​If you’re a real estate agent, you likely already know that the promise of the proposed escrow date is elusive at best. No matter how much scrambling you do, something always seems to pop up at the last minute. These delays are not only frustrating for you, they can be downright debilitating for your clients.

If your client is getting ready to close on a new home immediately after selling their old home, even a small delay can be enough to send the whole transaction into chaos. Instead of merely providing the standard warnings, you may want to convince your clients to prepare for the worst.

Plan on It

Some clients will do their homework before they ever make an offer. They already know that lenders don’t always come through and home inspections may turn up some nasty details about the property. What they may not know though is the sheer number of ways that an escrow can be thrown off. Whether it’s one wrong number on the seller paperwork or a disappointing appraisal, there’s a reason why few escrows ever close on the original date.

Giving Clients an Out

To a certain extent, there’s only so much a real estate agent can do to mitigate the disappointment of a delayed escrow. You can’t force them to accept the possibility as the most likely reality. What you can do though is give your clients some practical advice about how to prepare. Advise clients to give themselves at least two weeks between moving out and moving in. For homebuyers, this should be on either side of the closing date. This way, sellers can capitalize on extra time to move and buyers don’t have to track down last-minute housing.

Facing the Music

Your clients are likely already overwhelmed enough with the many demands of purchasing a home. When it comes to talking to them, you don’t have to run through every scenario, but you can frame the situation so your clients get a sense of what’s at stake. While clients can always find a temporary solution if they really need it, the costs can add up quickly. As you give them the heads up, let them know that you’ve successfully handled these situations in the past and you can help them too.

If you’re looking for another practical tip for your clients, Insure My Closing can cover the expenses for your clients if a closing delay occurs for specific reasons. When one delay can have such a ripple effect, having a little support can go a long way. If your clients are going to assume the worst, it can be a great way to soften the blow.