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What Goes On Behind the Scenes at a Real Estate Office?

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Most people would think that all a real estate agent does is to match buyers with the right home, show them the ins and outs of that home – and have them sign a dotted line to purchase the home. If they only knew…

The truth is that real estate agents have a TON of things to deal with to make sure everything goes smoothly with a transaction. In fact, showing houses is probably the simplest part of it all. Between the negotiation process, countless amendments and addendums, going back and forth and then finally reaching the point to sign documents – an agent has their hands full.

The Ball Starts Rolling When Two Parties Agree to Collaborate

From that moment that both agents have come to a consensus on a property and the contract is negotiated, the transaction will move over to the lender and the lender will then begin their process. A lender’s office is typically completely overloaded with paperwork – signs of a long, arduous and very detailed amount of meticulous processing that must be done prior to closing.

One very important aspect of buying a house is to make sure you have a clear title. Real estate agents will send an order to the title company to start the title search process as soon as there is agreement on the property, usually while the lender is finalizing paperwork. And as there is with a lender, there is also mountain of paperwork involved during the investigation of a title.

The Closing Marks the Beginning of Checks and Double-Checks

At the closing table, there will be two stacks of documents for the parties to sign. One is about getting the money to actually pay for the house (the loan) and the other stack of paper pertains to the actual selling of the property. After all is signed, said and done – the monies exchange hands and the deed changes hands. The buyer gets the deed and the seller gets their check.

The minute both parties walk away, a detailed process begins starting with review of all the paperwork. Files are processed, deeds are checked and double-checked for any inconsistencies or problems and escrows are taken care of. Escrow is calculated within the loan to cover real estate taxes but there are also other incidences of escrow that the agents’ office and affiliates must manage. An example is an undone part of a newly constructed home. For instance if the sod has not been laid at the time of closing – the money to complete that work will go into escrow and once the work is completed, two departments will communicate to ultimately release the funds. This is just one aspect of how things are managed after the fact and behind the scenes.

Organizing Documents for Future Reference

After all documents are signed and the parties have exchanged relevant items, the process of documentation begins. Yet another team processes everything. All data is filed electronically and then the paperwork is taken to storage. We then maintain all files for a minimum of five years and made accessible to the IRS, a court, and a few other parties – with permission. The physical documents are maintained in a warehouse or storage facility designed to protect paper documents.
A question that we are frequently asked is about the fees that buyers and sellers will often see as result of the process of engaging in a buy or sell transaction. As you can see from the above-mentioned stages of a real estate transaction, much goes on behind the scenes. Buyers and sellers will see fees as a result of all the time spent on all these things; a closing fee, an escrow fee, commission to cover lengthy paperwork processes and more.

Remember, there are a lot of good people standing behind your Realtor and together we are working to make sure you have the best possible experience in your real estate endeavors!

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