Purchasing a home is a BIG deal! For most individuals it will be the largest purchase of their lives. As a closing attorney, I take being a part of such a significant life event very seriously. So why do I call every buyer on every closing? There are actually several reasons.
First, there is nothing more important than speaking with a buyer early in the process to introduce myself and to answer any questions he or she may have. Learning that the purchaser is a first-time homebuyer, buying a second home or moving from another state helps me understand that buyer’s particular situation on the front end of the transaction. I also provide the buyer my cell phone number so they feel comfortable calling me anytime throughout the process. By speaking with the buyer prior to the closing I truly believe that it reduces the general anxiety that a buyer normally feels attending a closing. When I walk in the closing room both the buyer and myself know that we have spoken and are genuinely excited about finally meeting in person for the first time.
Second, knowing whether a buyer will be in town for the closing or needs to close by a power of attorney is an aspect of the process that the closing attorney wants to know as early as possible. While many of the agents will let us know if this is the case, some agents do not know as their clients never informed them. When I learn during our conservation that a buyer will not be in town for the closing, I am able to immediately coordinate a mail away closing or power of attorney with the lender. One less thing that can cause issues late in the game.
Third, many times there will be only one buyer listed on a contract. I always confirm with the buyer that he or she is the only one going on title. I cannot tell you how many times I find out during my call that the buyer’s spouse or another person is supposed to be on title. Why is learning this fact so important? Because oftentimes the non-borrowing buyer doesn’t appreciate that he or she will need to attend closing to sign some of the loan documents. Without learning this information early, sometimes we don’t find out until we get the CD or closing package. As you all know, that is very late during the process and can create major issues if the non-borrowing buyer had not planned on being at the closing.
Last, and SO important, is discussing my law firm’s wiring protocol. We have all heard of the fraud going around the country regarding wiring instructions. During my conversation with the buyer I initially find out whether he or she anticipates bringing money to closing for a down payment or closing costs. If they are, I explain that my office will be calling him or her when we circulate the ALTA and wiring instructions so we can verbally confirm the wiring instructions. I further explain that if he or she receives an email with the wiring instructions and did not connect with our office, that he or she must obtain my law firm’s main number directly from his or her Realtor and call into my office to confirm the instructions prior to wiring money. Realtors please emphasize the importance of your clients verifying the wiring instructions prior to sending money.
Calling every buyer personally is something I have done my entire career. I believe it adds a level of service every Realtor should expect and demand from his or her closing attorney.
As always, if you need help with anything at all, please do not hesitate to contact me anytime at (912) 484-1996 (even nights and weekends) or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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