Customer Service.... What doe is mean to you?
I have been selling real estate for a touch over 23 years and it still amazes me sometimes how little effort other “professionals” put into a transaction.
A little background without names or exact location. One of my listings is supposed to close this Friday. The sale was subject to the closing of the buyer’s current house, and that house was supposed to close today. A little after 11 o’clock last night (after I was sawing logs – sleeping) the buyer’s agent sent an email to me, the buyer, and the loan officer letting us know his house wasn’t going to close today. She forwarded an email from the buyer’s agent on that transaction which was a forward of an email from that lender. The initial email was after 7 pm.
The gist of the original email was they weren’t ready to close because they were waiting on an IRS transcript they had expected the previous week. Except the buyer filled the form out wrong and the IRS rejected it. So the loan officer filled out a new one for the buyer to sign and expected the transcript this morning. Planning on closing next week instead of today.
This so far is about the underlying sale.
BUT the seller, who is the buyer for my listing, was pre-approved to buy without selling. So I hit reply all on the email and asked if our closing was still on for Friday. If the buyer was able to buy without the closing of his house or did he need to go back through underwriting since the conditions changed. The only answer I got was from the buyer asking his lender if that was possible. He was still willing to close on Friday and close on his house next week.
I follow up 4 or 5 hours later asking if anybody had heard back from the lender. I got an email from the buyer’s agent stating he needed money from the closing on his house to close on ours. I asked if this had been verified by his lender since he was willing to close. And I asked if she had spoken to the lender for the underlying sale (her listing) to confirm they received the IRS transcripts.
No word. The buyer called me directly. He hadn’t heard from anybody either.
Since this is Wednesday night I figure we are not closing Friday and will close after the underlying sale closes. But if nobody gets back to me by tomorrow morning I am going to do what those directly involved seem to have a problem with. I am going to actually pick up the phone and make a call. Maybe the lender on the underlying sale will be surprised enough to hear it ring he might pick it up out of curiosity. That hasn’t worked with the lender on our sale thus far; I think she may have it go directly to voicemail when my number shows up.
What amazes me about this very long story. The buyer’s agent on the underlying sale was upset because their loan officer had told the buyer they were clear to close on Mon. The agent didn’t verify himself. Neither agent actually communicated with that loan officer to verify the buyer was clear to close. The lender on that sale sent a form to the IRS without making sure it was filled out properly. The listing agent on that sale (aka buyer’s agent on my sale) didn’t pick up the phone and call the loan officer to make sure they actually received the transcript today as anticipated. Just assumed they got it. She never picked up the phone and called the loan officer on our sale to find out if we could still close Friday as scheduled. Never picked up the phone and updated her buyer/seller. The loan officer on the underlying sale notified everybody last night after 7 o’clock. Well after business hours. And via email.
What is the aversion to actually calling people involved in a six figure transaction? Short, vague emails and text messages with little detail and no verifications of any facts. Is this what passes for customer service these days?
For real service, whether buying or selling your home or vacant land, please don’t hesitate to call (or email if you prefer) Jackie Hawley at ReMax Encore. I’m old enough to know what customer service is, and still young enough to be tech savvy.
Jackie Hawley, Realtor