As the poet Robert Burns wisely said, “even the best laid plans…can go astray,” and this is particularly true when it comes to completing an Offer and Acceptance and managing the subsequent settlement process. Let’s face it, sometimes “stuff happens” and things just don’t go to plan, even for the most experienced of agents.
Not surprisingly, when delays or disputes occur tempers can fray, communications become strained and it can be a stressful experience for all parties.
However, in most cases we have found that clients are more likely to remain co-operative and understanding when a problem does arise depending upon how the issue is addressed and resolved. In fact, the way in which a situation is handled can make all the difference when getting a deal back on track.
Below we’ve outlined 5 steps to assist agents when errors occur and things don’t go to plan.
5 Steps to Get a Settlement Back on Track
1. Make an Accurate Assessment of the Situation– Remove any emotion and stay calm whilst getting clear on all the facts and potential repercussions of the situation. Assess the situation and come up with some viable solutions.
2. Communicate, Communicate, Communicate– Get in touch with all relevant parties, explain the issues and keep everyone informed of the situation as soon as you can. Keep in contact with all parties as things progress, milestones are reached and timelines are achieved.
3. Look For a Win-Win Solution– Ask yourself “what can I offer each party and how can I resolve this situation with the best outcome for all involved?” Remember to look at the situation from your client’s perspective and keep their interests in mind.
4. Don’t Play the Blame Game– When issues occur there is no point trying to point the finger and assign blame to others. Instead, take responsibility, be proactive, manage the situation and do what you can do to bring things back on track.
5. If Required, Request an Extension to Settlement– In the event that settlement needs to be rescheduled, ask for an extension of time. Making sure that you set realistic time frames, with deadlines you can meet…and ensure you don’t miss any of them.
Next time a deal goes off track or is delayed, how will you handle the situation?