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Realtor "Do's and Don'ts"

By: Ted Rood
Posted Fri, Aug 28 2015, 3:23 PM

We've previously explored the "Do's and Don'ts" for homebuyers, and uncovered some vital tips that can help or hinder the home buying process. In today's special edition, we examine hints for Realtors, whose actions during purchases are just as critical. As always, the "Do's" contain very real helpful points to avoid closing delays, while the "Don'ts" offer a good natured look at some real life situations that complicate or delay closings.

Do: Make sure to communicate all contract amendments, including seller contributions, to the lender immediately.
Don't: Add $5000 in seller paid costs to the terms, then wait until two days before closing to mention it to the lender.
Do: Ask the lender about any potential property condition concerns before writing the sales offer.
Don't: List 18 defective items in an amendment, stipulate the repairs be completed before closing, then forward to the lender once closing documents are produced.
Do: Discuss the terms of the loan with the loan officer in case your client has a simple question.
Don't: Explain to your buyer that you "know for a fact" that their rate is too high, because your brother-in-law is a lender and told you so.
Do: Reach a consensus with your client and the lender regarding realistic closing and loan commitment dates.
Don't: Agree to a 30 day closing, then spend 3 weeks negotiating the home inspection, telling lender to "hold off on the appraisal until we sort this out."
Do: Give the lender contact information for the settlement agent to ensure accurate and timely Good Faith Estimates.
Don't: Send the loan officer an accepted contract with 4 week close, mentioning "we'll figure out the title company next week."
Do: Specify any personal items included in the sale are at "no contributing value" to the transaction.
Don't: Add "antique pool table included for additional $2500" to the sales contract.
Do: Advise your client on the importance of home inspections, and mediate any condition concerns.
Don't: Write amendment for seller to pay an additional $5000 of buyer's closing costs "due to damaged electrical wiring and interior mold."
Do: Obtain expert opinions when septic, well, or foundation issues need to be addressed.
Don't: Ask the lender to "call your appraiser, and tell him to not mention those big cracks in the basement."
Do: Consider recommending lenders you've received great service from.
Don't: Ask a lender to pay $1000/mn toward "marketing" to join your list of 5 "preferred lenders."
Do: Realize that TILA lending changes will greatly impact closings' timing starting in October.
Don't: Tell your client "any loan should close in 3 weeks, if the lender is any good."

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