Upon transitioning from litigation to residential transactional real estate, I realized something refreshing. In real estate, everyone wants the deal to close.
In litigation, the interests of the parties are not aligned and the litigants, even in success, are still subjected to extreme stress and the expenditure of significant amounts of money. In a real estate transaction, assuming the buyer wants to buy and the seller wants to sell, the interests of all involved are the same. Everyone wants the deal to close. The challenge is that there are numerous players in a real estate transaction; the buyer(s), the seller(s), the lender (and every person within that organization that will touch the file), the real estate title and settlement company or perhaps two (and every person within that organization that will touch the file), the vendors that both lenders and real estate title and settlement companies use (surveyor, appraiser, title abstractor, etc.), and of course, the listing agent and the buyer’s agent. Each of the players listed above also has to acquire information from each other and from other entities (e.g., HOA, seller’s payoff lender) in order to bring the transaction to a successful closing.
The vast majority of the time, it is the real estate agent that refers their clients to a lender and real estate title and settlement company. It is no secret that realtor referrals are extremely important in order to grow and retain business for these two important service providers. However, because of the number of stakeholders as described above, the numerous touch points in a transaction, and the information that must be acquired from third parties it is not uncommon to experience hurdles and hiccups along the way. Moreover, sometimes the challenges are no one’s fault, like title issues that are discovered.
Having conducted and/or managed over 10,000 real estate transactions, it is clear that real estate agents don’t want to look bad in front of their clients, and lenders and real estate title and settlement companies don’t want to look bad in front of the real estate agents that refer them business. However, this can create an atmosphere of defensiveness and finger pointing when things don’t go smoothly. In those times, remember, “we all want the same thing.”
Working collaboratively toward solutions rather than combatively with finger pointing is better for all involved, particularly our shared clients, the buyer(s) and seller(s).