When you think of a realtor, what do you think their job description entails? Most people would say they help clients sell their home. Others would say they help people find their dream home. Others might say paste their face on every billboard, bench, or bus shelter to lure in customers.
These descriptions are all true. Providing guidance to both buyers and sellers and regardless of what side of the transaction they are representing, making sure the deal closes. Also creating awareness for not only yourself, but also listings you are representing is very important.
While those are arguably the most important, there are several more responsibilities when it comes to being a great realtor. They include:
- Determining their clients needs as well as their financial limits and expectations.
- Being able to perform a comparative market analysis to estimate home’s proper value.
- Maintain and update listings of available properties.
- Develop networks and cooperate with attorneys, mortgage lenders, title companies, and inspectors.
- Prepare all necessary paperwork including contracts, leases, deeds, and any document amendment.
The list is much longer but that covers some of the more important responsibilities. Would you ever expect your realtor to help move out a renter that is living in your unit while it is selling? Would you trust a realtor to manage vendors while you are not living in the area? At Cedar Association Realty, we have worked with clients and have gone above the call a normal Realtor would go.
Downtown Minneapolis Condo
We got the listing for a beautiful condo unit in a historic building located in the Elliot Park area of Downtown Minneapolis in March of 2017. There were two interesting aspects of the listing. The first was a tenant occupying the unit until the lease expired at the end of April.
The second was the owner of the unit was living and working abroad in Amsterdam, The Netherlands. From a communication stand point, Amsterdam is a 7-hour difference from the Twin Cities. Any documents that needed signing must be done through a virtual signing process. Any offers or questions for the seller usually had to be deferred to the next business day, due to the time difference. Potential buyers and their agents needed to have patience.
Rolling up our sleeves and getting to work
Even if an owner is local and selling a property that they are renting out, they will usually be doing any repairs or updates needed to get a home being sold. This was not the case. Aimee Franzen, the lead agent on the listing, and Michele Ramler the co-agent were responsible for communicating with the existing tenant as well as lining up vendors (and even performing work such as cleaning and painting themselves).
The unit was kept in great shape with an updated kitchen. But, it had been lived in by tenants over the years and needed a good thorough cleaning and fresh paint. To help out the owner who would be quite incapable of tracking down local vendors to perform the work, Aimee took care of the work herself.
After the work had been completed, it was ready to get the unit on the market. There was still a month left on the renters lease and every time a potential buyer was going to look at the unit, he had to be notified as he couldn’t be in the unit during showings. Strong communication was needed to ensure that not only the tenant was aware of the showings, but also that he made sure to keep the place clean and free of clutter.
Move out inspection
Despite several showings, the unit did not have an offer at the end of April when the renter’s lease ended. With the owner not being present, a move out inspection of the unit was needed to ensure the renter lived up to their end of the lease and didn’t leave anything damaged. On top of that, work with the owner to make sure the security deposit was returned to the renter.
After the tenant moved out there were a few things that was noted by Aimee upon the inspection. First off she noted now that the vanity wasn’t getting daily use, it would be a good idea to have that replaced. She was able to pick out an updated vanity that gave the bathroom a new look. Also inside the bathroom, it was noted there was a small water leak. Aimee collected bids and with the owner’s permission, had a vendor fix the leak and clean up any stains.
An offer had been accepted
A few weeks after the renter moved out, an offer was accepted on the condo. Great news for both the owner and Cedar Association Realty. Due to the owner’s location, this is where things get a bit more complicated.
While some signatures could be signed through a PDF e-sign document, a signature guarantee was needed by the owner, along with her current husband. The title company, through it’s investigation of the property, found a few other issues regarding signatures that were needed.
The title company noted that between the time the current owner had purchased the unit she was married, had changed her name, divorced and had remarried. Her first husband was on the original documents so he had to be tracked down to sign a quick claim deed, removing his name from the property. Next up, her current husband’s name had to be added to the property as since being married, as it took both parties names to sell the property.
Since both the seller and her husband were both in Europe they needed to go to the US embassy in Amsterdam to get their signature guarantee taken care of. If you are not aware a signature guarantee is a financial institution’s guarantee that a signature is genuine as well as its acceptance of any liability for any forgery within a transfer instruction. Since the seller and her husband couldn’t be there in person, this signature allowed the sale of the condo unit to go through.
The final piece of the piece of the puzzle was for the property to close. For owners who cannot be present at the closing of a home, a real estate seller may give another person power of attorney before or during the deal’s closing. The power of attorney document allows the agent, to act for the seller during the sale. The agent signs papers for the sale, such as the deed, in place of the seller. Aimee filled in and made sure all of the closing documents were taken care of and the condo would successfully close.
Doing what it takes to get the condo closed
As most home sale transactions are straight forward, occasionally there are some speed bumps along the way. This condo sale had more than a few speed bumps before it closed. The condo owner having trust in our agency and allowing Aimee to do everything from having work performed in the unit, communicating with and performing the move out inspection of the renter, communicating with the seller and making sure the proper documents were signed from abroad and finally representing the seller at the closing.
As we are wrapping up our first year of business, we have already completed several closings. Each closing having a unique story we want to share, much like the sale of our Minneapolis condo. Look for more case studies of our listings and ways we have helped our clients either purchase or sell a property. If you enjoy our work and are pondering moving yourself, give us a call. We would love to help you purchase or sell your next property, regardless of the situation. We are prepared to handle it.