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Thursday, November 1, 2012

Good & Bad Effects of eContracts

[Published Nov. 1, 2012, in the Denver Post and in four Jefferson County weekly newspapers]

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.

1 comment:

  1. I agree with you that the printed version of the document is usually read more attentive. However I'm sure that the future of the real estate business is eContracts and eSignatures. I think that we should go over each position of the electronic documents.