Holding Paperwork Hostage-The Right Time to Do it!

By
Services for Real Estate Pros with Escrowcoord.com

I recently closed a transaction that was challenging to say the least. We repeatedly asked the other agent for documents to be signed and returned to us and she either gave vague answers that she would do it or ignored our requests.

I was going to chalk her up to being a "D+" agent, however as soon as we received confirmation that the loan had funded, suddenly we received a bankroll of documents.

I can't help but thinking that she was holding the paperwork hostage until the loan funded.

I don't like holding paperwork hostage. I do it ONLY AS A LAST RESORT.

Let me explain the process;

If you are sending,sending,sending completed paperwork to the other side in a timely and cheerful manner, you expect the same treatment back. Sometimes, the other agent is busy or inconsiderate and as a result, we don't get what we deliver!  So what's the big deal?

In order to be DRE and Broker compliant, we MUST have a completed file the SECOND we record. File auditing for completion takes time, especially if you're a busy agent or Coordinator. (On average, a transaction audit can take up to 1.5 hours!).

I appreciate it when paperwork is delivered back to me with plenty of time to audit the file and request additional items for signature prior to close.

If you have requested the documents multiple times and the agent is not responding, THEN it may be time to hold paperwork hostage. In other words, you're not sending over another scrap of paper to her until she delivers paperwork back to you!  

This strategy usually works because;

  1. That agent also has a broker who most likely wants a complete file at close or she won't be paid.
  2. The agent suddenly realizes that she hasn't sent anything over to you and understands the game.

Holding paperwork hostage just because it's part of your process for transaction management WILL cause your team to resent you, and wastes everyone's time and energy. It's a HOSTILE strategy so use it judiciously and with GOOD reason.

Comments (4)

Marnie Matarese
DWELL REAL ESTATE - Sarasota, FL
Showing you the best of Sarasota!

I can't wait to get paperwork over to the other agent.  Too many things come up that can keep me from acting quickly later on.  It is a professional courtesy as well as just the right thing to do.

Sep 27, 2013 08:54 AM
Jeff Fisher
PureWest Real Estate - Whitefish, MT
PUREWEST REAL ESTATE/Christies

Paperwork, responses, just timely communication... why must some agents delay delay delay?  Do they realy think they are doing anyone a service? Thank you for sharing.

Sep 27, 2013 09:27 AM
Diana Turnbloom
Escrowcoord.com - Martinez, CA
The Leading Expert in TC Services & Education

Marnie-I know I'm gonna like working with you! 

Sep 27, 2013 09:58 AM
Diana Turnbloom
Escrowcoord.com - Martinez, CA
The Leading Expert in TC Services & Education

Jeff, there are those who do not contemplate how their actions impact others. My goal is to create a standard of practice within the industry that provides outstanding service to clients. One post at a time! Thanks for your comments and support! 

Sep 27, 2013 10:00 AM