Once a property goes under contract, it becomes a sprint to get to the finish line. However, with so many parties involved, lack of communication, missing paperwork, being unorganized and a host of other challenges can quickly can prevent you from closing on or before the contractual deadline.
Although life is full of unavoidable circumstances, closing every deal early is much more likely if you follow these five tips:
1. Take charge
Once a property hits pending status, suddenly you’ve got a flurry of people racing to meet a closing deadline.
With agents, brokers, appraisers, inspectors, buyers, sellers, contractors, banks and title companies all moving to get things done, having one person in charge to keep things moving along smoothly is vital.
Whether you represent the buyer or the seller, that person needs to be you.
I can’t tell you how many times I’ve seen small mishaps become big problems resulting in delayed closings.
For example, the appraiser on a deal I’m currently working on couldn’t finalize his appraisal because the seller needed to clear some trash out of the crawl space, but no one told me or the seller. It wasn’t until I called four days later that I realized this was a bottleneck.
By taking charge, you’re more likely to catch issues like this, get them resolved and keep the ball moving.
2. Minimize paperwork
Unless it’s a requirement or personal preference to document everything, negotiate verbally to prevent multiple rounds of paperwork. Even in the age of e-signatures, getting people to sign off on multiple counters can slow things down.
While we’re on the topic of paperwork, make it a habit of thoroughly checking documents at every stage to make sure nothing is missing.
Scrambling last minute to get that missing initial on a lead-based paint disclosure just isn’t any fun for anyone.
3. Think ahead
If you’ve been in the real estate business awhile, you often know what to expect. Use this to your advantage, and start thinking ahead.
For instance, if the house is missing gutters, and the buyer is doing a VA loan, you probably know that you’ll need gutters.
As soon as the property goes under contract, start getting estimates for gutter work, and do as much as possible — as early as possible.
4. Be courteous, and show appreciation
I know it sounds cliche, but being courteous and showing some appreciation really goes along way. Knowing your manners and using them are two different things.
Doing things like addressing people by name in texts and emails, saying “please” and “thank you,” and expressing your appreciation when people are quick to respond shows character and professionalism; and it will help your needs and wants get priority over people who lack such decorum.
Again, I know this is just common sense, but common sense, as some say, isn’t so common.
5. Regular follow-up
Follow-up is key. Don’t assume that important email was received or that your client de-winterized prior to the appraiser’s arrival. Follow-up on everything, and assume nothing.
Your clients will appreciate it, and you’ll rest easier at night knowing everything has been taken care of properly.
Closing deals early is a win for everyone. Follow the five tips I’ve covered in this post, and you’ll be on your way to early closings and faster paychecks in no time.
Brandon Jones is a li