Get it in writing, get it in writing, get it in writing!

Real Estate Broker/Owner with Richard Weisser Realty

When trust is broken it can be devastation!Trust is a wonderful quality. It is very satisfying to have enough faith and confidence in a person or a company to take them at their word.

And most of the time, everyone involved in a verbal commitment really does mean to keep their word and to stick to it.

The problem is more one of fading memories. As time goes on there is a good likelihood that one or both parties committed to a verbal agreement simply forget the details of the mutual pact.

The act of insisting on a written agreement is not necessarily a lack of trust. It can often be an excellent “memory aid” in the event of confusion down the road.

No matter how simple or unimportant an arrangement might be, a written agreement can actually become a relationship builder, and not a friendship destroyer.

As I said, trust is a wonderful quality!

Don't let it ruin a good relationship forever.


Re-Blogged 10 times:

Re-Blogged By Re-Blogged At
  1. Yvette Chisholm 08/26/2010 02:02 AM
  2. Barbara Martino-Sliva, Top Producer 08/26/2010 02:08 AM
  3. Ralph Janisch ABR CRS Broker 08/26/2010 02:13 AM
  4. Guy Adams 08/26/2010 03:07 AM
  5. Cheryl Ritchie 08/26/2010 03:37 AM
  6. Barbara Todaro 08/26/2010 08:43 PM
  7. Kryste Adams 08/27/2010 04:04 AM
  8. Adam F 08/27/2010 08:46 PM
  9. Michele Miller ~ REALTOR®, LMC, HSE, CHS, SRES, CMRS 08/27/2010 09:03 PM
  10. Monique Combs 08/28/2010 05:23 AM
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Terry McCarley
REMAX Trend - Cape Coral FL - Cape Coral, FL

To this day I always remember what the instructor of my real estate class taught us - "If it's not is writing it does not exist" and "he with the thickest file wins" when things start getting ugly as they sometimes can.

Aug 27, 2010 04:31 AM #75
Gene Riemenschneider
Home Point Real Estate - Brentwood, CA
Turning Houses into Homes

Very good point.  I see this in my own life.  I think one thing is true then go back to the source and am often surprised.

Aug 27, 2010 05:45 AM #76
Larry and Marilyn Mennetti

Get it in writing for sure, in Michigan if it isn't written down, it never happened. Go to court over a real estate problem, the judge askes for the signed agreement showing what you are fueding about. If there isn't a signed document, he says " dismissed ".


Aug 27, 2010 05:47 AM #77
Bill Travis
Captain Bill Realty, LLC - Gilbert, AZ

In AZ, all real estate transactions must be in writing to be enforceable.

Aug 27, 2010 06:47 AM #78
Robert Amato
Bob Amato of Empire Home Mortgage Inc - East Meadow, NY

I am sure that every person has a story about a friendship or business relationship that went sour because of a misunderstanding between both parties. So I agree.....get it in writing.

Aug 27, 2010 07:04 AM #79
Steven Cook
No Longer Processing Mortgages. - Tacoma, WA

It is great when someone can put something so important in just a short blog!  Phil (#59) stole my thunder with his second sentence, so I will just note that in the Mortgage business here in Washington state, we actually are required to have the clients sign a "Notice of No Oral Agreements" form as part of the loan application.  So at least in our field in this state, the state will not let us do it with a handshake or any oral agreements.

Aug 27, 2010 07:12 AM #80
Jim Paulson
Progressive Realty (Boise Idaho) - Boise, ID

Here in Idaho, we have the Statue of Frauds in real estate that effectively states if it isn't in writing, it doesn't count!  I like that since it gives me an opportunity to tell my clients the importance of the written contract.

Aug 27, 2010 08:16 AM #81
Home Loan Search.Online
Home Loan Search Online - Newnan, GA

Very well written post. Nomatter how big or small the transaction getting it in writing is the key.

