Closing the Deal: What Your Buyers Need to Know
There’s no standard checklist for real estate agents concerned with ensuring their buyers have everything they need. If you’ve managed to attract buyers, find them a home, shepherd them through the offer and inspection process, and eventually schedule a closing, then you’ve done your job well. The settlement should be the easy part, where paperwork is signed and keys are eagerly handed over.
However, many of your clients have no idea what to expect—other than the keys—from their closing, especially if it’s their first one. Whether you’re a seasoned veteran or cutting your teeth on your first closing, it’s important to always remember that first-time homebuyers can be completely oblivious to the minor details. According to NAR, the buying market is made up of 37% first-time homebuyers; those buyers make up a significant portion of your business, so treat them well! I remember when I bought my first house, I had no idea we needed an attorney present. Fortunately, my agent was on top of that. Here’s how you can make the closing experience a little less stressful for your first-time buyers.
Explain in detail what they will be signing
Everyone knows it’s a mortgage contract, but do your buyers know what they should be looking for in the paperwork? See if you can go over all of the contractual paperwork step by step so there are no surprises on the big day.
Help them understand the closing costs
Lenders have to disclose all fees and costs involved, but be proactive. If you can, give them an itemized list of potential closing costs in advance. Establish yourself as the go-to person for explanation of details like loan origination fees, and buyers will acknowledge that you’ve got a handle on things. This will make the closing process much smoother for you and the buyer, and your competency will likely generate more referral business.
Prepare them for who will be in the room
Your buyers will feel less like a deer in headlights if they are not surprised at who shows up on closing day. Explain the role of everyone there, especially if there is a real estate attorney or escrow agent they have not met before. Try to find out from the selling agent who will be representing the seller at the settlement.
Make a list of all the documents your buyers will need and give it to them early in the process
This includes a driver’s license or other identification, the cashier’s check in the amount of their closing fees, and proof of property insurance. It may seem like an obvious detail, but advance notice of things like these will ensure that they aren’t scrambling when the time comes.
You have done this many times before, so you know that anything can and will happen before and during a closing. Your buyers do not know that, however, and might be tempted to freak out if there is a delay or the numbers don’t add up on the big day. Remind them that they are in good hands and communicate openly through any glitches in the process.
Your willingness to do a little hand-holding, especially during the closing process, will set you apart as a sought-after real estate agent. That’s the kind of attention to detail that buyers look for in a top agent. Once the deal is closed and your buyers are moving into their very own home, your business card is the one they will share with any friends or family members who need an agent to close the deal.
Guest post by Cari Oleskewicz from Movoto.com