How much would you pay to GUARANTEE an On-Time Closing?

How much would you pay to GUARANTEE an On-Time Closing?

My Friend Randa Dawson with Century 21 Dawson emailed the above picture . . .

If you could purchase insurance to protect yourself from delays in closing a home (or darn near anything), how much would you be willing to pay?

Seth Godin wrote a short, provocative Blog post about this here:

The Certainty Premium 

“”Works every time” is a great promise to make . . . people . . . just need to get there for sure . . . Doesn’t work if you have to slip in the word ‘almost’ though.”

Your clients will remember what went WRONG and how you dealt with it longer than they’ll remember what you did right.

Deb and I have some amazing stories to tell about delayed closings (I won’t bore you with details) . . .

When I get hit from multiple directions about one thing in particular, I take notice and  think that perhaps it’s not just ME who is having these difficulties . . . and I begin to wonder WHY?

and . . . what can we professionals DO about it (if anything)?

Certainly, this kind of  stuff is what caused the invention of “Insurance” . . . to reduce RISK.

This leads to much reflection on the deals of the past.

Where is(was) the RISK of delay?

It all boils down to a finite number of sources the combination of which provides (unfortunately) an infinite number of ways things can go awry.

That’s life – It comes atcha FAST sometimes.

– PEOPLE Insurance – Do everything you can do to have the “right” people in the mix. Each and every one of these people should be under-promisers and over-deliverers such that when you hand them the ball you KNOW they won’t let you (and everyone else) down . . . The cost of this is not more than you sticking to your guns about who’s on the bus . . . and holding each of them accountable to their promises . . . and having a VERY low tolerance for lack of performance as promised. The reward is immeasurable.


– SYSTEMS Insurance – Develop a flow for the process. Create a system which drives this flow of activities with a sustained PUSH towards fulfilment of each and every waypoint (contractual deadline). Teach the PEOPLE your SYSTEMS. The cost of this? The time to create the system, the discipline to execute it, and the intestinal fortitude to “manage” the people within it. The reward is immeasurable.


– TOOLS Insurance – Acquire all tools available to keep the system running as smoothly as possible . . . and make it as easy as possible for the people to deliver their promises. These tools might include Contact Manager software, On-line document sharing, electronic communication flow . . . the cost? Whatever it costs will return exponential return.


– Environmental Insurance – we cannot control the environment (as proven by the recent week of snow in Nashville), but we can be prepared for environmental anomalies . . . Things like adding a week or 2 to the expected closing time frame (a fudge factor) . . . Over communicating with all people in the process ALL the time . . . Having a contingency plan for EVERYTHING imaginable . . . like an “emergency interim move plan” . . . or anticipating loan or title company issues . . . or  . . . or  . . . picking up on potential issues and nip’m in the bud before they blossom into full-fledged tycoons. The cost is simple – Slowing down – pausing – thinking ahead – strategizing – being NICE . . . the reward is immeasurable.


So . . . I’m not sure any insurance company could figure out how to structure “Real Estate Transaction Closing on time Insurance” and stay in business . . . but I am fairly confident that all participants in the transaction could easily create their own insurance policies . . . “Policies” meaning their ways of doing business.

Surrounding themselves with the right people and holding them accountable to deliver their promises.

Building a system that delivers a smooth process

Acquiring the appropriate tools.

and developing contingency plans in the event of environmental interference.

I’m just sayin’,



Published by Barry Owen

Residential Real Estate sales Strategist Search - Analysis - Negotiation - CLOSED Inviter-Facilitator-Practicer of Open Space Technology Opening safe space for people & organizations to self-organize around issues & opportunities Invite-Listen-Love

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