"Palos Verdes Resident since 1947"

September Newsletter

Dear Neighbor:

After a brief lull, the market has resumed a fairly active pace, though not quite as crazy as last Spring.  The difference this time is that the market is more price-sensitive – you can’t just put a house out there at any price and expect activity.  This is normally an indication that buyers think the market is close to topping out.  If anyone has a logical explanation for these seemingly random spurts, please let me know.

Out here in the trenches I run into a lot of stuff.  The subject this month is transaction coordinators.  A transaction coordinator is a person hired by the realtor to handle the “routine paperwork” on your transaction.  Most of them are good at what they do (basically paper shuffling), but the very notion of a transaction coordinator should be a red flag for you, so let’s look at this:  you have your agent to guide you thru the purchase or sale.  A significant part of that is explaining to you the myriad forms and disclosures you must complete during the process, not to mention their potential implications.   While, to an agent who does this every day, most of the paperwork seems “routine”, it is not to you who don’t do this every day.  Some aspects of “common practice” in the business might be unexpected to you.  So there is no such thing as “routine paperwork”.  It should be the agent’s job to go over it with you and answer any questions you have, as tedious as this may seem to the agent.   A transaction coordinator, who has almost never seen the property being sold, has almost never met any of the other parties, and is rarely as experienced as the agent, is simply not in a position to give knowledgeable answers.  And if you’re the seller, the advice of your knowledgeable agent when filling out disclosures could mean the difference between a smooth sale and a nasty letter from the buyer’s attorney after escrow closes.

So why are transaction coordinators inserted into the process?  For the benefit of the agent who hires them, period.  They are of no benefit to you (even if it’s your agent who has the TC), the buyer or seller of your house, or their agent.  In fact, TC’s are often the cause of extra work for everyone, as one more person is inserted into an already involved process, who must be copied on everything and kept up to speed; and for what purpose?  Bluntly, so that the agent doesn’t have to pay as much attention to your transaction, and can chase other business or have more leisure time.  It “frees them” of the tedious paperwork.  I’m sorry, but agents are well-paid to sell your house or help you buy it.  The fact that an agent considers “routine paperwork” too tedious to get involved with, or beneath him/her, should be a large red flag to you, the potential customer.  One caveat:  I do know some excellent agents who use TC’s appropriately, but they’re the exception.

My wife and I just returned from our first vacation in 10 years.  10 years.  This goes back to the reason I got into this business in the first place 31 years ago:  I committed to be the kind of agent I wished I’d found when I was the customer, which is not one who sells houses between vacations or is off on the golf course when they should be paying attention to your sale.  And not one who assigns “routine paperwork” to an assistant or transaction coordinator so that they have more leisure time.  If the business is too difficult for them to do the right way, there are other careers.

As always, I’m here to answer any questions – 310 613-1076.  I’ve got several new PV listings coming up, so call me if you’re interested, or check my website:  www.DanaGraham.com.

Sincerely,

Dana H Graham

DRE #00877973

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