By Mark Hite
President, Greater Chattanooga REALTORS®
On a recent business trip, I realized there are numerous parallels between airline travel today and a home purchase. At times both processes are a case of “hurry up and wait."
Most airline travelers today, book their flight in advance and arrive early on the day of travel to ensure they are ready to go. This would be likened to a home buyer making loan application and getting pre-approved for a purchase so that when they are ready to shop for a home, they are truly really to roll. Once at the airport they must produce credentials and identification, while a home buyer normally must summit recent bank statements, taxes and pay stubs. Here you hurry up and submit and then wait for the “pre-approval letter”.
Once checked in, the rush to the security check commences. The sometimes-daunting line and subsequent search, is very similar to a home search. Checking every detail on your wish list for a home, looking for any defects or flaws, that can easily be spotted by a visual inspection or quick internet fact check. Next comes the home inspection, which leaves no stone unturned, if only home inspectors had X-ray vision like the modern scanners which screen our persons and prod our personal belongings in airports today. Standing in your sock feet, waiting for your bags to emerge from a scanner is very much like waiting for the results of your home inspection, hoping all is in good order and you can proceed forward with your plans.
Off you rush to the gate, only to wait for the call to board. In this competitive market, waiting for the appraisal results might seem like an eternity, when it’s really only a matter of days. Just as the flight crew checks and readies the plane, an appraiser checks every box and verifies he’s ready to submit, only to have “appraisal review” begin at the lender. This final review, seems awfully similar to a pilot’s final check before announcing he’s ready to proceed
We are now in the home stretch and seated on the plane, only to once again wait while the ground crew loads your bags as the tower and pilot coordinate final details of your trip. Much the same takes place in the final days of residential real estate transaction. The title company and lender prepare disclosures and paperwork for the buyer and seller to sign, while final checks and updates on the loan application are verified.
You think you are done and ready to be gone, only now you pull to the staging area on the tarmac to begin a new wait for your turn to take off. Recent banking reform requires a closing disclosure with all costs and terms be disclosed 3 days prior to a residential loan closing. Here again we wait for the days to tick by so you are fully informed and prepared for this possible 30-year trip.
While this all may seem simplistic and a little absorb, the simple fact is that those airlines with the best reviews make the traveling process seamless and smooth and others, simply do not. The same is true with real estate professionals, a well prepared member of Greater Chattanooga Realtors can guide a home buyer through every step of the transaction and make it a calm and smooth process…..at the same time, attempting to go it alone in a real estate transaction, will be like flying with one of those “other” airlines