Austin TX Real Estate - Hill Country Austin Lakeway Homes for Sale: When Do You Meet Your Buyers - At the Closing Table

When Do You Meet Your Buyers - At the Closing Table

When do you normally meet your buyers for the first time? Is it (A) at a pre-qualification interview when you want to know what they're looking for and their time frame? Is it (B) after they've spoken with a mortgage person to get pre-approved?  Is it (C) at the closing table?

A couple of weeks ago, I met my buyers for the very first time at the closing table!  No, they were not out of town buyers, as I've worked with those kinds of buyers before and buying a house without seeing it is not a strange situation.  This particular situation was a little unique.

time in texas real estate contractsI received an email from the buyers on a Sunday evening.  Since it wasn't an urgent negotiations matter, and it was only a viewing of a property, I didn't feel the need to interupt my family time, so I responded first thing Monday morning.  I looked up the property address she gave me only to find instructions that all "Best and Final" offers were to be received by Monday at 5pm as they went into multiple offers on Friday. YIKES!

We arranged a time between us that would work since it was last minute.  The problem?  Tenants...  This was a duplex. One side had a huge dog that the tenant had to arrange to remove. The other side had a lockbox, but it was kept INSIDE the house and put out only upon a confirmed appointment.  Another YIKESNeither tenant would arrange to allow us to view the property.

I looked further into the MLS and saw that they tried to sell back in 2006. I emailed those five interior pictures to the buyers to see if they wanted to write an offer sight-unseen.  To hit the 5pm deadline, they needed to let me know by 2:30pm so I had enough time to write up the offer and get it to them to sign, and then turned in.

The Buyers submitted an offer, which was excepted, however, the sellers needed to close in 8 days.  I had put a 10 day option period for inspections because I was leaving town the next day for the Xplode real estate Technology conference in Dallas. Yet, another YIKES!  We scheduled the inspection right away, and I made sure the home owner was present to let the inspector in so there were no Tenant issues.  The buyers attended their inspection, which is not very common these days, because they had not viewed the home yet. They were buying it to live in, and not just as investment.  They liked the inside, so we moved forward.

The day of closing, we met at the title company for the very first time. We talked on the phone at least 50 times to make sure things were going ok, but there's nothing like putting a face to the Happy Buyer!

It's not very often I go an entire transaction without meeting my clients, but this isn't the first time... and it probably won't be the last!

**Are You Packed Yet?**

donna harris Realtor Austin TX blog

Donna Harris, REALTOR®
RE/MAX Austin Skyline

Austin TX Real Estate

and the surrounding areas of Lakeway, Bee Cave, West Lake Hills, Cedar Park, Round Rock, Spicewood, Circle-C, Steiner Ranch, and everywhere in between... Hill Country Austin TX Real Estate and beyond. Whether you're buying or selling an Austin home, I'll be with you every step of the way. 

For real time Austin TX listings,click here.

** Multi-Million Dollar Producer Year after Year **

Copyright© 2011 By Donna Harris, All Rights Reserved. You may re-blog with links back to this post.
When Do You Meet Your Buyers - At the Closing Table * was first published on

Comment balloon 49 commentsDonna Harris • November 14 2011 04:53PM


Donna, that is incredible.

   You held up well under pressure, got the Sale and got it closed.  Well done!

Posted by Fred Griffin Tallahassee Real Estate, Licensed Florida Real Estate Broker (Fred Griffin Real Estate) over 8 years ago

Wow...well glad everything worked out.  I haven't had a situation where I haven't met my buyer until the closing table, but as you point out, anything is possible :)!  Congrats on the closing!

Posted by Brenda Mullen, Your San Antonio TX Real Estate Agent!! (RE/MAX Access) over 8 years ago


I've not only met buyers for the first time at the settlement table, I've sold homes and went through the process including inspections and closed the sale for the buyers by power of attorney.  Then met the buyers when they got to the country or to town.

I'd do it anytime with cooperative buyers.

Many agents wouldn't.  This shows that you have confidence in your own ability. 

Last year, we sold a horse farm in N.Va to a couple who didn't see the property until a month after closing.  Closing in that case was by FedEx.

Love it.


Posted by Lenn Harley, Real Estate Broker - Virginia & Maryland (Lenn Harley,, MD & VA Homes and Real Estate) over 8 years ago

Sounds like quite the situation.  Good for you and the buyers.   Glad it worked out.

