Super Bowl LV is on the books, and if something was obvious it was the saying, “The last few inches are the hardest.” So heavy, in fact, that while the players brought the ball close several times, they were unable to carry the players into the end zone. Epic failure.
This also applies to real estate transactions: the final details are most important. The deal is not closed until all parts have been completed to the customer’s satisfaction. Unfortunately, agents sometimes fiddle with the figurative 1-yard line.
We learned that the hard way a few years ago. On the recommendation of their children, who had carried out several transactions with us, we began working with an elderly couple to facilitate their first home purchase.
They had limited resources and it proved difficult, but we stuck to it. We finally managed to get them into escrow, but the sellers refused to do some critical repairs and the buyers pulled out. We went on.
Shortly thereafter, in a fit of depression, the husband decided to end his own life. Hoping to help their mother keep going, his children asked me to continue the house hunt, in the expectation that the proposed insurance proceeds would make an acquisition easier.
Based on the deceased man’s insurance policies, the comparisons would make a cash purchase easier. In anticipation of this and establishing a schedule for the planned payouts, we found the perfect home, submitted a cash offer, and expected an early closing.
Although one policy was funded immediately, the other had other ideas. The insurance company dug into their healings and denied that she had to pay due to the circumstances of her death. Since the husband was the sole breadwinner, there was no way to get a loan and we pushed the insurance company to come to an agreement.
Since the insurer was playing hardball, the listing agent decided to take part. He was not a very understanding guy and he was putting a lot of pressure on him, and the woman became increasingly disturbed.
We never gave up, managed to negotiate repairs, tirelessly pursued the insurance company, kept things together, and eventually, after considerable delays and Herculean efforts, managed to close the deed.
After graduation, we assumed the woman would have been grateful for everything we had done for her. The house was perfect, their kids loved it, and it looked like a happy ending was in the books.
Unfortunately there was a detail to come. The house had a large decorative mailbox out front, and as soon as the escrow was closed, mail began to be delivered.
There was a little problem: we didn’t have a key to it to open the box. The woman who was unable to get her mail got hectic again. I went back to the listing agent who was rather rude in telling us where to find a key due to the delays.
Without help, I called the woman and explained that no key was available. I suggested that she call a locksmith to open the box.
Big mistake: all the effort and goodwill we put into for her throughout our relationship disappeared into the space between the sentences of her response. “No way,” she said. “You get me a key. And, “she interjected,” that was the worst experience of my life – don’t expect a positive review from me. “
It reminded me of the poem that was attributed Benjamin Franklin::
The shoe was lost for lack of a nail,
The horse was lost for want of a shoe,
For want of a horse the rider was lost
For want of a rider the battle was lost
For want of battle the kingdom was lost
And all for lack of a horseshoe nail.
In my case for lack of a key a relationship was lostand as always, all subsequent recommendations and potential deals have not been realized.
New game board: 5 steps towards a win
I’ve learned a lot since then, and we’ve come up with some rules for our team to help alleviate graduation issues. While there is no way to keep everyone happy all the time, with caution you can at least increase the odds. Here are our five rules for getting strong:
1. Handle all objections immediately
In the above case, as soon as I found out that the seller was not going to provide a key, I should have called a locksmith to open the mailbox right away and later sort through all the payment details.
With thousands of transactions, we saw no end to the problems in the end:
- A salesman taking a refrigerator that was included in the contract
- Garbage left by the departing seller
- Damage during the move
- Sellers who don’t vacation on time and more
As a young agent with limited resources, I often let things go a little in the hopes that they would take care of themselves. Our policy now is to take immediate action, find effective solutions as soon as possible, and resolve the financial implications later.
If I end up eating something, I will at least keep the customer happy and ensure that the relationship will continue in the future.
2. Sweat the little things
A small key at the end of a transaction was all that was needed to sink things. Ironically, it’s usually not the big things that cause the greatest pain. It’s the little thing.
No detail should be considered too small, and you should pay as much attention to the little things as you should to the more important elements. Try to put yourself in the customer’s shoes, to see things from their perspective: what might be insignificant to you might have profound meaning to them.
I loaned my car to a friend once – when he returned it had a small scratch in the middle of the steering wheel. That stupid scratch is the first thing I see every time I get in my car.
3. Discuss closing details to clarify expectations
When the escrow runs out Buyers’ expectations are rising. In most cases, you can’t wait to get the keys to your new home. How exactly do you get your keys? What should they greet when they walk through the front door?
I was out of town because a buyer closed and after discussing access with the listing agent and realizing that she wasn’t ready to give the keys to the buyers, she concluded that the best Recourse was to leave the keys under a rock.
It had been a great deal: I negotiated a great price, received significant repairs, and my customers were overjoyed with the results. I explained my location, sent them a picture of the location of the keys, and called later to confirm they could get in. It wasn’t a happy call.
The woman said that they were extremely disappointed that someone was not there to personally give them the keys.
“It would have been great,” she clarified, “if at least someone on your team had given us the keys. Getting them out from under a rock was not at all what we’d envisioned when we bought our first home. ”
4. Use a final checklist
We usually do one complete solution a few days before closing to make sure everything is ok. We want to make sure the repairs are complete, the house is clean, and all of the buyer’s expectations are met. If it turns out there are problems, we have time to address them before closing.
Among other things, ours Checklist includes:
- Elements such as the location of any associated keys, remote controls or tags
- Instructions for transferring utilities
- Whether sellers left any items
If a problem becomes apparent and the listing agent or sellers do not handle it to the buyer’s satisfaction, we will step in and make sure it is fixed, even if that means sending in our cleaning staff, removing trash and more at our expense.
5. Finish strong
Note that there are certain rules for what agents can give Close giftsWe work hard to make a meaningful graduation gift and to design it to create a positive impression.
We also track calls the day after access, a few days later, and then after a week to ensure that any issues that arise are addressed immediately.
Do you need help figuring out the irrigation system? Are the house systems working properly? After leaving, did the previous owner delete smart items such as video doorbells, smart thermostats, cameras, alarms, etc. from their accounts so that the new owner can set up new accounts?
Once we’re sure things are initially okay, we do a quarterly review to see how they’re doing and see if they need help with any expected projects.
When Kansas City discovered the painful path, it is one thing to collect impressive drives, exhilarating runs and epic throws. Turning those achievements into what really matters: a touchdown is something completely different.
A word to the wise: it is the end that matters most. Ironically, in last year’s Super Bowl, San Francisco led Kansas City for most of the game but couldn’t deliver when it mattered most – in the end.
Do everything possible to ensure that the last moments of a transaction end with a close that guarantees a profit, keeps your customers cheering, and connects you with customers for life.
Carl Medford is the CEO of the Medford team.