|Anyone who has
bought or sold a home recently can attest to the amount of papers,
forms and contracts that need to be signed, copied and distributed.
What is all this paperwork, and is it really necessary? The short answer is, it varies, and yes, it’s all very necessary.
Let’s begin with the process to list a home. Your REALTOR® will come to your house armed with all sorts of papers, some for you just to read, some for you to fill out, and some for you to sign. Some of these, like the Seller Disclosure Form and Lead Based Paint Disclosure, will be filled out and given to prospective purchasers. Others, like the company’s policy on agency, the Agency Disclosure Form, and the listing agreement, you will keep.
By this time, you will have figured out you need a file folder to start keeping track of the papers. Believe me, it won’t match the one your REALTOR® has. But by the time your house is sold and you’ve moved, you’ll have a folder that needs a rubber band around it to keep all the papers straight.
Sometimes all this paperwork makes selling a home more difficult. In those cases where the sellers or buyers are out of town, for example, moving the papers back and forth in a timely fashion becomes a concern. If you are the seller, responding to the purchase offer, meeting deadlines in the inspection addendum, and providing the proper disclosures in time can be an exercise in telecommunications. Technology, like fax machines and e-mail can be a life-saver. REALTORS® are used to this type of scrambling, but it can be unsettling for busy sellers.
On the buyer’s side, the paperwork is about the same. Your REALTOR® will provide you with the mandatory Agency Disclosure, a copy of the company’s policy on agency, and may ask you to sign an Exclusive Right to Represent agreement.
Then he or she will begin to provide information about homes for sale and possible showings. Or, you may go to open houses where you’ll pick up more papers. As a buyer, you’ll need the same type of file folder.
Once you get ready to make an offer, even more paperwork is required. Then come inspection reports, an appraisal, maybe a survey, mortgage papers, and more. And all these papers have the time factor built in. Even submitting an offer can be problematic, especially when the seller is out of town or other buyers want the same property, too. By the time you close, your folder will need a rubber band, too.
Back to the second original question, is all this paperwork really necessary? Yes. Some has to do with the process of buying and selling, some has to do with government regulation, and some has to do with financing. But it’s all necessary.
It’s also part of what you pay your REALTOR® to do – help guide you through this maze of paperwork.
So the next time you buy or sell, think about all the paperwork. Think about how your REALTOR® handles it all so you don’t have to worry about it. And keep your file folder handy with a rubber band – you’ll need it!