This is a central topic in the lending business. Everyone involved in the process, including clients and industry professionals alike, appreciate a fast closing. Nobody likes dealing with the stress and uncertainty that arises when the transaction goes sideways (rather than forward).
Here’s a few thoughts to help keep things moving forward toward a successful closing.
Keep the Lines of Communication Open
This is a people business. Communication is vital to the success of any venture including real estate closings. The most common reason that things go bad in escrow is due to ineffective communication. Most of the points here are related in one way or another to the issue of communication. At the outset, get to know everyone involved in the transaction. Speak with the agents on both sides, as well as any escrow, legal, or other real estate pros participating in the deal.
Gather all the facts up front, directly from the source, and build the rapport necessary to ensure cooperation and the complete sharing of info.
Set Clear Expectations and Actions Plans for Clients
Let your client know what they’ll need to do, and what documentation they’ll need to provide to get preapproved and ready to purchase or refinance their home. Help them out by giving the guidance and direction needed to help them prepare in advance for a successful closing, before putting out offers. Prepare an outline of the process for borrowers as well as a timeline, list of milestones, and any other related checklists. This will also help the client’s representatives or agent assist in collecting documentation, in obtaining signatures, and keeping everyone involved committed and on the same page.
Coordinate with other Professionals – Project Management Tools
Sometimes we get along great with everyone on the team, but nothing seems to get done: weeks go by without disclosures getting prepared and submitted, one party or the other hasn’t signed the addendum, or the appraiser is missing-in-action working on revisions. The solution may be organization and convenient communication using project management tools to get everyone on track toward the same objective. There are a number of free and paid tools available that will help you connect with and share data across everyone involved in the transaction.
One of the best free tools is Trello. Trello is an online and mobile project management tool that utilizes an intuitive graphical user interface to let you create lists and cards with many features to sort, label, and assign tasks to specific individuals. It also has tons of plugins to integrate with most CRMs and online business service providers.
Another source of delays and contention is in getting the property valued and certified by the appraiser. Agreeing on what appraiser to utilize, ordering the report, dealing with inaccuracies and revisions: all these things create many delays for lending professionals and everyone involved in the business. If you can find an appraisal firm that puts quality first and has an operational model built-for-speed, you’ll experience fewer delays approaching closing. If you have plenty of lead time, waiting for an appraisal may not be a big issue; however, when the report is needed at the last minute, a 48-hour appraisal (most residences) will get it done and allow funding to proceed, clients to be satisfied, and glowing referrals to pour in from customers and industry associates.
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