I had a home inspection done on one of my pending listings yesterday afternoon. It's a 20 year old frame home, which for my market area is ancient and a little out of the ordinary, since most of our homes our concrete block. I was a little bit nervous and hoping there weren't going to be any major issues to deal with. We are scheduled to close the 30th of this month so I don't have much time to sort things out. As always, I had helped the Seller negotiate repair limitations of $500.00 for termites(WDO) and $500.00 for structural/mechanical issues, just to be on the safe side.
Anyway, this morning I get the e-mail from the selling agent to let me know we have serious inspection issues. She also sent me a copy of the inspection report and the WDO report. Darn it!!! We have termites!, wood rot and major AC issues. Well, being the good little REALTOR® that I am, I pick up the phone and call my "peeps", Wendal, my HVAC guy, Dan the Termite Man and Khan, my handyman and wood rot specialist. They all return my call within 5-10 minutes and stop what they are doing to go by the house and check it out. Within one hour, I have estimates from all three and time set aside on their schedules to get it taken care of.
OK, now I'm prepared to call my Sellers. So I give them a call, explain the situation, go over the estimates and within 10 minutes I have authorization to move forward with the repairs. Fortunately, we had spent time during the listing presentation discussing inspections and repair issues and the Sellers were educated. Even though the repairs came in about $2,000($1,000 over our negotiated limits) they understood that these were serious issues and would not just go away. So, they agreed, let's solve the problem and close the transaction.
Now, a little over an hour after receiving the report and e-mail from the selling agent, I give her a call. Folks, for some reason she seemed to be surprised that I called back so quickly, not to moan and groan about a problem but to let her know the problem had been solved. Repairs had been approved and scheduled and the signed repair addendum is on the way over from the Sellers. I think this REALTOR(R) will be anxious to show and sell my listings in the future.
What could have been a deal breaker was not even a bump in the road. It was just a couple of calls to the right "peeps" and a well informed Seller and we are back on tract.
Folks, it's all about educating your customers/clients and having people, that you have worked with for years, that are willing to drop everything and help you out when you need them.
So, have you built and nurtured your business relationships("peeps")? Are you in a position to solve problems this quickly? Are your Customers/clients educated and well aware of issues that my arise during the contract period? I hope so. There's a lot more involved, with being a listing Broker, than marketing.
By the way, here is a link to a great discussion on Home inspections, by John McKenna, that was posted a few days ago. It wasn't a featured post and kind of slipped through the cracks but it does have almost 100 comments on it. The comment thread is awesome. Give it a read.
***OK, the photo is of baby mocking birds(peeps) taken by me last year. They had nested in the bush by our front door.