Maintain the Pace of Play

by Karen Briscoe
August 26, 2016

On the golf course recently it was apparent how important it is to maintain the pace of play. The principle is that every player is responsible to assure that they do not hold up the other players by their actions. This includes staying up with the group in front as well as not holding up the group behind. There are techniques that professionals use for staying on schedule, amateurs are well advised to heed. Failure to play the course in a timely fashion can result in a warning from the course Marshall, penalties, not being able to finish the round and sometimes not being invited to play the course again.  

In real estate transactions “time is of the essence” is the principle most similar to “maintain the pace of play.” The agents are responsible to assure that their clients meet deadlines and deliver documents as per the contract. This includes staying on track as well as to not hold up other parties by their actions.

By way of example, recently I represented a seller on negotiations related to the home inspection. The agent for the purchaser delivered the report and addendum as per the contract. I assured the seller responded in a timely fashion. The agent for the purchaser and I had visited and I was told verbally that we were in agreement. However she seemed to be “sitting” on the ratified addendum. When I inquired as to the reason for the delay she shared that there was another day. When I recommended that she read the contract and recalculate her days, she realized her error. If she had failed to deliver the addendum, then her client would have lost her rights under the home inspection contingency. This is clearly more significant than being asked to leave a golf course!

Real estate professionals have techniques for maintaining the pace of play in transactions just as pros do on the golf course. One of the key processes our team uses is a digital spreadsheet that all key players have access to with contract deadlines. This way the staff and agents are all aware of the timelines. Second, upon contract ratification a team member provides a schedule of deadlines to all the parties involved in the transaction. Third, read the contract, several times if necessary, to make certain that all the terms are being met. And finally, checklists are an invaluable method to keep track of details. A timely and successful closing is the professional real estate agent’s goal.

Karen Briscoe and Lizzy Conroy and their team HBC Group at Keller Williams are active and experienced Realtors® in the Northern Virginia, suburban Maryland and Washington, DC market place. They would be delighted to assist whether selling or buying a home. Please contact via the means most convenient for you:, 703-734-0192,


Karen Briscoe is Principal of the Huckaby Briscoe Conroy Group (HBC) and author of "Real Estate Success in 5 Minutes a Day". She is an Associate Broker in Virginia, a Certified Luxury Home Market Specialist, and a member of the Women’s Council of Realtors. Karen began her real estate career developing residential lots with the Trammel Crow Company in Dallas, and in commercial real estate with The Staubach Company in the Washington, DC Metro area. Karen has a Masters Degree from Southern Methodist University and her BA from Stephens College in Columbia, Missouri – her hometown.
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