Course corrections during escrow

Dated: January 11 2021

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When most people think about real estate negotiations, they focus on making or responding to an offer to buy and getting the best contract price. The part that usually wakes me up at night happens later in the process, during escrow when inspections and appraisal create surprises for my clients and disrupt their expectations of how things will turn out at closing. Emotions can run so high when buyers learn that something about their dream house needs repair, or when sellers see a few thousand dollars slipping through their fingers, that my job becomes protecting my clients from themselves.

In order to prepare for these bumps in the road, I usually tell clients at the beginning that every escrow has one or two complications—things that look like disasters when you first encounter them. I also repeatedly remind them that it helps to think of dollar amounts as a percentage of the transaction price. Five thousand dollars taken away from what you expect to receive, or added to what you expect to pay is a big blow in most people’s daily life, but it’s only seven tenths of a percent of a $700,000 transaction. The fact that I provide education at key moments like these, and create a negotiation safety valve when tempers run high, makes me feel confident that Realtors won’t be replaced by technology anytime soon.

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DAVID DUNLAP

As a residential real estate executive with an extensive background in corporate marketing, I am able to apply unusually strong skills in marketing communications, e-marketing, strategic planning and ....

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