Holding Real Estate Deals Together: Earning Our Keep

Posted by: Mike Farmer on May 25th, 2008

This week has been a week of baling wire and duct tape trying to keep deals together. Patience! Oh, what a wonderful virtue.

Patience to deal with the shifting numbers that inch closer to Yes!, patience with personalities that run the gamut of kind and understanding to rude and arrogant, patience with real estate agents who are slow to respond, patience with lenders who change the rules at a drop of the hat, patience with attorneys who hire temps, patience with home sellers who think their homes are made of gold—why do we do this?

Because that is what we are paid to do, have patience and keep deals together.

For all the do-it-your-self home buyers and sellers doing it themselves for the first time—BEWARE! there are dangers ahead.

How can deals go south?

Financing problems, cold feet, inspection problems, newly disclosed information, buyer buys a Harley before closing, on and on and on, but we must have patience.
Take a deep breath and look at the situation—break it down—then look for a solution.

Sometimes the situation calls for a little counseling, sometimes a little re-negotiating, sometimes more information, sometimes compromise, sometimes pitching in a little commission money, sometimes it’s dead and it needs to be buried.

But most of the time a deal can be saved with the right combination of level-headedness, solution-oriented counseling AND enough experience to suggest resolutions. A new agent should get advice at the first sign of problems with a contract because the problem can likely be prevented from festering and becoming a REAL problem.

Problem prevention is a big part of keeping deals together—staying on top of the situation and not ignoring warning signs.

Many new real estate agents are afraid that if they address the signs it will blow up into something big, so they ignore the signs in hopes the signs will go away—this is flirting with disaster.

Learn to recognize the signs—if you suspect your client is getting cold feet, confront the situation when there is still time to answer concerns and come up with a resolution, something reassuring.

If the loan originator is acting weird, dig in until you have the answers, don’t wait until a few days before closing to get the call that the underwriter has “problems” with the loan.

Once you get the feel of the transaction process you’ll know when something is just not right—start looking for the problem and start working toward fixing it.

This is where Realtors add value—our specialized knowledge of the whole process and our ability to keep it all together.

Getting the contract is most times the easiest part—getting it to closing is where we earn our money.



4 Comments on “Holding Real Estate Deals Together: Earning Our Keep”

Brian Brady

This is good advice. Loan originators should know that when a borrower is hesitant about providing documentation, or a deal starts to head south, a quick call to the REALTOR usually provides a second head.

Collaborating on solutions keeps deals together

Mike Farmer

That’s my philosophy, Brian, always looking for signs of trouble to head it off — no head in the sand, crossing fingers and hoping – I want to know right away. I love a loan originator who smells trouble and let’s me know.

Louis Camamrosano

Thanks for highlighting, yet another service that realtors provide their clients. There’s too much of this “anyone can do it” Fsbo talk.

Mike Farmer

I have truly found that signing the contract is just the beginning. Out of the five deals I’m working on right now, three have been constantly up and down — daily problems to be resolved, anyone left unattended, or improperly addressed, would blow up the whole transaction.

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