TOUCHDOWN! CLOSING! Oh, wait. Referee blew whistle.
OK, I’d like to discuss something with the lenders working on real estate transactions. I’d like to pull this off as a “pep talk” rather than a complaint. Saying that from the beginning hopefully lets you know my intent and sometimes communicating on paper doesn’t translate as well as the face to face conversation, so here goes.
I work with some really fine players on my real estate team. By team, I mean those that help make a transaction actually happen. Some of those team players are the Lender, Title Company, Other Agent, Inspector, Appraiser, Surveyor, Insurance Agent, etc. Those of you that are real estate agents know the value of aligning yourself with some great team players. It’s not about showing three pretty houses to a client in 30 minutes and letting them pick one. Some of the television shows may leave that impression on a starry eyed real state fan, but we know the dedication and hours of hard work that go into our chosen profession.
The part that the tv shows don’t portray is that agents do spend lots of time getting to know the buyers and sellers in the process of showing homes and marketing them. These “reality” shows fail to emphasize that the real work, and how we really earn our commission, starts when that offer becomes a two sided contract! That’s when it’s GAME ON! Getting it to closing, our touchdown, is the hard part.
From coordinating the timing of inspections to make sure our clients don’t waive their right to inspect by missing the deadline, dealing with any issues that may arise out of the inspection, and arranging a host of other details in a fashion that doesn’t waste the client’s money by getting the cart before the horse are just a part of the play book that is critical, but not so visible to those outside our profession.
In addition, the buyers and sellers have a slew of things to do to get ready to close on a home. They arrange for utilities to be transferred, disconnected or connected. They take time off work to move. They arrange for moving trucks and friends to help. They buy appliances and schedule delivery. All of these things involve coordination with lots of people outside of our industry that end up a part of the transaction in some way. From bosses to baby sitters, U-Haul to utility companies the impact is significant.
Now, here’s the part you may construe as a complaint: Get in the huddle. Sometimes lenders don’t respect a closing date. I know you’re busy and work hard. Quarterbacks have lots of pressure on them. Those underwriters are the referees and I know sometimes they do throw a flag on a play that’s unforeseen.
But let’s just try to think of it as if you were trying to take a day off work yourself to close on a home. Game day, the day of closing is a really big deal for buyers and sellers. Sometimes they are coordinating more than just one transaction if they are selling one home and buying another. It’s not about our commissions. It’s about our clients. People make plans and can adjust, but the last minute things that happen with the lender really throw a whole scenario out of whack. A well-executed plan results in a touchdown for the team.
You are the star player and important part of the team but the drama at closing is really not necessary. I don’t mind taking a hit for the team when a closing doesn’t happen occasionally, but I don’t like getting tackled regularly. The last minute drama makes us all look bad, but as the agent, I’m the one that’s receiving. You keep throwing those closing dates away that have been part of our strategy from the start. We just need you to understand that although you might be the quarterback on this team, you still need to think of the rest of us that are working to reach a touchdown for our clients. Communication with the agent is crucial and can prevent drama. Channel that inner home buyer or home seller experience of your own. Know that there’s more work for us to do even after you pass your loan package to the title company. It makes us all look good when we score!
OK, GO TEAM!