Supporting Your Customers Through a Real Estate Transaction

Content Written By: April Wilson, Ryan Winter LLC contributing writer

Your potential homebuyers will most likely need a lot of support, references and guidance while getting through the buying process. Whether they are first-time homebuyers, new to the area or haven’t been through the process in years, they will need to lean on you for advice.

While, yes, as a Realtor, it’s your job to follow the contract and to make sure, to the best of your ability, your client gets the house they want — it’s also good to provide suggestions and resources to your client to help them through the transaction. Specifically, what advice can you give them on who to hire to get specific jobs accomplished.

Support For Your Customers After Their Offer is Accepted

Once a buyer makes an offer and that offer is accepted, where do they go from there? In addition to helping your customers understand the contract and a timeline for closing, things like getting a home inspection, home repairs, finding an insurance provider, home warranties and utility transfer details are all vital pieces of information you should also provide.

Help your client by providing a list of all the little things they may need to consider, and then adding your recommendations on who can help. You never know, a simple list of resources may be the reason your buyer suggests you to family and friends looking to buy or sell property. According to The National Association of Realtors, “39% of sellers who used a real estate agent found their agents through a referral by friends or family.” Having a handout with resources is a quick an easy way to make sure your customer feels supported.

What Should Be on Your List of Resources

This list can be as simple or as comprehensive as you would like it to be. Honestly, it depends on how many recommendations you can provide. You want this list to have trusted and reliable information for your clients. A list that is not helpful or leads to unreliable work could hurt you more than help you. Your customers may have workers they trust in mind already. This list is simply a go-to guide with suggestions to help your customers get started in finding the right person/company to help them with whatever work needs to get done.

Here Are a Few Good Options For Your Resource List

During the transaction, your homebuyers will need to get a home inspection and then possibly fix any issues before moving in. Here are a few suggestions your resource list should contain:

● Home inspector recommendations

● Repairmen, preferred contractors recommendations

● Insurance provider recommendations

● Home warranty information

● Title company recommendations

● Utility transfer information

If you have been in the real estate business for a while, you probably have many go-to professionals you suggest to customers when they ask for a recommendation. Creating a go-to, compressive list of resources is an efficient way to keep all your trusted contacts in one document you can quickly access for customers.

Home Inspector Recommendations

As you know, homebuyers will want to get a home inspection after an offer is agreed upon. Things found in the home inspection may lead to re-negotiation of the price. Providing one or two trusted home inspector recommendations and why you recommend them is a good way to start a resource list.

Repairmen, Contractor Recommendations

Once the inspection comes back, there may be a few repairs needed. If the seller does not want to make the repairs but is willing to provide a dollar amount to the buyer to make the fixes later, you’ll want to have a few recommendations in mind to help your buyer. Things like preferred contractors, a trusted roofer, plumber, HVAC technician, electrician, etc. are all good things to add to the list. If you do not have a trusted person or business in one of these fields, that’s okay. You don’t have to add all of this. You may have a trusted person in a field not named here that is worth adding. The point is to provide your buyer with a few trusted sources to help them get started. 

Having a good network of individuals in these fields can be helpful to build your business. Asking other Realtors who they use or looking into who your brokerage office recommends are good ways to build your resource list.  It may take time to grow your resource list, but a good list of resources can be invaluable to your customers.

Insurance Provider Recommendations

Most homebuyers will be required by their mortgage lenders to get insurance. Having a good insurance broker, or a title company that can help with the insurance can be a weight lifted off your client’s shoulders. Having a good title company behind you can help you with a lot of the closing process. Things like the insurance and even escrow holding can all be taken care of by a good title company. 

Home Warranty Information

You will want to provide your buyer with information on what a home warranty is and what it covers. This all depends on the age of the home and appliances, and whether or not the seller will cover any of the warranty. “Although technically not insurance, warranties are very similar in that the homeowner is paying an up-front fee to protect against a potentially huge replacement cost,” Angie’s List said. Angie’s List has the differences between the three main home warranty options — basic, enhanced and optional coverage — in their home warranty information article. 

While a lot of this information may be in the contract already, it’s a good idea to have some information available in your resource list on Home Warranties in case the seller does not include it.

Title Company Recommendations

It’s a good idea to have a good title company in mind. US Patriot Title can help you and your clients with complimentary transaction-related legal support, same-day funding for most transactions, simple, secure online transaction management system, one dedicated closing agent for your transaction from start to finish, escrow funds held at no charge, preliminary title searches and fast access to your closing agent.

Utility Transfer Information

Once closing day comes, your new homeowner may need help getting their utilities turned on or transferred over. Having a list of utility providers, their contact info, etc. can make moving day headache free for your buyers. Unless your new homeowner has lived in the area before, they probably do not know much about the utility providers in the area. Having resource information on the utility providers and how to contact them is key to making the moving experience easier for your customers.

The Goal

The overall goal is to provide resources and support for your homebuyers. Making their move as stress-free and as smooth as possible will only help you get a good referral later. After all, people talk — and you want their recommendation. Taking the time to pull together your resources in one place will help you to quickly and efficiently help your clients. This simple list is a nice added touch your customers will remember. Your helpful suggestions will give your homebuyers a great place to start when making tough decisions.