Top 10 Realtor Mistakes & How to Avoid Them

Truly professional, top producing Realtors are ones who…can keep deals together. They routinely get all parties to the closing table by avoiding the following top 8 mistakes…

Mistake #1 – Poor, incomplete, late, or last-minute…or ZERO communication. Not knowing what is critical info to pass on, and when.
Solution #1 – Share critical info early. 
Will any of your clients be absent from closing? Absentee party means POA or Remote closer
Recent Divorce/Marriage/Deaths?  Critical important and time-sensitive.
Need for separate time or rooms? Sensitive issues?
Short-Sale; REO; RELO – we need contact info/docs asap for their rep

Mistake #2 – Set unrealistic expectations in clients’ minds – Not preparing clients in advance for how inevitable bumps in the road will be handled.
Solution #2 Set realistic expectations – Communicate that bumps will be encountered; Emotions will come into play; Prepare for surprises
Assure them: Set framework for how these will be successfully addressed – Good solutions will be found, and goal will be accomplished
Keep their goals and big-picture in their minds…for buying/seling the house in the first place.
Tell borrowers to expect to be asked for info early, often; even docs they provided before; even for items that may seem silly
Speed and exact follow-thru with requests by LENDER and TITLE = KEYS on-time closings!!
Closing is for signing, not reading – notify title co/lender ASAP for readers so we can get them the docs in advance and address questions.

Mistake #3 – Putting off sharing bad news. The only thing worse than bad news…is bad news later! Kill the monster while its small!
Solution #3 Get moving on solutions as quickly as possible.  Don’t be afraid to address the potential “tough stuff”, gently, directly, confidently:
1) Say have bad news, and options to solve the problem (Options give control)
2) Share news, and Solution Options
3) Listen, do not interrupt
4) Empathize; I understand
5) Join; wouldn’t like it either
6) Review options, advise pos/neg
7) Ask for response
8) Give assurance

Mistake #4 – Make mountains out of molehills
Solution #4 Be the professional that keeps deals together
The true sign of a professional Realtor is the one that keeps deals together. Smooth out problems. Anyone can be a problem identifier – Be a problem solver! Seek solutions, don’t give up. Seek compromise, don’t give up. Put any issue in true perspective – Make it no big deal if it’s not. We’ll find a way to make it all work out. Lead! Do not freak out. Your calm, caring, confidence is contagious.

Mistake #5 – Scheduling the closing before talk to loan officer.
Solution #5 – Avoid setting unrealistic expectations; Avoid causing considerable inconvenience, making for unhappy buyers/sellers.
Can’t close until the loan is Clear To Close – The lender drives the bus. Back-seat driving can help!
Expect last-minute issues…that can/will be solved.

Mistake #6 – Being unfamiliar with the CD-prep work flow – Know who’s driving the bus, and when.
Solution #6 Know how CD gets to Borrower and Sellers
BUYER CD – Lender sends out 4 days prior to closing, including closing date. Privacy laws prevent it from going to anyone else without permission.
SELLER CD – Title cannot get seller’ payoffs until listing agent returns the info. request we’ve sent them -we email these out immediately after we receive the contract, to BOTH Realtors. They are different.

Mistake #7 – Bring up Fayette County’s property taxes, once collected, actually are for the fiscal year of July 1st thru June 30th. This has virtually nothing to do with buyers and this usually just confuses them.  Fayette Co. is the only county in the state that Charges for a fiscal year, but collects them on a  calendar year. Buyer will see no difference.  They get a bill at end of the year, like all other counties. But that bill is actually for the 2nd half of current year and find half of the coming year.  Better off not even addressing this unless prompted.

Mistake #8 – Not understanding how a closing takes place, timing, locations, when there is an absentee party:
If all buyers are in one location and all sellers are in another location, this is NO problem. Both closings take place the same DAY, and likely at different times.
The problem is only if borrowers are in separate locations than other buyers…and the absentee party refuses to use a POA:
Day-1 We email all docs to remote notary closer. They close with the absentee parties, and FedEx all docs back to us.
Day-2 We receive the FedEx package and close with the local parties in the afternoon.
ALL DOCS ARE ALL DATED FOR DAY-2.  Funds are disbursed on Day-2.

Mistake #9 Allow the contract to cause loan-approval delay
Solution #9 – Remove all personal property on contract as part of sales price
Lender must be able ID value of the real property, vs. personal property
FHA, VA and KY Housing do not permit it – They’ll require revised contract signed by all parties
All borrowers must sign the contract as Buyers
Married sellers – both spouses must be on contract, attend closing.

Mistake #10 – Only look at your commission amount on the seller CD
Solution #10 – Know why the CD is being sent to you. Prevents CD & checks from having to be retyped & delay closing
Review all numbers, spellings, marital status, commission base, spelling of your agency name.