Listing agents, are you ready to move your sellers from contract to close? This is the phase where clients, even if they didn’t feel it before, start to feel lost. Other clients mistakenly feel like they can sit back and relax now. As the agent, your clients should be able to rely upon you to provide them a clear pathway and plan for what’s ahead. And as the agent who has decided to build a reputation on service and skill, you’re going to do just that. I’m showing you how below. Let’s get started!
This is a great day, so first of all congrats! You were able to get your clients from initial listing to “under contract”. And now, you can really separate yourself as the best in service and skill by preparing your sellers for what’s ahead.
Notate and communicate important dates and deadlines – your client will need to work within contract dates. So, take the time to review important dates your clients. You’ll want to put these in your calendar as well. Contract deadlines like the due diligence, appraisal and financing contingency deadline are important. And you can use a CRM system, digital calendar or simply a paper calendar. Pick whichever works for you. Then, confirm the proposed closing date and notate when you plan to schedule the final walk through.
Collect Earnest Money – when collecting the money, make sure you turn it in on time as agreed. But even if you’re not the agent collecting the earnest money, you’ve still got work to do. Confirm that the broker or attorney who’s holding the funds has actually received them. And as you get closer to closing, you’ll need to understand how earnest money will be handled.
File required paperwork with broker – required paperwork will include the executed contract, exhibit and such. This is why having a checklist and recording dates based on agreed upon timelines is important. Your broker, and most likely your state’s real estate commission will require timely filing of contracts. Not to mention, it’s best for the lender and closing attorney to have the information as soon as possible.
Update MLS status – some MLS systems require both the listing agent and the buyer’s agent to notify them of a binding contract. So, make sure you’re clear on what you need to do.
Prepare your clients for the home inspection – a diligent buyer will have the home inspected. So, you want to have your clients prepared. Hopefully, they’ve already made repairs for the home. But also let them know that the inspector’s job to find as much as they can about the home. It’s CYA for them, and since the buyer is paying them to tell them how well the home is holding up, they want to cover all the basis. Let them know that there’s a high likelihood that the buyer will then come back and negotiate for repairs or adjust the price to account for some of the issues found on the inspection report.
Prior to closing
Get prepared for an appraisal – many agents prepare for this regardless. Especially if you’re concerned about the home appraising for the contracted amount. Pull comps and other pertinent information (upgrades, etc.) to justify the value of the home. You can leave this information on the kitchen counter for the appraiser to look at when he or she arrives at the house.
Call buyer’s loan officer and closing attorney – introduce yourself and see if they need anything. Everyone is different, so let them tell you what to expect. Make sure they have your contact information if they need to reach out to you. One of the important things that you can ask is how the loan is progressing.
Confirm completion of negotiated repairs – once repairs are negotiated, have your seller schedule the repairs as soon as possible. In many cases, the repairs need to be complete several days before closing. This gives the buyer confidence that the home will be ready for closing day. The buffer room also allows for more detailed repairs if they weren’t completed correctly the first time.
Other behind the scenes
Commission agreement – set yourself up to get paid the way you want! Some brokers have different instructions depending on if you want to get paid at the closing table or have the money direct deposited into your bank account.
Update MLS status –you may need to update the status again to show that the due diligence period or financing contingency period is over. This is also a time to update the proposed closing date if it has changed.
Gather all paperwork – you’ll need to ensure all required signatures are on the paperwork. This includes exhibits, consumer brochures, mortgage letters, proof of funds, survey, amendments, service recommendations and any other documents required by your real estate commission or brokerage. Also check to ensure the lender has the most up to date file.
From Contract to Close
I’m so excited for you, you’re almost at the finish line! First, we talked about how you can prepare your sellers and get organized yourself. Then we talked about what to work on before closing. And we reviewed what you need to do to behind the sense. As we wrap things up, your next step is to download our FREE Ultimate Closing Checklist.
- 15 Ways to Wow Your Real Estate Clients
- How to Make a Great First Impression as a Real Estate Agent
- Top Real Estate Closing Gifts for Buyers and Sellers
- How Introverted Real Estate Agents Can Provide Great Service
- How To Serve Your First Client Like a Pro
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