Representing a buyer in a contingency sale – where your client’s new home purchase is wholly reliant on a seamless execution of the sale of their property – is stressful. When your sellers are trying to coordinate dual transactions, timing is critical and any small obstacle can quickly escalate into a major crisis. So what can you do to help your client’s experience be as stress free as possible?
Follow these three steps:
Set proper expectations up front:The first time you meet with an agent representing a potential buyer, let them know your sellers are dealing with a contingency sale. Make it clear that you have a tight schedule and will need the agent and her clients to be prompt with offers, paperwork and processing.
Setting proper expectations will help in two ways. One: If the potential buyers are really interested in the property, they’ll move fast to work with you so they don’t risk losing it. Two: If they are dragging their feet or feeling indecisive about the property, they are likely to move on quickly. In both cases, setting proper expectations up front will ultimately save you and your clients from dealing with unnecessary stress.
Set a strict timeline and stick to it:Once you’ve accepted an offer, it’s time to start going through all the contingencies. Since your sellers can’t purchase their new home until their property has successfully closed, communicating with the buyer’s agent on a regular basis is absolutely critical to make sure you’re moving through the process as quickly as possible. Use prior transactions as a guideline to set deadlines for each step of the process and set reminders to connect with the buyer’s agent at regular intervals to make sure everything is on track. Equally as important, talk to your sellers on a regular basis to make sure they know where you’re at in the process and what’s next so they can coordinate their purchase accordingly. They will love you for it!
Be ready to fight for your client’s sanity:Be prepared to react to any situation. Keep other potentially interested buyers at the ready until all of the buyer’s financials are approved and the property is under contract. If (despite your best efforts to set a strict timeline) the buyer is stalling to deliver what you need to get to the next step of the process, make sure you are on top of it. That means that if deadlines are missed for any reason, from inspection paperwork to lead paint disclosures, you need to be prepared to file a Notice to Buyer to Perform to keep things on track. Most importantly – continue communicating with your sellers so they know what’s happening and what you’re doing to help.
The bottom line is, you must communicate frequently and honestly with your clients and be prepared to advocate for them if things get off track. If you can follow these two rules, your contingency deals will be as stress-free as possible!