Even if most of the performances on both sides of the sale process, before and after an accepted offer are very similar with a lot of agents, I see cases where the marketing is not all that bad, or the process to find a home is pretty good, but when an offer is accepted, the ball is - well - dropped.
Of course one can already make deadly mistakes when writing or countering an offer. For instance if the buyer asks for closing cost. I try to never touch these, more often than not the buyer needs them and would rather accept an above asking counter for the sales prices than negotiations about the amount of closing cost.
But once an offer is accepted, the real work begins. An agent needs to have timelines and deadlines under control, negotiate repairs, read CC&Rs and preliminary title report and make sure the client does not sign something that he does not need to.
Inexperienced buyers do not know if an easement for a road way that shows up in the preliminary title report is legitimate or not, that is our task to look into that.
The buyer wants to have chicken in the backyard and the agent starts to indulge with them in plans for a nice coop - but has not checked if the CC&Rs allow poultry?
And then there is the major trap of repairs after the inspection. The seller has already counted the money and pretty much knows what he will leave the closing table with - until a laundry list of repairs hits the fan....
There are different tactics to deal with long repair lists, my favorite approach is to simply get an estimate for the work. Putting a number on the issue often takes care of it as most repairs are comparably small. Is there a bigger problem, like the roof that looked so good from below is actually on its last leg or the siding is shut, there is a major crack in the foundation or water in the crawl space? Get an expert and let him evaluate the situation, followed by an estimate to fix the problem.
The seller will have to deal with the problem in any case, whether with your buyer or with the next, he will have to disclose and repair or lower the price accordingly, more often than not the loss in sale price will be higher than the actual repair.
All these aspects need to be discussed with your client, be it buyer or seller. A client needs to know exactly where she stands and what her position in the transaction is. Only with a sufficient and straight forward evaluation of the situation and the clear showing of all scenarios and alternatives can a client make an informed, sensible decision that leads to his goal.
Keeping a transaction together against all odds can be very hard work, often more than the actual marketing of the property or finding the right property for a buyer.
The expertise, experience and engagement, the leadership that brings a transaction to a successful closing is a huge part of the value a good broker brings to the table.
Everybody can put a sign in the ground and shoot a few pictures, but not everybody can do world class marketing and then successfully close the deal.