Aug 27, 2010 09:12 AM #82
Ty Lacroix
Envelope Real Estate Brokerage Inc - London, ON

In writing, on paper and signatures allow us to sleep better.


Aug 27, 2010 11:14 AM #83
Coleen DeGroff
Coldwell Banker M.M. Parrish Realtors - Gainesville, FL
Haile Plantation Real Estate - Gainesville FL

To me a relationship is more likely to break over something that isn't in writing. Shaded memories aren't a good thing in a real estate transaction. Always get it in writing!  There are plenty of other ways the parties can tick each other off...why add to it with verbal agreements that are too often mis-remembered?

Aug 27, 2010 11:33 AM #84
Bea Lueck
Coldwell Banker Rox Realty - Casa Grande, AZ

To add to the whole "get it in writing" theme - save and print the pertinent emails between agents if the counters are presented in the body of an email.  I have a recent deal that when we were presented the HUD1 for review prior to COE, the listing agent said his seller wasn't paying for the home warranty.  "Ahhh, yes you are.  It's part of the original contract."  He neglected to include the exclusion in the various counter emails - all he indicated was price, earnest money and COE date. Our signed counter changed those three items and concluded with "All other terms and conditions of the original purchase contract to remain the same"  Sometimes even written agreements are mis-remembered!


Aug 27, 2010 03:08 PM #85
Marte Cliff
Marte Cliff Copywriting - Priest River, ID
Your real estate writer

It's also wise to take notes about telephone conversations - dates, times, details.

Sending a follow-up email is a good idea, too. "This is what I understood from our conversation ... is this how you understood it?"

Good notes kept my company out of a lawsuit once when a client refused to take our advice and acted to her own detriment.

Aug 27, 2010 06:28 PM #86
Richard Weeks
Dallas, TX
REALTOR®, Broker

I am always amazed at agent who will leave their clients unprotected by not confirming in writing.

Thanks for the reminder.

Aug 27, 2010 11:24 PM #87
Patsy Overton
Patsy Overton Interiors, Atlanta, Georgia - Duluth, GA

These are words of widsom to be sure, whether you are a Realtor or stager.

Aug 28, 2010 09:12 AM #88
Monica Atherton
eXp Realty - Georgetown, TX
Your Georgetown Real Estate Gal

Isn't that Real Estate 101?  It only takes a second!

Aug 28, 2010 01:26 PM #89
Jeanne Dufort
Coldwell Banker Lake Country - Madison, GA
Madison and Lake Oconee GA

I'm amazed at how relaxed some folks are becoming - getting it in writing is real estate 101!  Our contracts are complex - and force us to be explicit about the entire agreement.  Its not just price and closing date. after all.

Aug 29, 2010 06:03 AM #90
Lyn Sims
RE/MAX Suburban - Schaumburg, IL
Schaumburg Real Estate

I'm going to use that 'memory aid' next time during negotiations!  Negates the I don't trust you behind a good business practice.

Aug 29, 2010 11:37 AM #91
Ryan Hukill - Edmond
ShowMeOKC Real Estate Pros of KW Elite - Edmond, OK
Realtor, Team Lead

I don't think it could've been said better. We hate to come across as untrusting, but when dealing with contracts, it's IMPERATIVE that everything be in writing. Great post!

Aug 30, 2010 10:59 AM #92
Liane Thomas, Top Listing Agent
Professional Realty Services® - Corona, CA
Bringing you Home!

Get it an writing and keep copies! I keep each and every email for each and every transaction. As a habit, I will send an emai "to confirm our earlier converation" and it has covered my fanny more than once....

Sep 03, 2010 01:11 PM #93
Ryan Nunnally
Alain Pinel Realtors - Los Gatos, CA

The old saying, "Tailpipe Handshake" comes to mind. You shake hands, and as soon as their backside is out of view, the agreement is no more.

Sep 07, 2010 12:25 PM #94
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Richard Weisser Retired Real Estate Professional
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