Before I joined my husband in real estate and even when I was a real estate newbie, I really didn’t understand why real estate transactions often don’t close on time. My hubby would tell me the scheduled closing date, and I would count on that commission to arrive shortly thereafter to cover our family expenses. It was only a few years after joining him in real estate that I began to see why some transactions—why many transactions—don’t close on time (and why many don’t close at all).
It Takes a Village
The answer to that question is easy: it’s the people. Originally, my theory was “How hard could it be to close a transaction when you have two agents, a title company, a lender, and a settlement officer all helping to get that job done?”
Ironically, it’s that very question, and that very issue that I originally got completely wrong. Some deals or some real estate transactions don’t close on time because of people—people who don’t have the experience, people who dig their heels in, people who don’t want to negotiate, people who don’t do their job in a timely manner.
It sounds really awful and really mean, but the first step to closing on time is to get the right people on your team. Put a mirror up to your transaction, per se, and take a very careful look at the team. Here are the questions to ask:
- Does my team understand the fine print in the contract?
- Does my team know how to generate the correct documentation in a timely manner?
- Does my team have access to the right tools?
- Does my team understand the entire process from start to finish?
Be honest with yourself. If the answer to any of these is ‘no’, then you’ll need to immediately garner the support of a good office mentor and an experienced transaction coordinator that can help fill the voids.
Transaction 911 Knows California Real Estate
Here’s a case study of three recently closed transactions in our office.
Single-family home with granny flat in San Diego.
Our agent represented the buyer. This was a non-owner occupied property and the seller lives locally. The seller’s agent lives out of the area, only responds to emails (not phone calls), and has no transaction coordinator. Buyers had never participated in a real estate transaction before. Documents were generated with missing parts, and requests were made for items that didn’t relate to the terms of the contract. Numerous messages back and forth.
Escrow was opened in January and closed on May 1.
Single-family home in Fallbrook
Our agent represented the seller. Buyer’s agent was relatively new to real estate. This transaction started in the beginning of March and closed around April 15th. Lender delays due to COVID-19 and a delay at the end because the lender didn’t advise the listing agent of a condition until 1 day prior to the scheduled closing date. But, all in all, a 6-week escrow was not a bad pandemic timeframe.
Single-family home in Escondido
Our agent represented the seller. Another very experienced agent represented the buyer. This one closed in less than 30 days with absolutely no hiccups.
Many people say that there is no substitute for experience. But, for real estate agents, the key is to have a strong team back you up—whether you have experience or not. If you or anyone you know is looking for a solid transaction coordinating team, feel free to contact Transaction 911.