Every real estate transaction is different, but the steps involved and their order are usually about the same. This year one of the best new practices I adopted to improve my level of service to my clients was to create form letters to explain each step of the real estate process and to indicate precisely what the clients should do next.
As I began using these letters, I would tweak them as needed. For example, when a buyer on one of my listings removes their structural contingency I send a letter that explains to my sellers that it is now time to order the septic and water tests. What my letter didn’t say, until today, was to do this NOW because the bank can’t approve the buyers loan to clear without these certifications (septic and water). When done promptly, it also allows for time to correct a well that may have failed the water test. Yes, believe it or not, many water tests fail due to build up of bacteria in the well and it needs to be shocked to fix it. Similarly, the septic could fail and this would require many steps to correct.
So, as I use these letters to guide my clients, I improve upon them so that they serve their purpose of helping the transaction to run smoothly. Recently a client assumed that they could bring the water and septic test results with them to the closing. They didn’t realize the importance of getting these tests done right away and also delivering them to their attorney right away. This is when I realized that I needed to edit my letter. It is so critical to be specific and clear as I guide my clients, because careful attention to each of these details is what helps to avoid delays and stress. For me, managing stress is what I do more than anything else in the midst of a real estate transaction. My new form letters are helping me to do this, and I hope are helping my clients to get a clear picture of their role in the process.