The training new agents receive in many cases is that they hand the offer to their Office Manager and put the closing date of the transaction on their calendar...envision that commission check that comes with it and magically....everything falls in place. The follow thru does not exist because they don't understand the process...and don't feel "responsible" for Buyers and the Buyer's lender to adhere to the deadlines of the contract...sigh. What seems like a hundred years ago when we were in training from our local broker of choice...there were four of us that were gal pals and had lunches together...Sellabrated our "firsts"...showing, closing etc. All of us were college graduates in a variety of different fields...not one us understood how much commission we would get from a sale. Asking our instructor led to what was then a confusing definition of splits of percentages and different circumstances. Reflecting on those days...it was intentional by the Broker.
The "mystique" of lending and title work should be "unveiled' as a part of an agent's early education...regrettably it is not. In Wisconsin we have deadlines that run from the acceptance of an offer. The first one is deposit of the earnest money as the listing agent has directed. Typically this is 3 days from acceptance of the offer. Next is the appraisal deadline...Both listing and selling agent should be aware if the appraisal was ordered...done and submitted to the lender on a timely basis. The Selling agent is wise to check with the Lender to be sure that their Buyer is submitting documents and doing their "home work" in a timely manner. One of the large puzzle pieces in this process is securing homeowner's insurance..often here as a "Home and Highway" policy where both home and vehichles are insured. Often Buyers who are relocating or first time buyers may need suggestions for a reliable insurance source for their business....agents should supply sources and be sure that a policy will be in place.
Loan Commitment is what we term the "financial fitness" piece. It is a combination of the financial qualification of the house...did it appraise for the amount of the offer...AND the Buyer(s)...is their income, debt to income, credit score, etc. in order to assure the lender that the Buyer(s) are "credit worthy" and can afford the mortgage.When the "stars align" and both property and buyer are qualified a letter or Loan commitment is issued. The Buyer gives it to their agent who in turn gives it to the Seller's agent to verify this step is completed. The Selling agent SHOULD be checking with the lender to see that this date is met. In these days of "thinventory" there are, in some markets, Buyers just waiting for the primary market to stumble and miss a contract date to have that offer cancelled so that they can slide in and be the primary buyer.
Calling a lender and not getting an answer...not learning if the appraisal has been returned, the Buyer provided the necessary documentation AND the contract deadlines agreed upon with BOTH Buyer and Seller is not doing the job of a Selling agent..or quite frankly, a lender. Just like your Doctor's nurse...the assistant in other businesses may be "your new best friend" in finding out information...the same is true of a loan processor...they have the information that will help you as the Selling agent stay on top of the lending puzzle pieces.
In Wisconsin, the Buyer chooses the time and place of closing. In these days of "thinventory" this can mean working with the listing agent as the Sellers may well need the proceeds from their sale top buy their next home closing on the same day. One misstep in the timing of this process can well have the domino effect...if one transaction does not close on time...it interrupts...and in fact destroys the timing of several others. It does take a team...leave you ego and your "not my job" excuses somewhere else. Sometimes the listing agent has to pick up the ball the lender AND the Selling agent dropped..it is called "Customer Service" and staying on top of a transaction. Lenders and Selling agents can get defensive...they didn't have that...they didn't know this, they made the phone call...it doesn't matter if the end result is that it did not get done.
Sometimes a real estate transaction is like volleyball...you keep passing the transaction (ball) forward until you score a closing...and that after all, is what this business is made of...the Happily ever afters of successful closings.
This has been a post to encourage cooperation and awareness of contract deadlines...the transaction you save may well be your own...brought to you by Sally K. & David L. Hanson, Broker Associates with EXP Realty, honored to be of service for all things real estate in southeastern Wisconsin.