I have written previously about how eContracts and eSignatures have revolutionized the real estate business. It really is great to be able to write a contract and have both parties — no matter where in the world they are located — sign them with their mouse and then deliver the contract to a title company, all within just a few minutes and without anyone, including me, printing out the document. (It also means an agent can write a contract from anywhere in the world.)
Those are some good effects. But there is one bad effect of this eco-friendly revolution. That is the reduced explanation of documents to those who sign them. In the past, I would print out every document and go over each provision, paragraph by paragraph, with the client before he or she signed it.
To a large extent, that’s not happening anymore with me and many agents, and that can lead to problems. For example, last Friday I wrote an offer for $40,000 less than the asking price on a property. The seller asked her agent to counter at $10,000 less than asking price, but a typo caused that provision to be omitted. Seller signed without reading and is now under contract for $30,000 less. On paper, this wouldn’t happen.