Having come from a corporate background where communication was almost an art form, I am sometimes surprised when I am in the middle of a home transaction to find that others involved in the transaction may not communicate in the same way or frequency that I am used to.

I realize that we have a cross section of individuals involved in a transaction – the Main Players – Buyer & Seller – Supporting Players – Listing Agent & Buyers Agent – and then the Cast of Specialists:

Lender/Mortgage Broker/Bank – Key Player – Without him/her  the rest of the cast would not be able to honor their commitment.

Underwriter– Verifies credit, employment, assets, financials, meets lender guidelines and works with mortgage broker/bank to get the famous “clear to close”.

Appraiser – Inspects home to make sure it is worth the value of the requested loan amount.  Uses market data from current and past sales to determine value based on program criteria.  Specialist in specific property type and hopefully area.

Lawyer – Whether on the seller’s side or the buyer’s side he/she has to make sure all the legalities are kept up to date…commitment dates, title search, survey, any additional addendums specific to the transaction.

Surveyor – Surveys property and submits report covering legal description and boundary lines.

Title Insurance Report –Report of chain of title to make sure title is free and clear without additional encumbrances or issues.


Home Inspector– Inspects home to make sure the mechanical, electrical, water, structure, appliances are in acceptable condition.  Results are given to buyer and if repairs are needed negotiated by seller and buyer via their respective lawyers.

Specialty Inspections:     Radon Inspector, Mold Inspectors, Termite, Radon, Well and other specialized inspections depending on regional requirements.  Specifically trained in their speciality to discover if their are issues that need to be addressed to rectify the environmental issue they are inspecting.

The above list covers the most common people involved in a real estate transaction.  Add to these their own staff and the list can be quite large.

Without clear communication to all the necessary parties things can fall through the cracks.  When they do it normally falls back to either the listing agent or the buyer’s agent to repair the damage.  I was tempted to do a project flow chart like the ones I used to do when I was involved in a project.  Perhaps another time and another post.

With so many players it is crucial to have open and clear communication.  There are commitment dates to be met once the contract is signed and accepted.  Mortgage commitment dates, inspection dates and especiall the closing dates.

When any of these dates are not met there are legal ramifications.  So all players must be willing to keep all the other players up to date on their particular area.

When one drops their end of the transaction the whole transaction suffers.  The trickle down effect can make or break the deal.

So how  can you live up to your part of the transaction.

!.  Only promise what you can deliver within your scope of control.

2.  Under promise and over perform or deliver – Example:  If you know you can meet a date always add a cushion to cover unforseen circumstances.  We always had two dates that we would aim for – one was the actual date completion date  and the other one was our internal date usually a day before the actual published date.  We worked to meet the drop dead date instead of the completion or actual date.

3.  Be clear and concise when communicating commitment dates and then keep the commitment date.

4.  Don’t make a commitment date if you don’t have total control over it and have the necessary leverage to force the other party to meet their date.  That means I don’t promise my seller anything that I don’t have control over – so I can’t promise when the appraisal is going to be done, the mortgage commitment is going to be completed or the dates when inspections will be done unless you are able to make the players involved meet the commitments. See 1 above.

5.  Build a team of other professionals that are committed to meet your deadlines and have the control to execute, as well as commit.

6.  Set your communication expectations at the beginning with either your seller, buyer, lawyer, loan officer, inspector etc. and follow-up with them to make sure they are on track to meet their commitment dates.

7.  Don’t set unrealistic expectations because in today’s market the rules are constantly changing and everyone can be blind sided when they least expect it.

I am sure my fellow agents can add to this list and we all have experiences that make us realize that we only have so much control over the transaction once we find the home or have a buyer put in their offer on our listing.

Straight forward honesty goes a long way to communication issues.  Even if the only update you can provide is “I have no update” at least you have communicated that to your client and they don’t feel like they are out of the loop.  Keep everyone informed, find out at the beginning how often they want status reports and keep those commitments with all the players.

Its a great play and we all want to have the curtain come down when we have a successful closing!  I think I hear the applause now…..(bow, bow,)  and Thank you!  We love you!……

Quick Property Search

Max Price:
Min Price:
Min Rooms:
Min Baths:

Random Testimonial

  • ~ A Dream Come True

    A Dream Come True"In today's economic environment, home buyers (especially first timers like us) need an experienced professional to help them locate the right house, understand financing and legal concerns, and to simply be a reassuring friends when obstacles arise.  We could not have been happier with the guidance provided by Evelyn Santiago in our home buying adventure.  From our first showings in 18 inches of fresh snow, to finally getting keys to our new home, Evelyn was right there with us.  She was immediately available at any time, kept us informed of any information available, and made us feel like the most important clients she had ever worked with. As first time homebuyers, we weren't even sure why type of property we really wanted.  Evelyn was patient is showing us townhomes and single family homes, discussed various advantages and disadvantages of each, and helped us to determine exactly what we were looking for.  As we modified our list of desired traits in a new home, Evelyn was quick to respond by searching the MLS, suggesting properties, and setting up showings.  After seeing twenty-six different properties, we finally found the house that we knew we could call 'Home'.   Her experience and in-depth knowledge of the fluctuating home values enabled her to not only suggest an offer on the house, but she also accurately predicated the price we would pay for the home after final counter-offer negotiations completed!

  • Read more testimonials »