Too Much Paperwork!

November 20, 2008 · 0 comments

As I mentioned yesterday, we got an offer on The Yellow Stain House that we accepted. This was the first written offer that my wife has ever gotten as a real estate agent, and when it came in, we were both a bit confused about next steps.

Certainly we wanted to counter-offer, but we weren’t sure if we could initially do it verbally, or if we should just stick with a written counter and no verbal communication. We decided to go verbal, and after many back and forth discussions, we reached agreement with the buyer (this would have taken many hours had we stuck with written counter-offers). Then we had to figure out how to amend the contract with the new, agreed-upon, terms. Ultimately, the buyer’s agent sent a new contract, but then we had to make some minor changes (disclosure of my wife and my relationship, change of a couple words here and there, etc), and even minor changes are cumbersome when dealing with so many parties; I never really thought about it before, but it all boils down to contract law, and if you don’t follow the rules, someone could end up losing a lot of money.

I won’t go into all the legal details that we had to figure out, but suffice-it-to-say, my wife was on the phone with one of her brokers for long periods of time figuring out how to amend the contract in the most optimal (and legal) way — each contract amendment required a signature of both parties, and while I was sitting right next to my agent, the buyer’s agent and the buyer had to coordinate getting together for signatures, so it wasn’t so easy for them to accommodate changes. A good example is that my wife forgot to sign one change in the contract, and to correct it (because everyone else had finished signing), we actually had to go through another counter-offer round and get all new signatures. While it seemed like a formality, from a legal perspective, it was necessary.

Now that we have the property under contract, the buyer wants to close this coming Friday (less than 48 hours from contract to closing). And, as my wife is finding out, there’s a LOT of paperwork that goes along with a closing. Not just dealing with the closing attorneys, but also with her brokers to ensure that she’s not inadvertently breaking any rules/laws, and ensuring that all financial aspects are accounted for.

As I write this, we’re going on about 10 hours of paperwork on this deal (since yesterday). Just a heads-up to anyone who is planning to get their license, while there are a tremendous number of benefits to doing so, the paperwork is a big downside. Hopefully we can get it all figured out on the first couple deals, and figure out how to optimize for it on future deals.

Okay, back to filling out forms…

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