Posted by Yvette Chisholm, Associate Broker - Rockville, MD 301-758-9500 (Long & Foster Real Estate, Inc.) over 8 years ago

THAT is a good story Donna. Good for you and's to many more.

Thank you, Scott


Posted by Scott Baker, Realtor Homes for Sale in Cincinnati, West Chester, Mason, OH Area ( Coldwell Banker West Shell) over 8 years ago

Yikes is right!  Nope....can't say that has ever happened to me!

Posted by Christine Smith, Exclusive Buyer Agent & Attorney, Canton, MA (Buyers Brokers Only LLC - over 8 years ago

Donna, never had that happen. But I'll probably be a little more open to it should the need ever arise.

Posted by Tammie White, Broker, Franklin TN Homes for Sale (Franklin Homes Realty LLC) over 8 years ago

Donna,   sounds like you offered professionalism and much cooperation during the transaction.     There were many obstacles, but you jumped every hurdle.    GOOD JOB!

Posted by Yvonne Burdette-Van Camp, "Home"work, I have the Answers! (To Buy and Sell Real Estate, see me at Southwest Missouri Realty) over 8 years ago


What ever work is OK. If your buyers are happy everything is good.

Good luck and success.

Lou Ludwig

Posted by Lou Ludwig, Designations Earned CRB, CRS, CIPS, GRI, SRES, TRC (Ludwig & Associates) over 8 years ago

Quite a story - I had that happen to me twice in my 20 years .. . selling a home to a buyer that didn't see it.  Digital pictures, email, etc. make it all doable!  Thanks for your post.  I enjoyed it.

Posted by Joy Daniels (Joy Daniels Real Estate Group, Ltd.) over 8 years ago

It shows that you do what you need o do to get the job done. Congratulations..

Posted by Robert L. Brown, Grand Rapids Real Estate Bellabay Realty, West Mic ( over 8 years ago

Good for you!  I have had several cases where I did not meet the wife until the closing, but not both!  

Posted by Karen Feltman, Relocation Specialist in Cedar Rapids, Iowa (Cedar Rapids/Iowa City, IA KW Legacy Group) over 8 years ago

Fred, THanks!

Brenda, You will...

Lenn, My last broker said he didn't want anyone ever turning in a contract where the buyers didn't see the property because of liability reasons. I laughed at him and pointed out how many had closed that way...

Yvette, Thanks!

Scott, You too, thanks!

Christine, One YIKES after another, and did most of it from out of town!

Tammie, Definitely be open to it as you could lose the sale!

Yvonne, And did I mention this was an 8 day SHORT SALE closing??!!  The listing agent told the second lien holder to take it or leave it, otherwise it would have foreclosed.

Lou, Thanks!

Joy, Only twice??

Robert, Yep!

Karen, That's tough too!

Posted by Donna Harris, Realtor,Mediator,Ombudsman,Property Tax Arbitrator (Donna Homes, powered by JPAR - over 8 years ago

Nice job of working under a tight timeline.  I, too, often search the MLS for photos from an earlier list date especially on REOs as the photographs are often better.

Posted by Norma Toering Broker for Palos Verdes and Beach Cities, Palos Verdes Luxury Homes in L.A. (Charlemagne International Properties) over 8 years ago

Donna, I've had a few where I didn't meet the other agent or their clients, but never my own buyer or seller.

Posted by Patricia Kennedy, Home in the Capital (RLAH Real Estate) over 8 years ago

Donna -- well, first, congratulations to you and your buyers and I hope they are happy with the home and with your service.  Like Pat who commented in #16, I have been in a situation where I have never met the other agent or their clients, I have always met my client.   All I will say is I glad this was the exception to your business model and not the way you typically do business(just my opinion because it seems many others who have commented before me have no issue with this).

Posted by Michael Jacobs, Los Angeles Pasadena 818.516.4393 over 8 years ago

Donna-This supports the old saying, "Where there is a will, there's a way." There were lots of moving parts on that transaction. Glad it worked out for everyone.

Posted by Wayne Johnson, San Antonio REALTOR, San Antonio Homes For Sale (Coldwell Banker D'Ann Harper REALTORS®) over 8 years ago

I've also closed many where I didn't meet my clients until well after closing.  In fact, when we meet it is often the first time they have seen the house in person!

Posted by Cindy Abel, Broker/Owner - Las Vegas Homes and Real Estate (Southern Nevada Realty, LLC) over 8 years ago

I have clients that have been closed for years and I've yet to meet them and they have yet to view their property... since it is vacant land..

