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Real Estate the Old Fashioned Way - Face2Face Contracts

Education & Training with Sell with Soul

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...

...brace yourself... 

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? 


Real Estate the Old Fashioned Way - the Series
A Series with Soul
Remember the Big Book of Listings?
The Keeper of the MLS  

Turn OFF the GPS 

Face2Face Contracts?

Life Before Facebook



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Kaye Swain
Keller Williams Real Estate Roseville CA - Roseville, CA
Your Roseville Real Estate Agent

Good point! Plus it can help them feel more comfortable with the whole process. Even us techies can feel a bit intimidated with legal docs. 

Jun 20, 2016 06:13 AM
Lisa Hassler
Kinlin Grover - Yarmouth Port, MA
Specializing in historic homes

I work in an area where most homes are 2nd homes/vacation homes.  My clients are typically from out of town (or even state), so e-signature is a must for me.  However, when I do meet with clients to show them around (or sellers when they are in town), I go over blank contracts so they will know what to expect and can familiarize themselves with the contents.  In this way, when it comes time to sign - they are prepared.


Jun 22, 2016 11:21 PM
John Martelotti
KW Staten Island - Staten Island, NY
Your Staten Island, NY Real Estate Resouce!

I think that your "old-fashioned" way makes a lot of sense. It seems that no one wants to meet face-to-face anymore until the S#*t hits the fan! Then we'll go anywhere.

Oct 10, 2016 03:50 AM
Dave Halpern
Dave Halpern Real Estate Agent, Inc., Louisville, KY (502) 664-7827 - Louisville, KY
Louisville Short Sale Expert

Those were the days. The speed of business was slooooow and inconvenient.


May 31, 2018 11:46 AM
Peter Mohylsky, Destin BeachPro
PMI. Destin - Miramar Beach, FL
Call me at 850-517-7098

Some very good points here that are still valid today. Thanks for sharing

Jan 06, 2019 02:53 AM
Kat Palmiotti
eXp Commercial, Referral Divison - Kalispell, MT
Helping your Montana dreams take root

I do think face-to-face is the best way to review any kind of agreements. I more often review listing agreements face-to-face than buyer agreements, but both should be done in person if at all possible.

Jan 06, 2019 03:24 AM