Communication is Key When Closing a Building
Closing a building is a complex process that needs a great deal of coordination in order for the building handover to the owners to go smoothly. This is an exciting time for both developer and homeowner, but the process can be daunting and even frustrating, mainly because of uncertainty of firm dates. This is where effective communication with the buyer comes into play. Ideally the closing process should start with communication updates that begin months away from completion.
But how and when to communicate a closing date? The buyer is probably unfamiliar with the extensive checklist of steps that must occur before a closing date can be firmly established. Many are under the control of the developer, but many are often determined by the city. So while it is difficult to put a firm date on completion of the building, giving the buyer a heads up of earliest potential completion date is a good practice. Generally an update letter at 90-days will start the process for both buyer and developer.
If done well, this 90-day notice will set out the necessary steps in the closing process. This should give buyers sufficient time to coordinate their team (mortgage, lawyer, notary, etc…) and gather the information necessary for closing. It is surprising how quickly the next 3-months will pass. Reminder notices along the way, perhaps at 60-days and 30-days (every developer will have a slightly different process) will help the process run smoothly and are great opportunities to highlight any potential delays or upcoming steps, such as walk-through scheduling.
Walk-through is the moment where the buyer and developer come together to inspect the home and address and fix any deficiencies or outstanding items. Having a well-informed and happy buyer show up at their new home is what it is all about.
At Key Marketing we have involved ourselves in the process to varying degrees for different developers. While every developer handles the completion process slightly differently, without question, the smoothest completions are those where communication between buyer and developer has been frequent and clear. Even in the case of unexpected delays, the majority of buyers are very understanding if strong communication of information has occurred along the way.