By Samantha Jones
Four-leaf clovers. The Blarney Stone. Horseshoes. Lucky rabbit’s feet. The recent St. Patrick’s Day holiday has me thinking about the luck of the Irish and good luck charms.
But luck isn’t necessarily going to help you close a deal.
In real estate, you’re bound to hit your fair share of hurdles. Obstacles and objections pop up along the way to the finish line: closing day. If not, then I’m in awe and want to know if you live in Oz. Just kidding…a bit.
Have you ever heard the expression, “It’s those it’s happened to, and those it will happen to”? Because this is a prime example of what I mean—you will hit bumps in the road, but it’s all about how you adapt and prepare for those challenges.
First and foremost, it is crucial to set expectations for both buyers and sellers from the get go. Honesty goes a long way. Life throws curve balls and real estate deals aren’t exempt from them. I have always heard and truly believe a deal is never done until the wire hits, checks are cut, and keys are exchanged. I prepare my clients for the hurdles we may encounter, such as people losing their jobs, relocating out of state, or just plain changing their minds. I sprinkle in encouragement too, reassuring them that I will re-sell their home again should the deal fall through. Or, that I will find another home if it doesn’t end up being “the one.”
Handle Inspections and Appraisals
The Chicago River on St. Patrick’s Day. @sam99929, 2016. pixabay.com
Inspections are a common deal killer in my area. As a safety net for buyers, inspections are crucial for uncovering any potential skeletons in a home’s closets, so to speak. Many repairs end being minor and can be worked through by asking the seller for a credit or to have the issues rectified prior to closing. I often recommend my sellers have a pre-sale home inspection to uncover any unknown issues and have them corrected prior to going on the market. This gives us our best shot at making it through the buyer’s inspection unscathed.
I remind my buyers to check with their mortgage broker before making any purchases, job changes, or similar decisions. Never hurts to be cautious.
Deals with a financing contingency are subject to an appraisal. Essentially, a licensed appraiser must determine the home’s appraised value, which will ideally be at or above contract price. I recommend educating the appraiser: Were you in a multiple offer situation that drove up the price? What is unique about this home that basic statistics may not reveal? Best to be proactive here, as you are only as good as your appraised value.
I’ve saved the best for last. It goes without saying, communication is paramount in all real estate deals. In the craziness of our daily lives, it may be easy to think you can “step out” once your clients are under contract. But that could not be further from the truth. Stay in touch with your clients, their mortgage broker, the buyer/seller’s agent, and even your client’s attorney (we’re an attorney state in Illinois). Keep track of important deadlines such as the end of attorney review, clear to close date, and finally, your closing day.
The biggest takeaway from this should be the reminder that you are the professional; your clients’ liaison through everything. After all, how often do they buy and sell properties? Not nearly as frequently as we’re entrenched in deals. Their trust and well being is paramount. Don’t forget that. These tips should help you make your own luck, rivaling the Irish all year long.
Samantha Jones is an award-winning real estate broker with Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage in the Chicagoland area. She is a top producer who specializes in residential sales. Connect with Samantha on Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn.