I believe this is segment 5 in my little series about the realities of Real Estate in the Olden Days - before the advent of all the technological gizmo/gadgets we enjoy today. Back when we had to get OUT there in our market to learn about it... and to stay on top of the MLS for our clients... and to actually know our way around town without the nice voice speaking to us from our dashboards!
Today I'm going to share with you how we did contracts, disclosures and other important paperwork back in the day...
We actually met with our clients. In person. Face2face, voice2voice. In a serious pinch, we MIGHT fax, but it was frowned upon and all faxed signatures MUST be followed up upon immediately with real live inked signatures.
Yes, you read that right. We had to DRIVE to our clients' homes or workplaces (or have them drive to us), sit down in the same room and TALK... voice2voice... about these somewhat significant pieces of paper we were asking them to sign. In ink, preferably blue.
No emailed contracts, disclosures or amendments. No Docusign or her cousins. Real paper, real ink, real people.
In the spirit of this series, I believe the forced face2face interaction served us old fogies very well. Don't get me wrong, I'm as big a fan as anyone of NOT getting in my car and driving anywhere I don't have to, especially if the drive involves rain, snow or traffic. Or, as was often the case in Denver, blinding sunglare.
But since we didn't have a choice, we did it. Why do I feel this was a good thing? Ah, let me count the reasons...
1. Meeting face2face with your clients more often than less often is better for the relationship. And since discussing contractual issues is an important part of a real estate transaction, it seems to me to make sense to have these conversations in the most conducive environment most to facilitate full discussion and understanding.
2. Perhaps I'm overthinking this, but it seems to me that having a face2face conversation about contractual matters (as opposed to shooting off an emailed file with instructions to sign here, here and here) would give the client the distinct impression that you know your stuff. That you ARE an expert in contractual matters, which you will demonstrate as you review the document they are about to sign provision by provision.
3. Related to this, it seems beneficial to be face2face with the client while going over the documents so you can more clearly tell if they are confused or concerned about a particular provision. And, of course, they will be more likely to ask you questions if they feel they have your undivided attention in a face2face setting.
4. And finally, since the main objective of putting a contract together (whether that's a listing agreement, a purchase offer or a counterproposal) is to come to agreement on the best strategy to move forward with, it seems that being face2face to do said strategizing might result in a BETTER strategy than one discussed over the phone or email. Or, egads, text!
So, that's my opinion and I'm sticking to it. Thoughts?