In the Trenches: When Closing Seems Elusive
The hurdles to completing a complex sale can be daunting. But your clients’ well-being make your extra efforts worthwhile.
November - December
An Agent From Heaven
I used to specialize in helping underwater homeowners. After seeing data on local properties in default, I stopped by one of the homes and asked the owner if I could help her. As I explained the reason for my visit, the owner began to break down in tears and called me her “angel from heaven.” I was surprised to hear that, as this wasn’t the typical response I received in these kinds of situations.
I learned that the owner had fallen behind on her mortgage, was recently divorced, and had been diagnosed with multiple sclerosis. Apparently, just before I rang her doorbell, she had been praying and asking for divine intervention in her life. She literally regarded me as the answer to her prayers.
We worked together for months, finally selling her home as a short sale. I’m still friends with her on social media, and since this trial in her life, she has remarried and settled in another town, and her two children are thriving as adults. I still smile when I think of her response that fateful day.—Roberta Waters, Realty Executives Boston West, Framingham, Mass.
A Hairy Path to Closing
The closing date on the sale of my clients’ home was delayed three months. Just before the original settlement date, I learned through the buyer’s agent that the buyers had some issues on previous tax returns, which snagged their financing. However, the buyers worked out an arrangement with the IRS, and as long as they adhered to the plan—which involved three months of repayment for uncollected taxes—they would be approved to purchase the home.
The sellers agreed to a later closing but were nervous about the buyers’ ability to fulfill the sale contract. I checked in with the loan officer regularly to make sure the buyers’ financing was on track so I could provide updates to my clients. About a week before the new closing date, the loan officer seemed to have disappeared. I couldn’t reach anyone at the office. But the buyer’s agent assured me everything was moving forward. It wasn’t until I was sitting at the closing table with my clients and the buyers that I found out the mortgage company, which was based in another city, closed the local branch and fired all the personnel. Fortunately, the company had worked with the buyers in the interim to finish their loan. My clients and I were still feeling the stress, as they were under contract to purchase another home in another state. They had been on pins and needles, fearing they might lose their new home if this transaction didn’t close. It was a huge relief when they were able to put this behind them and move on with their lives.—Robert Horbatt, ABR, CRS, RE/MAX Achievers, Lewis Center, Ohio