Transactions have two kinds of professionals: Those who are helpful during the pressure-cooker days of escrow and negotiations, and those who make things worse.
Does it surprise you to know that there are usually about 29 people involved in a California real estate transaction?
Of course, you have the buyers and sellers, their agents, and their agents’ brokers.
Then, you add in the home inspector, the termite inspector, the termite company’s repair crew, the fumigation company, the escrow officer, the escrow officer’s assistant, the title rep, the title officer, the county clerk, the loan agent, the loan underwriter, the loan processor, the buyer’s bank and the buyer’s employment verification officer -- just to name a few.
And how each of these people act, react, and interact during the transaction can play a crucial role. Here are a few examples of how these participants can support, enhance or detract from the experience for the primary players -- the buyers and sellers.
When the escrow officer’s assistant sends the sellers’ escrow opening package, it’s helpful when the email includes – along with the congratulatory message – a simple net sheet of their expected sale proceeds, a cell phone to call in the event of any questions or concerns, whether they’d like to complete their paperwork in “long hand” or via electronic platform and a form identifying the bank account where they’d like their proceeds wired after the closing.
When the loan underwriter provides a complete list of additional documents needed for final loan approval, this also moves the transaction forward in a meaningful and timely way.
But when the underwriter asks buyers for more financial or personal information every other day, this is not as helpful.
Buyers are busy making a living so they can afford the house they are buying. They lose their patience having to go back to the well more than one or two times to meet the vetting requirements of the lender. (Note to you underwriters out there: I understand that some situations require you to ask for unanticipated additional documentation. This should be the exception, not the rule.)
When the homeowner’s insurance agent tells the sellers that the chances of them closing escrow on time is slim to none, based on absolutely no information on the current status of said escrow, and cautions them not to cancel their policy on the date their escrow is scheduled to close, this is less than helpful. It artificially and unnecessarily plants a seed of panic in the sellers. That's not helpful in most cases.
When the market response to a well-staged listing with an upgraded kitchen and a pool results in over 40 showing requests in three days, and more than a dozen offers, many significantly over the list price, an agent who is undaunted by COVID-19 showing guidelines and rapidly accelerating demand, who has a strategy for countering each offer and who sets a cut-off date for additional offers can be very helpful.
Leslie Sargent Eskildsen is an agent with Realty One Group. She can be reached at 949-678-3373 or firstname.lastname@example.org.