Posted by 1~Judi Barrett, BS Ed, Integrity Real Estate Services -IDABEL OK (Integrity Real Estate Services 118 SE AVE N, Idabel, OK 74745) over 8 years ago
I had a client purchase a home from the Internet. We met the week before closing when he finally saw the house. Talk about nerves on edge! Yikes!! They lived there 4 years before selling and going back up north.
Posted by Joni Bailey, Your Huntsville / Lake Livingston Area REALTOR® (101 Main St. Realty) over 8 years ago

Donna, WAY TO GO!! :)  SO glad everything fell into place for a smooth closing!  I have had 2 seller situations where I never did meet the seller in person!  Lots of phone calls and emails though.  One was an estate sale that had tried to do it FSBO from out of state!! :)  

Posted by Sonja Patterson, Texas Monthly 5-Star Realtor Recipient for the Hou (Keller Williams - BV) over 8 years ago

Wow, talk about unique circumstances. If anyone can pull it off, it would be you Donna. Awesome. 

Posted by J. Philip Faranda, Broker-Owner (J. Philip Faranda (J. Philip R.E. LLC) Westchester County NY) over 8 years ago

Congrats on the feature! You definitely had excellent client service in rolling with unique circumstances. Every clients needs are different, so we wind up meeting them at different points in the process. The best thing to do is to deliver a service level that makes them raving fans. Thanks for sharing.

Posted by Laurie Clark CRB Angel Realty LLC Your Monument Realtor 719-502-6572, Angel Realty, LLC (CRB-CCSS-ASD-HBS-RSD-Denver Short Sale Agents) over 8 years ago

Donna, at least you got to meet them finally! Good job on getting everything done in a non-traditional. last minute manner!

Posted by Maria Morton, Kansas City Real Estate 816-560-3758 (Platinum Realty) over 8 years ago

Donna, I built a house, including picking out the selections - for a buyer who was out of the country! We didn't speak often because of distance and time difference, but they love the house! But with buyers in town? Now that's a little different. But you made it work!


Posted by Sharon Alters, Realtor - Homes for Sale Fleming Island FL (Coldwell Banker Vanguard Realty - 904-673-2308) over 8 years ago

Donna - my most recent one was a buyer from overseas ..... we met after he had closed the deal (our closings are handled by lawyers and we are not present) ..... they were in the process of moving in

Posted by Kathy Clulow, Trusted For Experience - Respected For Results (RE/MAX All-Stars Realty Inc. Brokerage) over 8 years ago


Great story, and congratulations!

I think that these days there are many models of how to work with buyers adn one has to either be flexible, or limit oneself to a certain type of buyer. With the Internet and technology, it can all be done remotely, as long as the buyers understand the issues and are comfortable with making their decisions that way. More and more are.


Posted by Jeff Dowler, CRS, The Southern California Relocation Dude (eXp Realty of California) over 8 years ago

Interesting story! Its crazy when things get rushed like that! Congrats on the deal!

Posted by Ben Blonder, Buyers, Sellers, Investors! (Broker/Owner, Keller Williams) over 8 years ago

Donna, That was Awesome the way you hung in there and pulled this closing off for your buyers. You were prepared for anything and it paid off in the end.

Posted by Jerry Newman, Texas REALTOR, San Antonio Military Relocation (Brown Realty, 210-789-4216, over 8 years ago

That is a different situation.  Glad it worked out and I think meeting buyers at the closing table is a great thing!

Posted by Chuck Carstensen, Minnesota Real Estate Expert (RE/MAX Results) over 8 years ago

That's what I say... be in the right place at the right time.  Many agents drop the ball and do not follow through with internet and phone leads.  If you have that great listening ear and great follow through there are many buyers out there that search online and are waiting for the right agent that will listen and do what they say they are gonna do.  Perserverance works and hard work pays off :)

Posted by Shelby DiBiase over 8 years ago

That is quite an unusual situation and I'm glad you made it work. Way to go. Congrats!             

Posted by Sandy Acevedo, RE/MAX Masters, Inland Empire Homes for Sale (951-290-8588) over 8 years ago

I had a sale like that this year also. The buyer viewed my listing on the internet, sent her relatives that lived in the area to view the home, and to come to the home inspection & flew in from across the country for the closing. Sweet!

