessary!
- Making sure the buyer is getting their home owner's insurance way before the closing date. This is especially important in Florida! The insurance companies draw a box around the state. If a tropical storm or hurricane travels within the constraints of that box, they will not issue any policies until it has moved out of the box. If your closing is scheduled while the storm is in the box, and your buyer needs a mortgage to close, you will not be closing at that time! Also important: The buyer does not have home owner's insurance until they've paid their "binder"!
If you're the selling agent, don't assume the listing agent is...
- Presenting your offer in the best light. In the state of Florida, the selling agent has the right to be there when their offer is presented to the sellers. However, you do not have the right to be there when the sellers are discussing the offer with their agent. You only have the right to be in attendance when your buyers' offer is being presented to the sellers.
- Coordinating the survey. With each property I sell, I can never be sure who is ordering the survey. It could be the title company or the mortgage broker, or it could be the listing agent who is expected to place the order. If everyone assumes it's someone else, good luck finding a surveyor to do a last minute survey. Without the survey, there is no clear title. AND the surveyor is the party who provides the Elevation Certificate if the property is in a flood zone. If the property is in a flood zone, no elevation certificate = no flood insurance policy and no mortgage and ultimately, no closing!
- Making the home accessible to the appraiser. This may differ from city-to-city, but in the Daytona Beach area, the listing agent is generally expected to provide access to the home, for the appraiser. The appraiser will call the listing agent for access. (Side note: The mortgage broker calls for the appraiser, from a list of approved appraisers that is provided by the lender.)
If you're new to the business, remember this advice... Never assume the other agent is doing their job! If you want to be the best agent possible, be prepared to do your job and the other agent's job as well. Many times this will not be necessary. But be prepared, just in case.