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5 Ways to Help Your Clients Through the Closing Process

November 11 2011

The closing process can be a stressful time for your clients—homebuyers and sellers. Parties to a transaction are nervous and sometimes confused about the logistics of the transaction. Although consumers are more engaged in the real estate closing process than ever before, the information they’ve learned online or through friends and acquaintances may not always be correct or applicable to their transaction. This is a time when you can demonstrate your value as their trusted real estate professional by alleviating any confusion or misunderstandings with your clients. Here are a few ways you can make the closing process as pleasant as possible.

Tip 1: Communicate, Communicate, Communicate
Throughout your relationship with your clients, you’ll want to keep the lines of communication open. But this is extremely important during the closing process, when homebuyers may feel stressed and emotional. Anxiety builds with uncertainty and anticipation, so keeping them informed is a great way to assure homebuyers that their transaction is moving forward as it should.

A new tool from First American Title, myFirstAm™ may help you do this. First and foremost, the new myFirstAm portal is intended to keep everyone informed throughout the transfer-of-title process. With myFirstAm, real estate professionals can receive notifications via email or text message when key milestones in the closing process are complete. You can then promptly notify your client, keeping them up-to-date and happy.

For more about myFirstAm, visit www.myFirstAm.comwww.myFirstAm.com. You can also read the press release and check out our product description.

Tip 2: Explain Escrow/Closing to Your Clients
While your buyer and seller may be acquainted with the terms “escrow” and/or “closing,” they may not have a full understanding of what that process entails. Giving them a simple, concise explanation or definition can be infinitely helpful. As you know, real estate professionals use the term escrow to refer to the third party that safeguards the funds and signed documents necessary for the sale of property until all the terms of the purchase contract have been satisfied. Finding an easy way to explain this – perhaps even with a diagram or other informational chart – could be extremely helpful to your clients.

Tip 3: Create a Timeline for the Closing Process
One of the first questions before any important process is often, “What are the steps I need to take in order to achieve my goal?” In real estate, that question is usually, “How long is this going to take?” By outlining the steps of the closing process and detailing key milestones—like when the title commitment or earnest money is received and when documents are recorded—your clients may better understand the closing timeline.

Tip 4: Streamline the Paperwork
For many homebuyers and sellers, the paperwork is the most intimidating part of the closing. However, there are many technological tools that real estate professionals can use to help streamline the process for buyers and sellers. For example:

Anything you can do to streamline or simplify the paperwork process will be invaluable for your client’s peace of mind.

Tip 5: Itemize Closing Costs on a Spreadsheet
Nobody likes surprises, particularly when they’re being surprised by an expense. It’s a good idea to make sure that your client receives and reads the appropriate closing costs disclosure documents, including:

  • Title insurance fees
  • Inspection fees
  • Recording fees

If you need an unofficial estimate of these expenses, myFirstAm™ can help. One of the tools integrated into the portal helps calculate costs for title insurance and escrow services.

These are just a few tips to help improve the closing process for buyers and sellers. Following these suggestions will enhance your customer service and help strengthen your reputation as a communicative, supportive, and knowledgeable professional.