Settling a difficult deal has its challenges at any time of year, but attempting it when everybody is closed for the holidays takes a real Christmas miracle
Traditionally, Christmas is a time to spend with family, friends and partners. Not just because we love them, but because trying to do anything else is a logistical nightmare.
So taking on a complicated deal at this time of year is usually avoided. However, a broker has to do what a broker has to do.
I was approached by two male friends, one in his 20s and the other in his 40s, who had bought a residential investment property in Toorak for $4m.
Their bank had changed the down payment by increasing the interest rate and reducing the LVR. They needed us to get the LVR back up to 80% and present a sharp interest rate for an investment loan.
So far so good. But the clients came to us on 12 December with a settlement on 5 January.
Before giving it my full commitment, I needed theirs.
The LVR was only the start of the challenges. The next was that, on title, the owner was a company, with both applicants self-employed and the
older of the two holding many entities and trusts for his business and other investments.
Naturally, this required mountains of paperwork and additional documentation – pressured further by the time frame. However, the real icing on the cake was that one client had a holiday booked over Christmas, returning on 3 January, and the other was a doctor with limited opportunity for phone calls during working hours (of which he had many).
Firstly, we needed a lending partner who would be available. Then, from that narrow pool, we needed to find one with experience of complex structures and financials. Getting off on the right foot, we collected all the necessary documents from the client, accountant and conveyancer in record time and lodged the deal on 18 December.
“With the headaches caused by the additional paperwork, the client’s schedules and overall completion timeline, we were up against many things”
While the younger client was away, we had to liaise between his accountant and bank to sort the details of his intricate financial profile and business interests, but we kept the pace going.
The offer was unconditional on 3 January and formal loan documents were due to be signed as soon as both clients were in town the next day.
FinanceHowever, it couldn’t happen without a final curveball – or two. Firstly, we needed a lawyer to witness, and most were enjoying the final few days of their Christmas holiday. Secondly, the doctor client was scheduled to perform surgery and had only a very narrow window in which to meet the one or two lawyers who would be available.
Calling on our contacts, we arranged for a lawyer we know to meet us in Toorak, where one of the applicants lived, within the 30-minute time frame we had that day. We were finally able to breathe easy, and settlement with the bank followed the next day.
The fact that every bank and legal firm was closed and, that in asking them to push this through, we were essentially asking them to take time out of the biggest holiday of the year, was only
one of the challenges. Faced with the headaches caused by the additional paperwork, the client’s schedules and overall completion timeline, we were up against many things.
Not only did we pull off the tricky timing, the clients will be with us for life. We built the foundations of an excellent relationship through this deal, and we have had numerous other opportunities and referrals from them, which has
I’m proud to say we made it work, with the outstanding and dedicated support of some key people. Specifically, I would like to thank Hume from our office, who worked through the break to hand deliver documents and go to the client’s house to save time, and the NAB bankers from the CBD, who missed out on some holiday time for us and this deal.
Seeing the deal come together against all the odds demonstrates the commitment on all sides, and it goes to show always look after your stakeholders as you never know when you will need them. My only Christmas wish is that the next time a deal like this comes along, the clients are a little more available, we have more than 12 days to settle … and it isn’t Christmas.
Director and broker,