The early career of many a real estate agent can be a struggle, trying to find your feet, learn what works for you and, in particular, learn how to hold a deal together from one end of the process to the other. Closing a real estate deal is a long process with plenty of potential pitfalls, and sometimes deals that seemed solid can go south with what seems to be no warning. That process doesn’t come automatically to anyone, but there are a few key tips you can follow to boost your numbers and maximize your chances of closing your most important deals.

Midpoint Check-Ins

Whether you’re representing the buyer or the seller, the important thing in communicating with your clients is never to take their comfort level for granted. A halfway check-in from your office to gauge the client’s satisfaction with the transaction and the level of service they’re getting can be invaluable in catching potential problems before they become fatal to the transaction. Getting that feedback at the end of the process can often mean getting it too late.

Get Ahead of Potential Problems

As a transaction progresses, there are certain potential problem areas that you’ll be well-positioned to anticipate and solve before they can scuttle the deal. Buyers might get concerned when the time for home inspections comes around, for example — the kind of concerns you can head off at the proverbial pass by sitting down with them beforehand and explaining what to expect at every stage of the process. Sellers might get worried about having listed too low when offers start coming in faster than they expect, but you can likewise ameliorate those problems by preparing them for that scenario and putting it context beforehand.

Nothing boosts a client’s confidence in their agent like that agent displaying confidence and competence themselves. The key is immersing yourself in applicable classes and visioning sessions, practicing scripts to provide you with seamless responses to the most common problems that can crop up and knowing the warning signs of those problems so that you can bring solutions to the table early.

Manage Appraisals

If a seller gets many offers that reach well above the asking price, appraisals can become a danger point en route to closing the deal. This is another problem that can be headed off early in the process by sitting the client down and running down the pros and cons of various plausible scenarios with them. Check in about likely appraisal scenarios at several different stages of the process, and be proactive against the possibility of a negative appraisal by keeping informed about the appraisal’s timing and providing the often-busy appraiser up front with details from MLS about comparable sales in the last several months and about improvements to the home.

Ensure Secure Financing

Little is served by getting to the point of finalizing the home purchase only to discover that the buyers relied on financing from fly-by-night lenders who abruptly vanish or produce nothing but long delays when the time arrives to deliver. Making sure buyers are fully preapproved before negotiations start, and having direct conversations to that effect with their lenders, can be critical to ensuring the deal will actually close.

Learn Constantly

Just as important as any of the above is being a coachable and persistent learner of new technologies and techniques. No agent succeeds solely on their own skill set or has the luxury of the time it would require most people to grow alone. When a deal starts looking unsound, turn to fellow agents or to brokers or attorneys to seek out possible solutions.