Posted by Joan Congilose, Helping Sellers & Buyers (New Jersey Properties) over 8 years ago

Great job pulling off the transaction under very unique circumstances. Despite every curve-ball thrown at you, you dealt with each one and your buyers certainly stayed engaged and on top of each response/action required of them too. Sometimes things are just meant to work out and it's always rewarding when that happens.

Posted by Charlie Dresen, Steamboat Springs, CO e-Pro (Steamboat Sotheby's International Realty) over 8 years ago

Works for me!! In fact I have a closing coming up where I am on both sides of the transaction and I have never seen the property and never met the seller or the buyer. I've only spoken to the parties once. All handled by email and text. Quite common for me since I run an online brokerage.

Posted by Bryant Tutas, Selling Florida one home at a time (Tutas Towne Realty, Inc and Garden Views Realty, LLC) over 8 years ago

Very cool Donna.  I just met the buyers first for the inspection.  We picked out the home for them and they are coming into view it.

Did have one transaction where I never met the buyers!

Posted by Gabe Sanders, Stuart Florida Real Estate (Real Estate of Florida specializing in Martin County Residential Homes, Condos and Land Sales) over 8 years ago


We've done this a few times but usually it is an out-of-town buyer ... and it is very nerve-wracking!

Posted by Richard Weisser, Richard Weisser Retired Real Estate Professional (Richard Weisser Realty) over 8 years ago

That happening with an in-town buyer is going to be rare.  I can see this happening more often with an out of town buyer.  Given your very short offer to closing date, there was really not a lot of time to have met.

Posted by Rodney Mason, VP of Mortgage Lending - AL, FL, GA, SC, & TN (Guaranteed Rate NMLS# 2611) over 8 years ago

Wow!!  Way to go Donna!  

Posted by Amanda Christiansen, Christiansen Group Realty (Christiansen Group Realty (260)704-0843) over 8 years ago

one and done!  Good job!

Posted by Dylan Taft, Ulster County Area Consultant (Dylan Taft Broker/Owner Taft Street Realty, Inc.) over 8 years ago

Donna, I've never had a buyer purchase a home sight unseen. Glad it worked out for you and way to go.

Posted by Michael Setunsky, Your Commercial Real Estate Link to Northern VA over 8 years ago

Congratulations on getting this closed in a timely manner and successfully.  Sounds like you used common sense, creativity, and a few more items from your professional agent's bag!  Although Skype has helped in some instances, I probably see this "unseen buyer" phenomena more often as a lender than agents do.  Still not a preferred way of doing business, but with technology being what it is ... acceptable to many.  I found it more amazing that the buyers had not seen the house prior to contract.  THAT is having faith in their agent!  Kudos again ...


Posted by Gene Mundt, IL/WI Mortgage Originator - FHA/VA/Conv/Jumbo/Portfolio/Refi, 708.921.6331 - 40+ yrs experience (NMLS #216987, IL Lic. 031.0006220, WI Licensed. APMC NMLS #175656) over 8 years ago

Very unique story indeed! I am glad it worked out for you, what a quick close! Hopefully ya'll are getting much needed rain today - SA is getting SLAMMED right now!

Posted by Kristin Moran, San Antonio,TX - Real Estate - 210-313-7397 (Owner - RE/MAX Access - over 8 years ago

Great Story, Donna! Congratulations getting it done despite all the roadblocks you hurtled.


Posted by Bruce Kunz, REALTOR®, Brick & Howell NJ Homes for Sale (C21 Solid Gold Realty, Brick, NJ, 732-920-2100) over 8 years ago

Nicely done!  I've closed sales like that before as well.  Sometimes those are the easiest transctions :-)

Posted by Justin Dibbs, REALTOR® - Ashburn Virginia Homes for Sale (Pearson Smith Realty) over 8 years ago

Always good to meet them before heading out to look at a property.

Good post, thanks for sharing it.

Posted by Anthony Daniels, SF Bay Area REO Specialist (Coldwell Banker) over 8 years ago

Donna, great story.  And way to go, to get the deal done.  Every deal is different. 

Posted by David Krichmar, ( - Legend Lending) over 8 years ago

Great story Donna!  You really pulled it together on this one!  Well-done and CONGRATS!

Posted by Lisa Dunham, Associate Broker, Alexandria Virginia Real Estate over 8 years ago

Very unique situation. I have yet to run into a situation like this where I meet the buyers at the closing table!!

Posted by Jairo Arreola #SOLDBYVETERAN, VA Home Loan Specialist - SF Bay Area (PRG Real Estate) over 8 years ago